News & Thoughts on Yoga in DC

Archive for July, 2011|Monthly archive page

Washingtonian Magazine Article

In Essays & Scattered Observations on July 25, 2011 at 7:26 AM

Dear Washingtonians and Yogis:

Did you catch the article about me and my daughter in Washingtonian Magazine?  We’ve got our fingers crossed you will  like it!

If you did like it, please  help me write for more people by:

  • Subscribing to DC Yoga Insider.
  • Forwarding DC Yoga Insider to everyone you know. [Ditto your copy of the Washingtonian.]
  • E-mailing me to let me know what you think of yoga in DC, and what you would like to read about, either on DC Yoga Insider or in future magazine articles. Use the form below.

Thank you,


Full House for Krishna Das

In Essays & Scattered Observations, News on July 11, 2011 at 4:37 PM

Kirtan player Krishna Das played to  a sold-out audience at the 6th and I Streets historic synagogue Sunday evening. Krishna Das, 64, appeared with spiritual writer Sharon Salzberg as part of Kalachakra for World Peace Empowerment, a 10-day visit and tribute by the Dahli Lama. Sitting in the front rows of enthusiastic listeners was a tan Richard Gere and a number of Tibetian monks.

Krishna Das and Sharon Salzberg at 6th and I synagogue.

Krishna Das grew up in Long Island as Jeffrey Kagel. Last night he and Saltzberg chanted and kibitzed. The front pews of the synagogue were packed with middle-age women moving back and forth to the chants. Younger couples, many with infants and children, also swayed to the Hare Krishna chant, filling the synagogue to the rafters.

Salzberg, a New York Times best selling author who writes about spirituality for the Huffington Post, chatted on stage with Krishna Das about the good old days they shared in Rishekesh, India — which sounded a bit like summer camp in the Catskills.

Krishna Das has a deep resonate voice (sitting in the synagogue one could imagine him as a mesmerizing cantor) and the chanting was beautiful. As a “Jewish white kid,”  KD, as he is known, in fact hoped to become a rock musician, according to his Website.

Richard Gere with two kirtan fans at Ram Das concert.

He and friends at Stony Brook University started a band called the Soft White Underbelly that later evolved into Blue Oyster Cult. KD dropped out of college and met spiritual writer Ram Dass, author of Be Here Now. As a student of Ram Das, KD traveled to India to meet Hindu guru Mahraji-ji, known also as Neem Karoli Baba. KD became a disciple of Mahraji-ji.

“My guru was completely unusual,” KD recounted to Saltzberg. “He didn’t teach, he didn’t lecture, he didn’t write books. He hung around, so that’s what you did.” 

After two years in India KD returned to the U.S. It wasn’t until 20 years later, in 1994, however, that KD began playing kirtan for yoga students at Jivamukti Yoga Center. Since then he has recorded 10 albums, including last year’s Heart as Wide as the World.

Utta Barth

In Essays & Scattered Observations on July 7, 2011 at 8:05 PM

Utta Barth, AIC

Seeing is forgetting the name of the thing one sees.

 – Zen, via Robert Irwin

I went to visit my son in Chicago where we wandered through the Art Institute of Chicago, coming to Barth’s curtains. Her exhibition is titled and to draw a bright white line with light and is an homage to installation artist Robert Irwin. Barth, a Los Angles photographer, is interested in how we “see.”


As someone who practices yoga, I’d translate the Zen line to:

Being is forgetting the name of the thing one is.


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