This page is intended to answer those questions (or type of questions) we most frequently receive by telephone, email or in person, and is not intended as a general primer for Yoga. If you are interested in learning more about Yoga, please either schedule a private class, or attend a public class which will cover the subjects you are interested in. RSVP: 970-615-0717, or firstname.lastname@example.org
What is an Ashram?
An Ashram is simultaneously a place, a type of building, and a type of individual or non-individual Yogic practice. It is similar to the Christian hermitage, or monastery, in that it incorporates living and working for a religious purpose - and frequently contains shrines, and performs community services.
Ashram is a word derived from sram, meaning performing austerities, difficulties / tapas or being afflicted or distressed / kheda, or be or become weary or tired from exertion, to become so tired as to stop doing anything, having made effort, exerted one's self, to be overcome or subdued. The “a” before the sram is negatory, lending an opposite meaning to “sram.” It is best literally understood by the context of a kind of highway rest stop – where a person does not stop on their journey, but rests long enough to resume it (if the “highway” is life itself, it is a stage of travel). In this sense it is a form of Asana, of resting-exertion, or continual effort, the rest required for exertion.
Do you offer "hot yoga?"
In the summer, we practice "Hot Yoga." In the winter, we practice "Cold Yoga." We practice becoming comfortable with both heat and cold, various types of weather, and especially comfortable with discomfort. But we also practice indoors on some days, whether at the Ashram or in the community - and do not expose ourselves to dangerous weather. Developing good sense is one of the goals of practice.
Do you offer group classes? individual classes?
When only one person comes to a public class, it is an individual class. When more than one person comes, it is a group class. At present we only offer limited and infrequent classes to the public: we do offer regular classes at the Mesa County Jail, but there is no need to commit a crime for the Sheriff to get you a seat there. We are committed to offering Yoga instruction for free to those who require it: if you cannot attend one of our scheduled classes, please contact us to schedule an individual class.
It is individual practice, not group practice, which is essential to Yoga: it is by such individualism that true friendship can develop, and this individualism is the goal of all group practice.
This doesn't look like an Ashram / A Townhouse?
We are sorry that we have failed your expectations. It is more likely that you don't know what an Ashram should look like than our Ashram should appear differently to you. An Ashram is an expression of essentiality, efficiency, utility and adequacy: what is necessary, rather than what is ostentatious. One of the goals of practice is a mastery of illusion, form and other Maya: this is contradictory to a "showy" architecture.
There are numerous bodies of work which describe proper architectural practices - including interior decoration and design. These provide guidance not only for Ashrams, but temples, schools, homes, businesses and numerous other types of buildings. Ashram architecture is directed to be suitable to the culture in which it is constructed - and useful. If architecture, design and decoration are of interest to you, please feel welcome to schedule a class.
Some Ashrams also share space with a Temple, or with a Yoga School. Others share space with farms, or with other places of commerce, industry or service to support its activities as permitted. Ours is no different. If such livelihood is of interest to you, please feel welcome to schedule a class.
All Ashrams contain residential elements and religious elements. Ours also contains numerous shrines. Some of our shrines are necessarily located beyond the building: it is not appropriate for all shrines to be enclosed within a building. If shrine construction or use are of interest to you, please feel welcome to schedule a class.
We do not wear traditional robes or any other traditional garment, as the rules for garments direct Yogis to wear what is suitable to their work, and also their culture: religious clothes should be indistinguishable from ordinary clothing. If an Ashram is supported by begging, it is appropriate to dress like a beggar; if the Ashram is supported by farming, it is appropriate to dress like a farmer; if the Ashram is supported by service, it is appropriate to dress like a laborer. It is, however, inappropriate to dress in a way that does not serve the purpose: clothing should be easily changed, as should occupation, as duty requires. When performing rituals, it is necessary to change clothing yet again: not all garments are equally suited for all types of Yoga. Ashramic Yoga combines living and working to accomplish a spiritual life. If you are interested in religious fashion, please feel welcome to schedule a class.