Breaking news in the yoga world

Big press and little press Fast becoming the muckraker of yoga, William Broad has written another controversial New York Times article: “Yoga and Sex Scandals: No Surprise Here” (February 27, 2012) posits that it’s no surprise that yoga produces “so many philanderers”—and that “scientific” research shows heightened sexual response from hatha yoga. (See responses from it’s all…… Continue reading Breaking news in the yoga world

Yoga Journal: the music issue

The September 2011 issue of Yoga Journal is “the music issue.” It contains a home practice sequence synced with an MC Yogi playlist, interviews with musicians who do yoga, and a look at the kirtan spectacle in America. The online magazine offers Funky Love Songs, “some of the grooviest, most genre-bending forms of mantra music in…… Continue reading Yoga Journal: the music issue

Hooping and the hybridization of yoga in America

Nature, its three qualities, sattva, rajas, and tamas, and its evolutes, the elements, mind, senses of perception and organs of action, exist eternally to serve the seer, for enjoyment (bhoga) or emancipation (apavarga). Yoga Sutra II.18, Light on the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, BKS Iyengar Yoga and hula hooping? Yes, according to an August 2011 Yoga…… Continue reading Hooping and the hybridization of yoga in America

Have you tried the Three Minute Egg?

When I first saw ads for the Three Minute Egg in Yoga Journal, I hardly glanced at them. I already have my favorite propsand the colorful foam “eggs” seemed gimmicky. But the ads kept appearing. One featured “signature eggs”—featuring well-known teachers Annie Carpenter, Jason Crandell, Aadil Palkhivala (who, like Cher, signed only his first name),…… Continue reading Have you tried the Three Minute Egg?

The trouble with mixing yoga and music: Part II

A few days after I drafted my prior post on musical accompaniment to asana, I read a fascinating New York Times article, “How to Push Past the Pain, as the Champions Do” (October 18, 2010). In assessing how elite athletes edge out their competitors, despite equivalent “pain,” experts made two points. First, it helps to be familiar with…… Continue reading The trouble with mixing yoga and music: Part II

The trouble with mixing yoga and music: Part I

I never do or teach yoga to music. But one morning I scrolled through my iTunes library for something suitable. I chose Trans-Siberian Orchestra’s Christmas Eve and Other Stories. (It was October.) My favorite track is “Christmas/ Sarajevo 12/24,” their take on “Carol of the Bells.” Half listening in the midst of my asana practice,…… Continue reading The trouble with mixing yoga and music: Part I

The great outdoors

In January, Katherine, a student of mine, vacationed in Waikiki. Slender and fit, in her 50s, she’s an avid beginner yogi and wanted to find a convenient yoga class. While I’m from Hawaii, I have no firsthand knowledge of Waikiki yoga; she ended up trying Dennis and his Chocolate-Pineapple Sports-Yoga Studio. According to Katherine, the instructor…… Continue reading The great outdoors

Peer-reviewed blogs

When I began my blog last August, I told myself that it shouldn’t matter whether anyone reads it. Blogging would be an outlet, a way to gather and release my thoughts (some fleeting, some fundamental) about yoga. As a writer, I process through words. I wanted a free, uncensored forum sans gatekeepers. Whatever the audience…… Continue reading Peer-reviewed blogs

Yoga as performance art

What’s your take on yoga as performance art? I just viewed Seattle yoga teacher Theresa Elliott’s yoga-dance compositions, posted on Nikki Chau’s yoga blog. I’ve never met Elliott, director of Taj Yoga but I’ve gathered that she’s a serious and respected yogi. Clicking through her photo gallery, I immediately see that her asana practice is outstanding. Watching…… Continue reading Yoga as performance art

The meaning of retreat

In the November 2009 issue of Yoga Journal, the article “great escapes” describes four types of yoga retreats: home, do-it-yourself (with friends), urban, and luxury. I was relieved that they covered a variety of retreats, which mean wildly different things to different people. The word “retreat” literally means to withdraw (source:, and I subscribe…… Continue reading The meaning of retreat

The significance of straight A’s and perfect asanas

I first heard about yoga competitions a year or two ago, watching a TV news reporter interview three competitors, a female champ, plus a boy and girl. The kids, in particular, were fascinating to watch. Their lithe bodies moved smoothly into advanced asanas. Both seemed reserved and introspective, as if yoga were an oasis for…… Continue reading The significance of straight A’s and perfect asanas