Category Archives: Amazing

Things that rock in a serious way

Cut: Slicing Through the Myths of Circumcision

We highly recommend that you watch this critically acclaimed documentary film, especially if you are considering whether you should get your child (or yourself) circumcised. If you were circumcised as an infant, you’ll certainly find it pretty interesting as well.

85% of the world’s population is NOT circumcised. Besides Israel, the US is the only country where circumcision is routinely performed on male infants, even if they do not belong to a religious community that considers it an essential ritual.

Make Kony Famous?

via boingboing

African voices respond to hyper-popular Kony 2012 viral campaign

By at 11:55 am Thursday, Mar 8

(Updated with additions, March 10, 2012. Here’s a Twitter list, so you can follow all of the African writers mentioned in this post who are on Twitter.)


The internets are all a-flutter with reactions to Kony 2012, a high-velocity viral fundraising campaign created by the “rebel soul dream evangelists” at Invisible Children to “raise awareness” about Ugandan warlord Joseph Kony and child soldiers. As noted in my previous post here on Boing Boing, the project has many critics. There is a drinking game, there are epic lolpictorials, and a chorus of idiots on Facebook.

There are indications the project may be about stealth-evangelizing Christianity. The Invisible Children filmmakers have responded to some of the criticism. Media personalities and celebrities are duking it out as the campaign (and now, backlash) spreads.

But in that flood of attention, one set of voices has gone largely ignored: Africans themselves. Writers, journalists, activists; people of African descent who live and work and think about life on the continent. In this post, we’ll round up some of their replies to #Kony2012.

read more

Fail: William J. Broad (Did Yoga really start as a sex cult? – Leslie Kaminoff)

In this is a video follow-up to my previous post “William Broad is at it again at the NY Times,” you can hear me tell Mr. Broad that every time he opens his mouth, he loses another piece of whatever credibility he may have had as an authority on Yoga.

In the end, I just tell him to shut his mouth until such time as he’s willing to do a modicum of valid research into the actual history of Yoga practice – which did NOT begin with the Tantric sex cults of Medieval India. He actually contradicts himself in the space of two sentences in his interview with Stephen Colbert, when he first asserts that Yoga is 4 to 5 thousand years old, then follows up with “…real yoga started out in a sex cult..”

Someone with as big a platform as William J. Broad has an equally big responsibility to speak accurately about this subject. In this, he has repeatedly and utterly failed.

Another Yoga Scandal

In case you’ve been living under a rock, here’s the latest via Yoga Dork on the John Friend/Anusara scandal… wicca, adultery, and money — oh my!

“Every girl wears yoga pants”

Yoga pants banned in schools.
watch video

Leslie Kaminoff – Review of “The Science of Yoga: The Risks and the Rewards,” by William J. Broad

http://yogaanatomy.net

New Ashtanga Flick: Mysore Magic Film

MYSORE MAGIC:  Yoga at the Source
Summary: Magic happens at the source of Ashtanga Yoga in Mysore, India. Thousands from across the planet journey here to deepen their practice. Hear what they say, and enjoy an insider’s view into the Mysore experience.

*A portion of the proceeds from this film go to the Sri K. Pattabhi Jois Charitable Fund.
22 minutes.
$4.99 stream rental.  $9.99 download purchase.

Websites:

http://www.mysoremagicfilm.com/

https://distrify.com/films/983

Leaping Lanka’s in Ink

While we aren’t sure about this Crossfit hooey pooey, LL is hilarious and now published.
From Leaping Lanka:

‘ASHTANGA YOGA: Stories from Beyond the Mat’ IS OUT NOW


Friends,

‘Ashtanga Yoga: Stories From Beyond the Mat’ is now on sale at Amazon: http://amzn.to/wQsTsL

It’s a collection of stories, essays, sketches, how-tos, and comedy bit-lets, all written during the last 10 years, and all relating to the practice of Ashtanga Yoga.

It’s one of the first of its kind in the Ashtanga community: no asana photos or “Intro to Yoga Philosophy 101,” just writings about Yoga filled with reverence, humor, and the occasional artfully employed f-bomb.

(Also, perhaps the occasional gratuitously employed f-bomb.)

The practice of this Yoga has profoundly changed my life — I hope I shared a glimmer of that in the pages of this book.

QUICK UPDATE:
1. International Amazon

Unfortunately, at the moment I’m unable to list it on Amazon’s international sites. This means it’s still available to those outside the U.S., though you have to pay shipping.

HOWEVER: I have just found that Amazon UK does print-on-demand, and so I’m gonna get this ball rolling.

Please note: I am not changing any “whiles” to “whilsts” for my UK audience, though maybe I can work in “havin’ a slash” or “dogs bollocks” somehow.

