KULA कुल • (ˈkuːlə) n. Family or intentional community
Over 20 years ago, Kula was born: a bedraggled phoenix rising out of the ashes of 9/11. Our lofty aspiration was to return a sense of community to our wounded city. It worked – slowly but surely. Our motto from the beginning was Sweaty, Intelligent, Ecstatic.
SWEATY. Working hard is good for the soul. Sweat flushes toxins out and invites transformation in. A room of sweaty people makes for instant community. While we are not a ‘hot yoga’ studio, we do keep the room toasty. We believe in a practice that builds heat more organically—which is also better for your endocrine system and your joints. We believe in smart tapas.
INTELLIGENT. We can’t help leading with the head. We’re New Yorkers at heart. (Even those of us that have moved to greener pastures). We are well studied in both traditional practice and modern physiology. There’s not much woowoo at Kula… but we invite an ongoing investigation of the esoteric alongside the rigorous study of the empirical. All Kula teachers are lifelong students, because we are of the firm belief that the hallmark of a good teacher is curiosity and adaptability.
ECSTATIC. The holy trinity of focus, movement, and breath melts the boundaries of the mind and delivers us into the narcotic of the flow state. The word Kula has dozens of definitions across Eastern traditions. Besides the core meaning of tribe or community, we align with this definition: The condition in which the mind and the sight of the devotee merge and the senses lose their independence. Kula teachers are always attempting to strike a balance in their classes between learning and embodiment, which could be one simple interpretation of the foundational Yoga Sutra (2.46) sthira sukham asanam or approaching your practice as a balancing act between effort and ease—sweat and grace.
Decades later, this motto still rings true. We’re all quite a bit older—whether we’re any wiser is debatable, but we still love a good schvitz, intelligent sequencing, hands-on assists and to submit to the bliss of aligning breath and body.
The pandemic forced us to break out of our luddite ways. We expanded our vibrant community beyond the brick and mortar of NYC, and have even learned to embrace the potency of virtual connection. Though the Kula heart always beats loudest in a room full of human bodies, we hope you will find us in whatever matrix works for you: in Brooklyn or SoHo, online or on retreat, for a single class or a 200-hour teacher training. Our Kula is your kula.