I’m going to try adding another day to my posting schedule, a weekly review of the yoga-related stuff i’ve been reading.
I’d also like to mention that i reworked my piece on travel yoga for Elephant Journal, and it’s up now!
Ok, here goes…
Kino Macgregor on being present. “The format of yoga offers you a chance not to escape from it all but instead to face all that you fear and in no uncertain terms find the freedom to move past it. When you expect painful experiences in the future based on past memories, you almost always get what you expect. The lesson that yoga asks you to learn is how to find freedom from the past by being fully in the present moment.”
The Yoga Mogul. A controversial piece about Anusara yoga founder John Friend, and…
John Friend’s response, and…
Comments from Anusara teacher Elena Brower (at the bottom of the page).
There’s also been the Toesox hullabaloo. One of Yoga Journal’s founders, Judith Lasater, wrote a letter reprimanding YJ for running ads that featured sexy, scantily clad women. The focus ended up on this Toesox ad. Lots of folks in the cyber shala have chimed it, with strong and compelling voices on both sides. Toesox responded, as well. Me, i think the truth is, as usual, somewhere in the middle. Yes, it is a woman’s body being used to sell something – and it’s also a beautiful photo of a strong, healthy woman, and i don’t think we should be afraid of naked bodies. I’m less concerned with there being nudity in ads than i am with the narrow and uniform presentation of health and beauty. And that goes for the whole of Yoga Journal, not just the ads – well, that goes for most media, period. I want to see strong, healthy women across the spectrum, like Kripalu’s catalog cover from last fall. In the end, i actually think this is more about the commodification of the body than about nudity. There’s a good summary and links to more commentary over at It’s All Yoga, Baby.
A HuffPo blog on keeping yoga separate from religion. In my regular yoga classes, the teachers sometimes open class with an “Ohm,” which I’ve heard nicely described as “the hum of the universe.” At the end they might say, “Shanti,” which means peace, or “Namaste,” which usually gets translated as, “The light in me salutes the light in you.” These are all terms that, to my ears, sound utterly vanilla and empty of associations with anything except yoga classes… This isn’t to say that yoga is without content. There is a spiritual element involved — with or without the Sanskrit names for poses or peace.
I loved this piece about pranayama over at EverythingYoga. According to subtle yoga anatomy, it’s the breath that moves the prana — or energy — in the body. Breath and attention are the ways in which we move lifeforce through our bodies. If that sounds a bit too out there for you, no worries. You don’t have to necessarily concern yourself with nadis or prana or bandhas — you only have to feel in your body how changing your breathing makes you feel.
Sadie Nardini on union. “I think it’s unfortunate that being a student of yoga is sometimes understood to mean one must be only light and happy, all the time, and to never feel angry, insecure, or vengeful. In my opinion, this idealized state is not spiritual perfection but a delusion of grandeur masquerading as spiritual practice. Being as we’re human and divine, it’s a great day when we realize that we can be both, and have our yoga, too. Because it’s not an absence of shadow feelings that makes one enlightened. It’s knowing how to alchemize them into conscious, loving actions once they arise that matters.”
I’ll be back posting on schedule this week, so see you Tuesday!