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
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: spiritplantjourneys.org), and I subscribe…… Continue reading The meaning of retreat
The other day I tried a gingerbread recipe for the first time. I love gingerbread in all of its forms: Luscious cake, oozing molasses from Sweet Adeline in Berkeley. Crisp Moravian cookies, bursting with spices, from C Adams Bakery in Milwaukee. My mom’s hearty gingerbread men, handmade one by one. My favored baking pan is…… Continue reading Yoga and the art of cake baking
We talk about “home practice” as if it has one definition. But, of course, our home practices are wildly different. I’m not talking only about asanas, sequences, methods, or levels. I’m talking about the logistics and the logic of one’s home practice. LOGISTICS I currently do my home practice at a community center in my neighborhood.…… Continue reading Further thoughts on home practice
After you have practiced for a while, you will realize that it is not possible to make rapid, extraordinary progress. Even though you try very hard, the progress you make is always little by little. It is not like going out in a shower in which you know when you get wet. In a fog,…… Continue reading On home practice and eating salad
Do I uphold the yama (moral rule) of ahimsa (non-violence)? My automatic answer is, “Of course.” When I think of non-violence, my mind leaps to egregious examples of violence. Murder. Arson. Chasing cats with vacuum cleaners. I’d never do any of that. But then I read books that define ahimsa broadly. In addition to not…… Continue reading Halloween treats and ahimsa
Short shorts, sure. High heels, never! High heels are de rigueur for women to feel conventionally dressed up. Whether old or young, rich or poor, women love the way heels make them look (elongated legs) and feel (glamorously sexy). Me? I love shoes (and admit to a recent splurge on a pair of high, but…… Continue reading Who wears short shorts? Who wears high heels?
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
Last week, I happened to observe a bunch of Chinese kids hanging out after school. A little girl, perhaps six, was doing homework with two boys, possibly 12 or 13. First she memorized songs and then she read aloud a few questions on PE. “Can you touch your toes?” she asked the boys. They were…… Continue reading Can you touch your toes?
For over a decade, among my closest friends was Ginger, a calico cat rescued from the wild. Beautiful, with striking markings, she had a feral streak and the classic temperamental calico personality. We had our roommate clashes; she was not the docile type and liberally used claws and teeth to make a point. Once, during…… Continue reading Ginger and karma yoga