2. Kindle, eBook, Versions
There will definitely be one. But not until March.

Amazon:
Publication Date: January 11, 2012

ASHTANGA YOGA: Stories from Beyond the Mat is not your typical “Yoga” book. Jason Stein skips the posture photos and Intro to Yoga Philosophy to explore personal topics in this frank, revealing, and often funny collection. The essays, sketches, notes, and how-tos contained here all address with reverence and humor the many ways a daily Ashtanga Yoga practice saturates life both on and off the mat. All content newly revised and rewritten, including: “White Elephant Versus Termite Practice” “How to Start a Mysore Program” “Ashtanga Yoga and Crossfit” “What First Series Taught Me” “The Agonies of Yoga Photos” “6-Pack Abs with Ashtanga!”

Studies: Ashtanga Yoga and Injuries

INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF YOGA THERAPY – No. 18 (2008) 59
A Survey of Musculoskeletal Injury among Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga Practitioners
Jani Mikkonen, Palle Pedersen, DC, MPhil, DPMSA, Peter William McCarthy, PhD Welsh Institute of Chiropractic, University of Glamorgan, Pontypridd, CF37 1DL, Wales, UK

Introduction
Recent research on Yoga has concentrated on its health benefits and therapeutic effects.1-4 Although there has been an increasing amount of research on the physical and thera- peutic effects of Yoga posture and breathing practices, it ap- pears that the musculoskeletal risks of Yoga practice have not been well studied. There is an increasing awareness of Yoga-related musculoskeletal injuries in the popular press, mainly in the U.S. However, most of these reports have been based on a smaller number of teachers’ personal views and individual cases.5-11
Yoga has become increasingly popular in the Western world in the past ten years,12,13 with Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga becoming one of the most popular Yoga styles. This style of Yoga emphasizes the importance of standardized physical posture practice with synchronized breathing.14ˉ18 In recent decades, teachers have been certified and/or authorized by the director of the Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga Research Institute, Sri K Pattabhi Jois. Certified or authorized teachers in Europe can be found in 15 countries, including Finland.19 The Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga School of Finland is lead by certified and authorized Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga teachers, and the documented and traditional Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga method is followed in the Yoga schools that were involved in this study.
The rigid adherence of Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga practitioners to a standardized and documented posture series makes it a strong candidate for scientific study. However, research into Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga appears to be limited to two re- cent studies. One study concluded that practitioners benefited from statistically significant improvements in muscular strength in the upper body and core, endurance, flexibility, and health perception, as well as decreased diastolic blood pressure and perceived stress, in a six-week period of regular practice.3 A second study reported that heart rate during Ashtanga Vinyasa practice can be compared to heart rate during moderate exercise, and therefore possibly leading to improved cardiac and respiratory fitness.4
The Present Study
The primary objective of this study was to survey the in- jury rate among current Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga practitioners in Finland, and, further, to determine the rate of injuries per 1,000 hours of practice. We chose to limit the survey to musculoskeletal injuries with at least a one-month dura- tion, to place more emphasis on longer duration injuries. Short-lived “injuries” from Yoga practice or other activities can change presentation and come and go without an obvious reason. We also wanted to exclude from the study short-term overuse pain such as delayed onset muscle sore- ness (DOMS), which is a regular occurrence in any exercise program.20 The secondary objective of this study was to determine the location, type, and outcome of musculosk- eletal injuries in this population. We conducted a survey of participants’ history of musculoskeletal injuries during the previous three years, irrespective of cause. The survey speci- fied that all injuries listed should be musculoskeletal injuries of more than one month duration and have occurred during the participant’s period of Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga practice. The survey questionnaire adhered to the guidelines stated in the Epidemiology of Sport Injuries categorization sys- tem.21 The study was ethically reviewed and approved by the research project module team at the Welsh Institute of Chiropractic (WIOC), University of Glamorgan.
Methods
Participant Recruitment
Retrospective reports of injuries were collected from students at the Yoga schools of Helsinki and Tampere dur- ing the period of January 6, 2006 to May 20, 2006. We also posted advertisements about the survey in the areas around the Helsinki and Tampere Yoga schools. The poster included contact details, stipulated the voluntary and confidential nature of study, and stated the aim (prevalence of musculoskeletal injuries incurred by Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga practice) and target participants of the survey. The posters and information section attached to the questionnaire explicitly requested that all practitioners complete the survey “whether you have or have not suffered any injuries.” The questionnaires were anonymous, and the Yoga teachers at the centers were not aware of who had completed a ques- tionnaire and who had not. There was no time limit or pres- sure placed on participants, as the completed questionnaires could be placed into a collection box in the communal areas at any time during the collection period (16 weeks).

[link to full article below quote]

“The results from this survey appear to support the conclusion that Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga practice under appropriate supervision does not dramatically increase the risk of injury to its practitioners. The most commonly reported injuries (hamstring strains and sprains) may be related to the posture sequence of the primary series, and appropriate instruction and practice may reduce this risk. As Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga includes standardized series of postures, a greater emphasis on individual needs and the importance of relaxed non- goal-oriented practice could prevent some injuries. In the Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga schools in Finland, the trend has been towards emphasising the importance of the internal experience and mind-body cooperation during practice.”

www.selkakuntoutus.fi/julkaisut/IJYT-Article.pdf

Yoga gives you energy.

Apparently this is a real ad.