A very special OPEN LETTER from James Doherty

Yin and Yang

Greetings and salutations,

Change is in the air, I feel it abuzz, do you? This time of year is one of metamorphism, when old husks are shed as green peeks through. Spring is in the air, and perhaps you feel the stirrings within. Let’s give new growths space to expand, and supportive earth to take root.

It is a wonder how I came to be in this community. Many of you know that I never envisioned myself in a nude yoga class, let alone teaching one. I was the boy who wore a t-shirt in the swimming pool until he was 13, and then the teasing from my peers was worse than the feeling of being exposed, so I took it off. Can anyone relate? It wasn’t my own courage that eventually stripped my shirt; it was the lesser of two things I dreaded. But you know what? Growth occurs when we are uncomfortable.

All paths lead here, and all moments have led to this one – who am I to turn from my dharma? This is our shared story, and we are witnesses to the evolution of yoga, ourselves and our community. Deep in meditation it occurred to me that I have to share our beautiful community. Labels are useful, but how can we be steadfast in our use of them concerning that which cannot be boxed in? Yoga knowledge was once passed down on an individual basis, from guru to disciple. A (Brahman) boy was chosen; he lived with his master and became a saddhu. How the times have changed.

In 1938 our founding father, beloved Krishnamacharya did something revolutionary – he took on a female student – Indra Devi. Krishnamacharya is our direct teacher in our lineage, and among his many veritable titles, one is rebel. The ancient system of yoga that he mastered and taught would not be confined to the dogma of its day. As yogis our allegiance is to Self – customs and norms are a part of Creation, but the One is the absolute.

Thank you to Darren Main for founding this community, and thank you to the incredible teachers here who continue to grow it (that’s you). With the instructors’ blessings, and hopefully yours, I am proceeding to open NYFM so that it is simply NY. We have something so special and beautiful to share with everyone. Every one.

Beginning April 6 my Saturday 4:30pm class will be open to all. I predict that little will change, and I foresee the makeup of our community and this class remaining largely as-is. What will shift is on a subtler level as we energetically knock down another divider.

Lose your connotation of good and bad and be the wave, vibration in motion, moving through the medium – this body. At the end of the Day, the Spirit is what remains. Collectively we will shuck off layers, and experience being naked, free, and limitless.

Peace and harmony to you, dear brothers. It is my wish that you’ll continue to fill Saturdays more than ever, in a show of solidarity. As always it is an honor and a pleasure.

Om tat sat.

In His love and (Hers),


About ken

Ken has practiced yoga for over 10 years and became certified with Yoga Alliance as a RYT-200 after graduating from Yoga Tree’s YogaTeacher Training program in 2006. Yoga Alliance has recognized him as a ERYT-200/RYT-500 as he completed his Yoga Therapy training at Ananda Seva Mission in July 2010. Ken has been leading a Naked Men’s class here at the SUN ROOM since 2007. Ken teaches Naked Men’s Yoga on Tuesdays at 7:45 p.m and is honored to be covering Sundays at 6:00pm while Darren is adjusting to fatherhood. Ken’s Vinyasa Flow class is for all levels! In his classes, Ken provides eclectic Non-denominational Hatha yoga guidance, honoring a variety of traditions, such as Iyengar alignment principles, invigorating Kudalini Kriya, and playful Acroyoga-inspired partner work. He invites you to embrace SIMPLICITY, PATIENCE and COMPASSION as you deepen your practice and your connection with your true Self. Ken offers Yoga Therapy workshops on a variety of topics such as restorative yoga, grief, relationships, stress management and coping with chronic illness. In addition to yoga, Ken also serves as a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, psychotherapist and clinical supervisor. Many of his workshops can be counted towards Continuing Education contact hours for Nurses, LCSWs and MFTs. Daniel Quinn and Paulo Coelho are among his favorite authors. Please visit Ken’s website at www.kenbreniman.com or email him at kjbreniman@gmail.com

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