Author Archives: michael joel hall

Ashtanga Yoga and Acute and Chronic Pain

One of the most brilliant aspects of the ashtanga vinyasa yoga physical practice lies in its adaptability. Not unlike the swiss army knife housing a blade, a toothpick, and a bottle opener, the ashtanga yoga practice works effectively across a spectrum of applications. Not confined to being solely a central axis meditation, one could also…

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Don’t Be a Hater: On Selfies, Radical Self Acceptance, and Yoga on the Internet

After I was assaulted and hospitalized in 2012, I became something of a media spectacle. We needed money for my surgery (titanium plates run about 14k a pop, and I needed a few), and my community rallied around me. From yogis to drag queens, so many people gave that we had to tell folks to…

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The Paradox of Sharing: Unique Experience, Confirmation Bias, and Ashtanga Yoga

Talking about ashtanga can make you crazy. Or not. Or both. “Whenever we practice, we quickly run into paradox… this is what happens when we start to cling to any one formula or any one technique. We quickly run into this sense that it isn’t complete– when we run into another viewpoint coming up in the…

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Ashtanga: What Matters? On Sports, Dispassion, and Practice

Every Sunday afternoon in Mysore, Sharath holds a conference. It’s a little bit of Q&A time, a little bit of lecture, and a whole lot of Ashtanga Family Time. The Boss’s kids often interrupt. It’s generally very crowded. And, its always really nice. Sharath has done enough of these now that he sometimes finds a…

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What is Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga? What’s Mysore Style? And More!

Over the last few years, I’ve received all sorts of questions about the type of yoga I practice and teach. Since before my last trip to India, I’ve been teaching Sunday-Friday at Kali Yoga Studio in Columbia Heights in a traditional format called “Mysore Style” Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga. We call this program “DC Ashtanga.” In…

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The Natural Mystic

Before the $14 dollar small plate restaurants popped up on every corner in Logan Circle, it was the transexual prostitutes keeping the big blue mailboxes company. I love facadism for holding true the aesthetic of my neighborhood, but it’s just that: a facade. You can’t hypergentrify and maintain the grit. Once an every night occurrence,…

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