Learning on your own

I bumped into an old friend during my holiday trip to California. “Dylan” has always been an athlete, so I wasn’t surprised that he’s still avidly into hockey, skiing, and other sports. But I didn’t expect him to say, “And here’s one for you. I’m learning to play bluegrass banjo.” What? Is Dylan even musical? Anyway, he wanted a quality instrument, so he commissioned a Wildwood banjo. Now he’s learning a few bluegrass favorites, mostly on his own. “What about lessons?” I asked. “Right now, I need to get a feel for the instrument,” he said. “No one can really teach that. So every night, for a couple hours, I tool … Continue reading Learning on your own

On paying attention

The classic Iyengar method of teaching asana is what I’ll call the “demo” method:  teacher demonstrates and then students do. This contrasts with the common “follow the leader” method, in which teachers do practically the whole sequence along with students. So, many students who attend my classes aren’t used to the “demo” method. Often, they’re hesitant to venture too far from their mats, unlike longtime Iyengar students who want ringside seats for demos. Sometimes, I demonstrate a forward bend with my head facing downward only to find students already doing the pose when I rise. Waitaminute, folks! I want to watch … Continue reading On paying attention

Wii Fit Coda

In my prior post on the Wii Fit, I forgot to mention that it comes with a yoga component. Two video teachers (male or female, take your pick) instruct you in various poses. When it’s your turn, the Wii Fit measures your body movements and center of gravity. If you’re not stock still and precisely balanced in your center line (rather than forward, back, right, or left), a graphic image shows your wavering, wobbling, and off-the-radar position. I reiterate: It’s impossible to visualize unless you see it in action. You essentially see a yellow circle onscreen with a red dot … Continue reading Wii Fit Coda

Wii Fit

Last summer, my household got a Wii Fit, which was the rage (and the successor to the Wii). The Wii Fit is an electronic board that resembles a home scale. But what it measures is your center of balance. To simulate the movement, you shift your weight on the board. It’s an entertaining and graphic way to test your coordination. If you’re unfamiliar with the Wii Fit, perhaps skip this post. It’s one of those life experiences that can’t be described in words. Among the Wii Fit games, some came more naturally to me than others. I loved pinball (down as many … Continue reading Wii Fit