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Archive for February, 2013

  • http://pegmulqueen.com/about/2013/02/11/five-rights-dont-make-a-wrong-what-noted-ashtanga-teachers-have-to-say-about-handstands/

    An excellent article on handstands for you to read.

    Having taught and tried to practice myself I am at the point where I am pretty MEH about it now. I mean so what. A lot of students seem to feel this is symbolic of an epic feat of strength and balance and visual beauty. It is scarey and fun all at the same time. When someone knocks it out in a class, the other students look at it with awe and envy and think they want to do/be that too.

    I always look to my husband for wisdom. He says it is gymnastics. Makes sense, usually gymists can perform this pose pretty well.

    But why do we give it so much meaning and hold it up as some great goal or acheivement. What does it all MEAN.

    A few weeks ago I taught a workshop on inversions and arm balances and such. At the beginning of the workshop I went around the room and had the students name a pose they wanted to learn. I would say it was 60% handstand. There were maybe two or three people out of about 40 that could already do it. So I taught them BUILDING the poses rather than DOING the poses. I observed a lot of interesting things and feel I learned a lot in the workshop.

    These types of poses incite emotions, one usually being FEAR, a lot of SELF DOUBT, and a few cases of TOO MUCH COURAGE. So the FEAR people give up, whatever the pose, prematurely. They tend to think in terms of pose or not a pose. I can either NOT do it at all, or I do it. There is no inbetween. Teaching them to APPROACH it, the fear or the pose, is extremeley difficult. A teacher can’t diminish the fear or tell them it does not exist. It does. And it can teach us a lot.

    Self doubters are the excuse people, I am not strong enough, I am not flexible enough. This is kind of the largest group of people in yoga class. We all do this.

    Lastly, the too much courage people. I am going to do this NOW and don’t care how it is done or how to prepare for it. The Nike people. They just do it. The risk in this, is of course, injury. I don’t care how atheltic or strong you are in this case, you have to learn to practice restraint, to some degree, and yoga can really be about the practice of restraint.

    This is one of the harder things I teach. Hold it back. I used to practice a lot of non restraint, but have learned, a little restraint is good. I don’t have to do it all today. I don’t have to ever accomplish anything. If I go right for the hardest stuff, I am missing the inbetween work.

    I love that guruji RESTRAINED David G and didn’t teach a lot of handstand because it takes you out of the vinyasa. This is workshop stuff. To move in the flow of vinyasa into handstand is a beautiful thing to witness or experience, I imagine.

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  • mea

    This is a must watch documentary on HBO. If you are uncomfortable about the subject and are sensitive about the Catholic Church, just grow up already. Because I live in Wisconsin, where the infamous Father Murphy is from, and I grew up with a strict Catholic mom, this documentary really opened my eyes. We didn’t have the words for these things when I was a child. Now we talk about ABUSE and TORTURE as normal conversation.

    Because this is a subject I knew nothing about when I grew up, I tended to think it was sporadic and infrequent, not that it made it all right. But that it was actually predominant and hidden and the knowledge went all the way up to the current and past Popes, I now see the church and its leaders for what they are, charlatans and power hungry ordinary people who felt their status was elevated over the rest of us ordained by God, which gives them POWER and POWER is dangerous. Especially when it is used to take advantage of the most vulnerable that look up to you and count on you. Because these people are spiritual leaders.

    Holding yourself out as such is a dangerous thing. It happened and is probably happening in my beloved yoga community. Sadly.

    The stories of the men in this documentary who told what happened to them when they went to the school for the deaf was heart breaking. That they were able to give voice to their stories, a miracle. Probably the worst thing for them was that Father Murphy died and was allowed to die in the robes of his priesthood.

    Again, I think about my mother, a devout Catholic until she died. We were all lied to our whole lives. I went to Catholic church, my daughter did, but I don’t attend now and probably never will again. I remember wanting to be a nun in sixth grade. Probably for about a week. (They were liars too and covered up.)

    Charlatans, liars, and cheaters. Watch out who holds themselves out to you as a spiritual leader. It is probably better just to follow Krishna, rather than his minions.

    I do believe in Christian values, such as forgiveness and non judgement. So don’t get me wrong on this, but Father Murphy was obligated to STEP DOWN as a spiritual leader, the people above them should have forced him down, and he should have answered to the crimes of course. Father Murphy could have made a different choice as anyone else can; they can choose to not just be sorry and apologize but to refrain from holding themselves out as spiritual leaders. Someone who does not make this choice, well, I question their sincerity. In the thousands of cases of child sexual abuse in the Catholic Church, NO ONE showed remorse for the victims, only for the stain on the church and it’s leaders.

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    I have always been kind of a back of the row in the corner yoga practitioner so I am the last one who should make fun of someone else’s practice, but I do LOVE pictures of people doing yoga, unless it is ME of course. I would NEVER make fun of my students, and a lot of them could be on the cover of Yoga Journal, but how many people get that chance?

    Celebri-yogis, however are an EASY target. They want their picture taken all of the time and they love to be doing COOL things, and yoga is currently a pretty COOL thing do DO, so here are a few of my favorites:

    Snooki:

    celebsnooki

    As she casually carries her mat to a pond and wears her shoes to DO a little yoga. I am going to use this picture in my next teacher training manual as an example of how Urdhva Mukha Savasana should not look.

    Heidi Klum:

    celbrihk

    I doubt this is how she wanted to have her picture taken. Victorias Secret runway model? This looks clutzy for someone who can walk a runway in stilettos. I for sure would fall doing that. What is this pose? What is the assister doing? FIRE HIM!

    Jen Aniston:

    celebri jennifer-aniston-appears-in-yogalosophy

    I could find very few pictures of Jen in asana, but what a cop out. I hate seeing people do this in pictures. Come on. You have a personal instructor and you are most proud of vrksasana??

    Madonna:

    celebri madonna-yoga-menopause

    I hate you. I tried to find a humiliating pic of her buddy Gwynnie and could only find her carrying a yoga bag around or a picture of her throwing around a 1.25 lb dumbbell.

    Matt M:

    celebri mattm

    I hate you too. You are in Maui aren’t you. I don’t feel so bad since I have tight external hip rotators too.

    Raquel:

    celebri Raquel_Welch_Feet_469100

    A godess. Classic. She is a Bikram yogi too. Or was.

    Kareem:

    celebrijabar

    Yes.

    HANK HILL!!!
    celebriking of the hill

    Now I am just quitting. His Urdhva Dhanurasana is flawless!

    Russell Brand:

    celebrirb

    I thought you would turn to a total loser or go back to heroin after Katie Perry. Is this photoshopped?

    Russell Simmons:

    celebrirs

    Also flawless. Plus he meditates and practices pranayama.

    If you find more or know of some please send them. Hey, I will even PAY for a pic of a celebrity in a bad bird of paradise. Please. I know it is out there.

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    Wow my first love.

    jl

    CNN Photos

    Henry Grossman spent four years photographing The Beatles as they did everything from  perform in concerts and pose for magazine covers to party late into the night and pour milk with bedhead in the morning.

    Grossman recognized their prominence — it was hard to miss when he had to wear earplugs to block out the screaming beneath the stage at concerts – but he said he would have been more in awe if they had been opera stars. He just liked the guys, he said.

    “It just shows me my judgment isn’t very good. I didn’t understand rock,” Grossman said about himself in the ’60s. Though now he says he loves it.

    Not even The Beatles realized they would still be defining pop culture a half century after their American Invasion. Grossman recalls a long conversation with George Harrison about their fame in 1967 in which Harrison told him, “Who knows…

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