Monthly Archives: July 2009

Yoga is hard and we (yoga people, kind of) are a little nuts

Have a laugh.  Thanks YogaDawg.

Michael Moore in Norway

Believe me, he’s not exaggerating. Those are some of the benefits of paying about 35% of your salary in taxes…

Yoga from the outside: Peace, love, and pussy?

posted by ebeans

After practicing for a while, downward dog stops feeling awkward.  Having your teacher assist you is an assist and not some dude/chick grabbing your thigh.  Yoga and practice becomes a neutral, safe space (for the most part).  And sometimes yoga slowly seeps into all aspects of one’s life until everyone you  know either practices of knows what it is.  When you live in a big city with a yoga studio on every corner, where it seems like everyone is practicing some yoga,  it is easy to forget that there are many “colorful” viewpoints on and motivations for  yoga practice.

A quick trip down youtube lane with the search term “yoga” will render some demos, some rants, a lot of randomness, and hot girls in bikinis “doing yoga”.  But this is not a post about the nature of yoga.  Nope.  This is about how the average yoga class is full of:

“flexible, fit women of all kinds of sexy shapes and sizes. And yoga is about moving that sexy body in all kinds of sexy stretches and poses that make such body look damn, damn sexy. The point is, as you have likely gathered, YOGA IS SEXY.”

It turns out that guys (or at least bloggers) have caught on to the shakti-heavy average yoga class ratio.  Alejandro Paz over at Anyguey didn’t make it to the Wanderlust Festival this year, but seems committed to attending next year with a vengeance.  In his post “Learn Yoga Now: Wanderlust Festival Is Any Guey’s Dream“, he outlines not only the sex appeal of yoga chicks but also easy to follow yoga tips for the would-be yogi:

  1. Try to get stretchy without being sketchy.
  2. Take it seriously and learn some go-to moves.
  3. Don’t be a skeevy, leering weirdo.
  4. Be friendly, meet women and gain their trust.
  5. Keep your boners to a minimum.

Read the full post here and don’t forget to view the “Beautiful Women of Yoga”  photo gallery.  Amazing.

Sharath is on flickr…

monkey!flickr

posted by ebean

Ten things you’re NOT supposed to know about the swine flu vaccine


Excerpt from an article published on naturalnews.com. I have to disagree with #10, I want to believe the public isn’t stupid, they’re being actively misinformed so it is our responsability to spread the word…

#1 – The vaccine production was “rushed” and the vaccine has never been tested on humans. Do you like to play guinea pig for Big Pharma? If so, line up for your swine flu vaccine this fall…

#2 – Swine flu vaccines contain dangerous adjuvants that cause an inflammatory response in the body. This is why they are suspected of causing autism and other neurological disorders.

#3 –
The swine flu vaccine could actually increase your risk of death from swine flu by altering (or suppressing) your immune system response. There is zero evidence that even seasonal flu shots offer any meaningful protection for people who take the jabs. Vaccines are the snake oil of modern medicine.

#4 – Doctors still don’t know why the 1976 swine flu vaccines paralyzed so many people. And that means they really have no clue whether the upcoming vaccine might cause the same devastating side effects. (And they’re not testing it, either…)

#5 - Even if the swine flu vaccine kills you, the drug companies aren’t responsible. The U.S. government has granted drug companies complete immunity against vaccine product liability. Thanks to that blanket immunity, drug companies have no incentive to make safe vaccines, because they only get paid based on quantity, not safety (zero liability).

#6 – No swine flu vaccine works as well as vitamin D to protect you from influenza. That’s an inconvenient scientific fact that the U.S. government, the FDA and Big Pharma hope the people never realize.

#7 – Even if the swine flu vaccine actually works, mathematically speaking if everyone else around you gets the vaccine, you don’t need one! (Because it can’t spread through the population you hang with.) So even if you believe in the vaccine, all you need to do is encourage your friends to go get vaccinated…

#8 – Drug companies are making billions of dollars from the production of swine flu vaccines. That money comes out of your pocket — even if you don’t get the jab — because it’s all paid by the taxpayers.

#9 - When people start dying in larger numbers from the swine flu, rest assured that many of them will be the very people who got the swine flu vaccine. Doctors will explain this away with their typical Big Pharma logic: “The number saved is far greater than the number lost.” Of course, the number “saved” is entirely fictional… imaginary… and exists only in their own warped heads.

#10 – The swine flu vaccine centers that will crop up all over the world in the coming months aren’t completely useless: They will provide an easy way to identify large groups of really stupid people. (Too bad there isn’t some sort of blue dye that we could tag ‘em with for future reference…)

posted by miss bean

Don’t fuck with my yoga (your nasty feet)

Sarah Miller at Elephant Journal brings up some interesting questions about the nature of mindfulness and its extension from internal to external manifestation.

