Yoga Vita

Musings on Yoga, Life, and the Yoga Life


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What’s With the Flying Elbows Namaste?

For real- – what’s going on here?  I always thought that for the namaste gesture or anjali mudra, you just put your palms together and that’s that.  So this elbows-up thing, is it a matter of personal taste?  Is it perhaps more formal, or more feminine?

Maybe you can tell whether one is a Type A or a Type B by the level of uprightness they bring to their elbows?  (Joking.)  And to see my most favoritest example of extreme elbows-up anjali mudra, you MUST check out the first few seconds of this vid:

My, does she have perky elbows.

So any ideas out there regarding proper elbow positioning options in namaste?  (Being kind of a type A myself, I don’t want to be doing it WRONG.)  : )

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Rainy Blah Wednseday

This is mainly for the Pacific Northwesterners among us (and any others who may be experiencing a rainy blah Wednesday today).  What the heck?  It’s the middle of July!  Why is it 57 degrees and cloudy?!  Even for our northerly drizzle-land this is disappointing weather.

So anyway, I don’t know about you, but what I need on days like this is  a little silly, mindless entertainment.  So, if you will, sit back and enjoy the Count meets Cookie Monster.  🙂

Hahahaha!  Aaah, Sesame Street, you will always have a place in my heart.


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Cultural Appropriation in Action

I’d like to highly recommend the following commentary from Bhakti Collective to all: Yoga Journal’s Abstract Impression of Bhakti. Although the author Kaushtuba das doesn’t frame it as such, in my mind it speaks to the kind of cultural appropriation that the Western “yoga scene” is unfortunately saturated with. I’m not in any way claiming to be innocent of any inappropriate appropriation myself (it’s hard to stay “pure” in this globalized world), but I do think that as mostly-Western-born-usually-white-almost-always-economically-privileged yoga students we do need to be aware of our responsibility in this arena. It can be extremely hard to discern between healthy cultural exchange and selfish cultural appropriation, but I believe that with self-education and reflection, we can at least make a start. What we seem to lack at the moment, however, (in the yoga world at least) is any method of accountability to those whose cultures we are learning/taking from.

Cultural appropriation and yoga. It’s a juicy topic, one that I have a hard time wrapping my head around sometimes. . . but it’s really a collective issue more than a personal one, so. . . any thoughts out there?

PS: Apologies to K-das if I may be taking his writing out of context! I simply found the topic a poignant starting point for a dialog I’m interested in having. Thx.


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My Manduka Mat Broke My Toe

I think I actually broke my toe on a yoga mat. Not a brick, not a wall, not a 2×4, but a yoga mat. It takes a real spaz to pull off something like that.

The victim: my 2nd left distal phalange.

The culprit: the Eko mat.

The good news is that a somewhat broken toe doesn’t need much by way of treatment, and I can still hobble around and generally do yoga. The bad news is that vinyasas are out, as are Sun Sal B’s- – way too much maneuvering of the foot involved. And my whole lower body is achy from avoiding walking on my bad toe.

Sigh.


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Gold Stars, Weird Yoga Injuries, and Snoopy Squirrels

To help keep me on track with my yoga in the absence of a teacher, Mr. Z devised a gold star system to reward me for good yogi behavior.  Just like a little kid’s chore chart–you know, brush your teeth every morning and evening without putting up a fuss and you get a dinosaur sticker on Saturday,  clean your bedroom four weekends in a row and get an ice cream sundae, that kind of thing.  For me, I have to do my full practice three times a week and at least partial practice three times a week to get one gold star.  I then accumulate gold stars, which I can exchange for dinner dates, back rubs, and the like.  I think it’s a pretty good deal.  So what if it’s completely ridiculous- – I like it!  Don’t hate on the inner preschooler.

So last week, week one, I got a gold star for doing full practice three days and partial practice three days, as planned.  This week . . . too bad there’s not a silver star option.  But it’s not too late!  My week ends on Saturday, so there’s still a chance to do one more full practice and earn my gold star.  Then I’m that much closer to an on-demand back rub.

I just hope my newest Weird Yoga Injury doesn’t hold me back tomorrow.  I stubbed my second toe on my schmancy Maduka Eko mat pretty hard whilst attempting a yoga photo shoot for my other blog and now blood is welling up at the nail bed.  God, I hope my toenail doesn’t fall off.  Methinks yoga and photography might just not go together. . .

And as long as I have my camera out,  for your viewing pleasure, a charming photo  of our resident squirrelly troublemaker:

Isn’t he cute?  Here he is again:


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Yoga on CD: Help or Hinderence?

Sharath\'s Primary Series CD

I’m thinking about buying the above led primary CD to help keep myself “on track” when I’m practicing at home.  I’m not sure whether this will be useful for my practice or if it will just be another “thing,” another object of attachment.  I don’t know.  I’ve never practiced with a CD or DVD- – once, I bought Shiva Rea’s Yoga Matrix, but I just ended up sitting there and watching it. . .


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Thanks, Mr. Iyengar

In Light on the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, BKS Iyengar posits in his explanation of the sutras on pranayama that “the implication here is clear [clear as mud] that the sadhaka who had to struggle initially to cultivate a yogic way of life by self-discipline and study, now [after the practice of pranayama] finds his efforts transformed into a natural zeal to proceed in his sadhana.” So there’s hope for those of us who are dunces at self-discipline. I came across that juicy tidbit last night. (I got about half way through the second pada last summer when I set the book down, not to be touched again for a year. . . I’m all out of novels at the moment.) So this morning I did my full pranayama practice (which really only takes about 15 minutes) before asana, and it was fantastic. I felt motivated, I felt – – could it be? – – zeal! Thank you, Mr. Iyengar. I’ll be doing my pranayama regularly from now on.