About yoga for awareness with Jo Brill





Yoga for Awareness offers instruction in Sanskrit, the timeless language of yoga, as well as yoga in the tradition of Krishnamacharya. Jo Brill founded Yoga for Awareness in 2007.

Jo studies Sanskrit with Vyaas Houston of the American Sanskrit Institute. She teaches through ASI, having received her teacher training there.

Jo has taught three- and six-day immersions on the Sanskrit alphabet, grammar and texts throughout the country. She has also taught many shorter workshops and courses in the New York City area on topics ranging from sound and chant in yoga to the yoga sutras.

In addition to ongoing study with Vyaas, Jo recently spent a wonderful year at the University of Oxford, where she earned a master's degree in Sanskrit, with distinction, under the supervision of James Benson. (More.) In 2014, she will begin her doctoral work through the University of Chicago's Department of South Asian Literatures and Cultures. Earlier, Jo studied Sanskrit at Columbia University, where her teachers included Sheldon Pollock, Somadeva Vasudeva, Guy Leavitt and Elaine Fisher. She attends courses offered by Ram Karan Sharma and George Cardona whenever she can, and also benefits from classes offered by Bharati Balmes.


Why Sanskrit? Like many others, Jo first read the Yoga Sutras and the Bhagavad Gita in translation while studying to teach yoga. Fascinated by the beauty of the words and concepts, she sought a direct connection to meaning, and now finds expanded delight in familiar chants and texts. Jo especially loves helping others discover their own ability to resonate with timeless sounds and to understand classic texts with precision.

What's it like to study with Jo?

  • People who have taken Jo's workshops and courses have said some very nice things, collected here.

  • For a description of the weekend immersion with Jo, check out Sanskrit 101 by Melissa Gutierrez, a yogi, vegan cook and blogger from New York.

  • Erica Heinz, the creative force behind Yogoer, caught Jo talking a little about ASI's philosophy of learning in Here for the Experience.

Mentions of Jo in the press include:

Jo has practiced yoga for over 20 years under the guidance of Mia Azcue, with whom she continues her yoga studies. She holds 200-hour and 500-hour certificates from Yoga for Well-Being in Goshen, New York and is a Yoga Alliance Registered Yoga Teacher. Jo continues to benefit from the teachings of Mia Azcue, Fran Ubertini, and Sonia Nelson.

Jo is a supporting member of the International Association of Yoga Therapists. She is a proud founding member of Yoga for New York, and a member of the New York Yoga Teachers Association and the Yoga Teachers Association in Westchester.

Looking for background information on licensing of yoga teacher training programs in New York State? Here's the link.
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