Example:  Does it matter if some jerk steps on my yoga mat?

Answer:  There is no answer.  The practice is in the practice.

Questions:
1.  Is mindfulness being aware that someone is stepping on your yoga mat?
2.  Is being aware that someone is stepping on your mat a moment of you stepping out of pratyahara (sense withdrawal)?
3.  Is noticing a foot the act of labeling?  Is deciding it is bad a judgement?
4.  Why is it bad?  Cleanliness?  Cultural? Spiritual reasons?  Aren’t all those just samskaras?
5.  In deciding that something is bad, at what point is it the practitioner’s responsibility to experience, feel, or act?
6.  In acting, is this an expression of truth?
7.  What is the point of practice?  Pratyahara?  Mindfulness?  Truth?  Peace?

My take:
It is rude and disgusting (yes a judgment) to step on someone else’s yoga mat because their face rests there.  Is it that hard to step around?  The judgement does bring a bit of un-peace and it is based on samskaras, so to keep my peace, I try to just be compassionate and spread the word in my own way about your icky feet.  Interestingly, when teachers step on the mat, it is kind of okay…must be the whole lotus feet thing.

posted by ebean

The 10 Most Overrated Films

posted by alcmaeonid

Do you ever hear people talk endlessly about a movie, they quote it and they joke about it and won’t stop talking about, but then when you see it you hate it?  You begin to question your taste in movies, and possibly your choice in friends.  You feel disconnected from the world because you cannot share in the film bliss.  Well don’t despair, you are not alone, I give you: The 10 Most Overrated Films ever made.

Now this list is not necessarily based on the quality of films versus the number of awards they won or critical acclaim, nor is it based on financial success.  This is purely a personal assessment of films that are considered classics or are extremely popular, but on viewing them just do not live up to the hype. Basically, they make you feel like this:

orange3

The list from top to bottom is categorized based on a combination of hype and critical claim in opposition to how mediocre the film is. The #1 film is the most overrated.    Prepare yourself and try not to smash your computer…

10) Pirates of the Carribean (All 3)

The first one was a box office sensation and made superstars out of Johnny Depp, Orlando Bloom, and Kiera Knightly, and the second shattered opening weekend records.  The first also garnered Depp an Academy Award nomination for best actor.  Yet all three movies are just bad.

jack-sparrow-pirates-of-the-caribbean

Well, here is possibly America's finest actor, nuanced and subtle...

Maybe the first was watchable, but it certainly did not deserve any sort of Academy Award nomination outside of sound effects.  The second and third however were simply terrible, nothing more than bland clones of the original.  Perhaps worst of all, despite a remarkable career with countless memorable performances, Johnny Depp will always be Capt. Jack Sparrow in our hearts and on the Disney Channel.

9) Scarface (1983)

It is one of the most iconic films in modern times, with Tony Montana’s quote “say hello to my little friend!”, and the famous shot of Pacino mowing down countless hoods with an M16.  Every rapper uses Scarface as their icon, with even one particular artist adopting the title name as his own.  However, actual viewing of the film reveals that it is merely a melodramatic, boring, and overdone heap of a film.  It is considered an “action film” but there is only one notable action scene which occurs at the end, and it takes almost 3 hours to get to it.  Al Pacino is one of the greatest actors ever, but his Cuban accent is far from realistic or subtle.  Outside of surprising gore there is little in terms of twists or shocking revelations, which are hallmarks of great films.  Simply overrated.

8) Brokeback Mountain

Broke-ass Mountain was the toast of the Academy Awards the year it came out, with Ang Lee winning Best Director.  He should have won it for Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, not for this piece of crap.  If you read my previous post “Naked or Gay” you would know that gay-themed films are practically automatically showered with Academy Awards, so there is a simple reason why it got so much praise.  The film stretches on forever, and it is oh so boring.  Jake Gyllenhaal and Heath Ledger were good, but to be nominated for Best Actor, please.  Honestly, if the story were the same but with a heterosexual couple, it would probably be on Lifetime.

7) Titanic

In 1997, every girl in America saw Titanic at least 12 times, and even guys can admit they saw it at least 4 times because of the girls.  It was all anyone wanted to do for months: see Titanic over and over again.  It also won 11 Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Director.  But you know what, it is just so boring.  Unless you are into slow, stupid romances, the only entertaining part was when people started dying and the Titanic split in half. Oh, and  Kate Winslet’s boobs were nice too.

