Sunday, 31 July 2011
Friday, 29 July 2011
Wednesday, 27 July 2011
Tuesday, 26 July 2011
I recently finished reading Mark Singleton's brilliant book Yoga Body: The Origins of Modern Posture Practice.
It is a well argued, balanced view of the modern history of Yoga Asana and presents challenges on alot of what i've been taught in the past that really made me think. Much like a good recipe book i think this might be something i will be dipping in and out of for some time to come. What i found most appealing is the author does not impose a conclusion as to the rightness or wrongness of how you, I or others interpret the recipe for Yoga. The feeling i was left with is that Yoga (as commonly taught) has as much to do with ancient Indian spirituality and practice as my dad's dahl has to do with Indian traditional food - I still love it though - and loving it with the discipline of knowledge that cultures blend, invent and coalesce traditions is a welcome head clearing freedom! Well worth a read if you want to know more about why we practise the way we do, but if you don't here is an article by Mark Singleton from Yoga Journal that will give you a little taster...
The pale winter sunlight shone from the high windows of the Cambridge University library onto a dark leather book cover. In the hall full of silent scholars, I opened it and leafed through picture after picture of men and women in familiar postures. Here was Warrior Pose; there was Downward Dog. On this page the standing balance Utthita Padangusthasana; on the next pages Headstand, Handstand, Supta Virasana, and more—everything you might expect to find in a manual of yoga asana. But this was no yoga book. It was a text describing an early 20th-century Danish system of dynamic exercise called Primitive Gymnastics. Standing in front of my yoga students that evening, I reflected on my discovery. What did it mean that many of the poses I was teaching were identical to those developed by a Scandinavian gymnastics teacher less than a century ago? This gymnast had not been to India and had never received any teaching in asana. And yet his system, with its five-count format, its abdominal "locks," and its dynamic jumps in and out of those oh-so-familiar postures, looked uncannily like the vinyasa yoga system I knew so well.
Time passed, and my curiosity nagged at me, leading me to do further research. I learned that the Danish system was an offshoot of a 19th-century Scandinavian gymnastics tradition that had revolutionized the way Europeans exercised. Systems based on the Scandinavian model sprang up throughout Europe and became the basis for physical training in armies, navies, and many schools. These systems also found their way to India. In the 1920s, according to a survey taken by the Indian YMCA, Primitive Gymnastics was one of the most popular forms of exercise in the whole subcontinent, second only to the original Swedish gymnastics developed by P.H. Ling. That's when I became seriously confused...
to read more click here
One day Sun, Moon, and Wind went out to dine with their uncle and aunts Thunder and Lightning. Their mother (one of the most distant Stars you see far up in the sky) waited alone for her children’s return.
Now both Sun and Wind were greedy and selfish. They enjoyed the great feast that had been prepared for them, without a thought of saving any of it to take home to their mother–but the gentle Moon did not forget her. Of every dainty dish that was brought round, she placed a small portion under one of her beautiful long finger-nails, that Star might also have a share in the treat.
On their return, their mother, who had kept watch for them all night long with her little bright eye, said, “Well, children, what have you brought home for me?” Then Sun (who was eldest) said, “I have brought nothing home for you. I went out to enjoy myself with my friends–not to fetch a dinner for my mother!” And Wind said, “Neither have I brought anything home for you, mother. You could hardly expect me to bring a collection of good things for you, when I merely went out for my own pleasure.” But Moon said, “Mother, fetch a plate, see what I have brought you.” And shaking her hands she showered down such a choice dinner as never was seen before.
Then Star turned to Sun and spoke thus, “Because you went out to amuse yourself with your friends, and feasted and enjoyed yourself, without any thought of your mother at home–you shall be cursed. Henceforth, your rays shall ever be hot and scorching, and shall burn all that they touch. And men shall hate you, and cover their heads when you appear.”
(And that is why the Sun is so hot to this day.)
Then she turned to Wind and said, “You also who forgot your mother in the midst of your selfish pleasures–hear your doom. You shall always blow in the hot dry weather, and shall parch and shrivel all living things. And men shall detest and avoid you from this very time.”
(And that is why the Wind in the hot weather is still so disagreeable.)
But to Moon she said, “Daughter, because you remembered your mother, and kept for her a share in your own enjoyment, from henceforth you shall be ever cool, and calm, and bright. No noxious glare shall accompany your pure rays, and men shall always call you ’blessed."’
(And that is why the moon’s light is so soft, and cool, and beautiful even to this day.)
Source indian fairy tales
Monday, 25 July 2011
Sunday, 24 July 2011
Saturday, 23 July 2011
By Jill Miller, Creator, Yoga Tune Up®
The physiological effects of Abdominal Breathing (belly breathing) is a gift we’ve been given, but too many of us have become accustomed to Thoracic Breathing (chest breathing) and end up living in a state of fight or flight. Watch this video below for your how to guide for abdominal breathing, but first, let me explain….
Abdominal breathing, once you become conscious of it, is easy to do and is the way we were born to breathe. If you watch a baby, it will belly breathe naturally. It is only once we take on the daily stressors of life that thoracic breathing takes on its evil grip.
Here’s how it works: Abdominal breathing relies on the unimpeded motion of the respiratory diaphragm. This dome shaped muscle contracts downward towards your abdominal viscera during inhalation; this creates a vacuum in the lungs and air then rushes in to fill the void. The diaphragm’s downward motion jostles and shifts the abdominal contents in all directions and this creates a bloating or swelling of the core.
As the body exhales, the respiratory diaphragm relaxes and flows back up towards the lungs, expelling the out-breath as it resets itself into its docile mushroom cap-like position. The abdominal muscles and its contents recoil and sink towards the spine as the diaphragm migrates towards the lungs. The downwards and upwards movements of the respiratory diaphragm create the appearance and sensation of the “belly rise, belly fall,” action that you’ll experience in this sedating breathing exercise.
Abdominal breathing helps to turn ON the OFF SWITCH in the nervous system. It tranquilizes a body and mind that is stressed, aroused and “up-regulated” into a calmer, more sedated, “down-regulated” state. Practice abdominal breathing to “chill out,” and collect your cool if you feel yourself spiraling towards panic…Happy Belly Breathing!
Found via yogadork
Friday, 22 July 2011
1. Marlon Brando and Elizabeth Taylor
2. Marilyn Monroe and Ella Fitzgerald
3. Simone de Beauvoir, Jean Paul Sartre and Ernesto ‘Che’ Guevara
4. Micheal Jackson and Paul McCartney washin’ some dishes
5. Elvis Presley and Sophia Loren by Bob Willoughby
6. Nancy Reagan and Mr. T
All from awesomepeoplehangingouttogether
Awesome way to waste some time!