Rasa Yoga in Pittsburgh 
September 7, 2007 

Yoga and Dance- seemed like an unlikely pair but these were the two ancient forms brought together at Nupuradhwani 2007 on July 29, 2007.  Held annually by Silambam Dance School, Pittsburgh, this workshop / lec-dem brings new dancers, experiences and perspectives to art lovers in the Steel City.  Conducted ably by Jyothi Pattabhiram, the one day workshop held in Squirrel Hill, a predominantly student area, introduced Rasa Yoga and Dance to the novice.  She is the Artistic Director of Sadhana Sangama, a leading institution of natya, nrutya, yoga and meditation in Bangalore, conducting classes in dance, music and yoga.  During the last two decades, it has trained hundreds of aspirants and produced several dance dramas under the direction of Jyothi Pattabhiraman. 

Jyothi is a rare blend of art of Bharatanatya and spirituality, being blessed and initiated into Sri Vidya Practice by her Guru Swami Rama of the Himalayan Tradition.  A practitioner of meditation and mantra, she initiates students not only into dance but also spirituality.  As recognition of her contribution to the field of art, the Sydney Kannada Sangha honored her with the title 'Yoga Natya Saraswathi.'  She is the recipient of Karnataka Sangeeta Nritya Academy Award, Government of Karnataka for 2005-06.  Her popular work is Dance -Yoga integration called "Nrutya -Yoga Samanvaya" workshop on dance, yoga, meditation and Pranayama.

While visiting Silambam Dance School, she described her trip, her students and rasikas to Mridula Anand, Artistic Director of Silambam.  Having flown into Pittsburgh in time for the Sri Venkateswara Temple's Aradhana festivals, Jyothi enthusiastically participated in them and had a chance to see Pittsburgh musicians and dancers first hand.  She had previously visited Pittsburgh along with her husband Pattabhiraman and she was keen to bring dance and yoga to the very same audience. 

Impressed with the local talent and response, she was able to explain even to a novice, the intricacies of pranayama.  Children enjoyed her easy approach to asanas and the encouragement given to those with no previous experience.  Anupama, a mother of two and a novice to yoga, felt a great sense of peace after doing the pranayama exercises. Sreevardan and his daughter attended the workshop and were enthusiastic in their approach to a new experience!  Enjoying the hilly landscape and abundant greenery of Pittsburgh, Jyothi can talk at length about dance, music, choreography and meditation.  A bright and beautiful Sunday afternoon was well utilized using dance, music and yoga!

For more information, contact Mridula Anand at