6) Gone With the Wind

Often considered amongst the greatest films of all time, a classic of American cinema.  It is a constant reminder of the grandeur of the “Golden Age” of American cinema with massive sets, melodrama, lavish costumes, thousands of extras, and so on.  Adjusted for inflation, it is by far the highest grossing film of all time, raking in over $150 million dollars when movie tickets cost no more than a nickel.  Despite this, it is 3 hours of unbearable dialogue alongside a hefty dose of racism and sexist overtones.  As God as my witness, I will never see this movie again!

5) Reality Bites

I know some people personally who will hate me for this, but I just cannot get into this movie.  I get that it is all about the Generation X/grunge/angst era and all that crap, but I don’t care!  Sure Ben Stiller is believable as a douche, but he’s better in goofy stuff.  Ethan Hawke, well, he does a good Kurt Cobain impression that’s for sure.  I would fault Winona Ryder, but she always sucks at acting so this film is no different.  Despite all this what I hate the most about this movie is all …the stupid… Big Gulps!  I mean seriously, its just soda damn it!

Goddamn Big Gulp!!!

Goddamn Big Gulp!!!

4) 300

Visually innovative and filled with action and oily bare chests, this film was a surprise blockbuster hit and legitimized Zach Snyder as a director and Gerard Butler as a star.  However, this film manages to take possibly the finest example of soldiering in history and dumb it down to slow motion fights and cartoon backgrounds.  Where is the historical context? Realism? It would have even been nice to see at least one hit that was in real time.  I mean slow motion is nice, but when it happens for every single blow, it gets a little old.  And don’t even get me started on the depiction of the Persians, especially  Xerxes.  Homophobic? Racist? Take your pick.

Uh, are they about to make out?

Uh, are they about to make out?

3) The Boondock Saints

This is interesting because it came out and was critically panned, and made very little money.  It was basically a disaster.  However, it has since developed a cult following somehow, and every moron living in a dorm room with a laptop and a “COLLEGE” t-shirt insists that its the most awesome movie ever!  It is unoriginal, the acting is just terrible, and the action scenes are convoluted and way overdone.  No twists. No surprises.  Attempts at humor, but about as funny as Apocalypse Now.  Come to think of it, Robert Duvall was pretty damn funny in that movie!  I take it back, Apocalypse Now definitely has more humor than The Boondock Saints.

2) Ferris Bueller’s Day Off

Matthew Broderick will always be known as Ferris Bueller, the trouble-making high school kid who is loved by men and women alike.  He is smooth and smart, and there is no situation he cannot calmly talk his way out of.  It is in the canon of the greatest comedies ever made, and is a highlight of 80′s cinema.  I cannot fault the filmmaking, or the acting, or the story.  It is just not funny, at all.  I have seen it multiple times, and I have never even chuckled, not once.  Sure he’s endearing and the situations he gets out of are cool, and that dance number in the streets was spontaneous and original, but is any of it funny?  Not to me.

He's got a mohawk! And he's sining into a showerhead! I can't contain my laughter.

He's got a mohawk! And he's singing into a shower head! I can't contain my laughter.

1) The Blair Witch Project

Well there are a few angles to look at how this movie sucks, but I’ll start with the fact that it is not scary at all.  And I can admit that I scare easily with films, but I don’t think I even gasped once, maybe yawned a little.  The climactic moment when you’re supposed to see the witch, you see… nothing. Or a shadow?  I’m not sure if it even qualifies as a horror film.

The Blair Witch, or a drunken pissing frat guy?

The supernatural... or the urinal?

Come to think of it, I’m not sure if it qualifies as a film at all.  It is closer to being a documentary, but about what?  A scary shadow? A bunch of idiots who get lost in the woods with a camcorder?  At best it could be a short story, but that would mean it would be like 15 or 20 minutes, not a full-length “movie” with no actual climactic moment.  Even the Sci-Fi channel would reject something like this.  Bad picture.  Bad acting.  Bad sound.  Basically it is the most over-hyped and over-rated film.  Ever.

THE FAB FIVE of Summer Yoga Deals

Recent finds to make your ‘beans’ go further this summer (courtesy of  freebean from yogadeals):

1.  Humpday Yoga in NYC with Laughing Lotus (FREE)

2. The Cure for the Common Asannoyance (only 2.7o beans/Hband)

3. The Sham Wow of Yoga Towels – can your curiosity resist?  (10.95 beans)

4. Cheap Fix For Sticker-Loving Yogis (0.75 beans)

5.  Go Ask Alice.com – Forgo the lines at Duane Reade/CVS/Walgreens & shop at home (free shipping beans)

I moved it with my mind

Apparently, it just takes practice.  Go figure.  Researchers are training monkeys to move stuff with their minds alone…

Researchers Train Minds to Move Matter

“The research, which was carried out in monkeys but is expected to apply to humans, involves a fundamental redesign of brain-machine experiments.” read more

Myth or Fact? Curse of the white lighter

As seen on High Times