Malas: The New Yoga Status Symbol
via Yoga Modern by Patience Steltzer
Whether you’re male, or female fashion is a great way to express creativity, and personality on a daily basis.
While I love bringing a sense of style into my yoga practice, I am not so sure how I feel about bringing yoga into my style.
I have noticed an increasing amount of individuals sporting malas through out studios and community events, and I wonder if they are being worn as a symbol of devotion or merely as a fashion statement. While searching the yogasphere I came across a mock ad on Yoga Dawg that poked fun at how sacred objects are often commercialized and treated by “western yogis” as trendy accessories rather than worn for their intended spiritual purpose.
The YogaDawg Sadhu Fall Collection
Top to Bottom
Vedic Face Paint
Lotus Joy Premium Yoga Club
Mellow Yellow Chakra Yoga Shirt
Holy Moly Far Out Yoga Bead Set
Mellow Yellow Chakra Yoga Pants
While it is common in the Hindu religion to wear malas around the neck, it is typically used to practice devotion towards a deity. Malas are used to express one’s respect and service to that god, and it’s considered disrespectful to wear the beads flippantly or without intention. Devotees are expected to be disciplined in spiritual practices that are deserving of the malas and the blessings they come with.
For example, many people wear the rudraksha mala in observance of the Lord Shiva. Devotees take certain measures that show respect, including the use of rituals and prayers to purify the beads, and they remove the beads when consuming alcohol, attending a funeral, having sex, and for women during menstruation.
I know very few yogis in the United States who take the same precautions when adorning themselves with malas. Most of us aren’t even aware that such precautions exist. continue reading
In the post Eat, Pray, Love world, the yoga memoir—or yogoir—has become its own lively sub-genre.
By Laura MoserUpdated Thursday, Aug. 25, 2011, at 7:15 AM ET
As anyone who’s practiced yoga in a studio abutting an Arby’s can attest, the ancient Indian tradition has hit the big time in the United States. Yoga is a $5.7 billion global industry, with an estimated 15 million Americans professing to some sort of yoga practice (though that number looks awfully low to me). And since the 2006 publication of Elizabeth Gilbert’s blockbuster memoir Eat, Pray, Love, another trend has surfaced: the profusion of searching first-person narratives of yogic self-betterment. (In case you’re one of the five people who hasn’t read or seen Eat, Pray, Love, the basic gist is: Successful but unfulfilled thirtysomething writer chucks it all, marriage included, and travels the world to reclaim lost joie de vivre, spirituality, and so on. Revelations ensue.)
Even in their modern incarnation, confessional yoga-themed memoirs have a longer history than Elizabeth Gilbert’s conjugal unhappiness. Three years before Eat, Pray, Love, the actress Mariel Hemingway published the turgid Finding My Balance: A Memoir with Yoga, which pairs the formative events of her past with favorite poses from her yoga practice. (“Today is the day after the horrifying terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. … I feel the grief and shock through all my body as I stand here in Mountain pose.”) In 2005 there was Lucy Edge’s Yoga School Dropout, which chronicles, in rather exhaustive detail, the ashram-hopping adventures of a former London ad exec who goes to India in search of enlightenment, the perfect yoga butt, or at the very least a husband. read on
Posted in Amazing, Bent, body, Books & Articles
Tagged neal pollack, salte, westerization of yoga, yoga bitch, yoga books, yoga chick lit, yoga in america, yoga school dropout
A couple of well-timed blog posts at Think Body Electric and Tikkun Daily.
An excerpt from “Politics, Spirituality, and Postmodern Malaise“:
Really taking it all in like that, however, is fucking hard. And it poses a challenge that’s utterly absent in the way that these ideas tend to manifest in yoga circles, where there’s an implicit insistence that being properly “spiritual” means staying locked inside some pastel-colored bubble where everything looks beautiful and right and good – PERIOD. No unpleasant issues raised; no difficult questions asked.
And from “Yoga for War: Politics of the Divine“:
Does any of this upset your yogic sensibilities? Do you think there should be no OM in the office? No bakasana on the battleship? No hero pose in boot camp? Isn’t yoga about peace, compassion and love?
I highlight these examples not because I think yoga doesn’t belong in the army, but rather to question an assumption many yoga and spiritual practitioners make. It’s the belief that spiritual liberation is inherently socially or culturally revolutionary.
Posted in Amazing, Bent, body, Books & Articles, Politics
Tagged think body electric, tikkun daily, westernization of yoga, yoga, yoga culture, yoga in america, yoga politics
Om Yoga: A book about yoga by Kia Naddermier, Lisa Ljungh Strömberg & Magnus Naddermier
Featuring interviews with
John Scott, David Swenson, Danny Paradise, Chuck Miller, Dena Kingsberg, Dona Holleman, Shandor Remete & Maria Boox
Read more + pics
Posted in Amazing, Bent, body, Books & Articles, Photography & Web Videos
Tagged ashtanga yoo\ga, chuck miller, danny paradise, david swenson, dena kingsberg, dona holleman, john scott, Lisa Ljungh Strömberg, Magnus Naddermier, maria boox, Mysore, mysore yoga paris, om yoga book kia naddermier, shandor remete, yoga
Colo. cops hunting man who hid in portable toilet at yoga festival; ‘Sky’ the bum suspected peeper
BY Philip Caulfield
DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER
Wednesday, June 22nd 2011, 1:21 PM
Colorado cops have a Porta-Pervert on their hands.
Police in Boulder, Colo., are hunting for a Peeping Tom who hid in the basin of a portable toilet at a weekend yoga festival before being spotted and taking off “covered in feces.”
A woman at the Hanuman Festival, a yoga and music festival, was using the toilet Friday when she suspected someone was hiding in the bowl under a tarp, Boulder’s Daily Camera reported.
The spooked yogi told a pal, who saw the tarp move and went to grab a security guard.
When the friend left the toilet, he heard it lock from the inside, the Camera reported.
The guard waited outside until a lanky white man with no shoes or shirt came out, covered in poop.
The suspect made a run for it and got away, cops said.
Witnesses said the man was between 6-feet-4 and 6-feet-8 with short dark hair and leather cuffs on both wrists.
He fits the description of a well-known Boulder bum known as “Sky,” cops said.
Boulder police spokeswoman Kim Kobel told the Camera that cops are baffled as to how he squeezed his big frame into the tank.
If found, he’ll face charges of criminal attempt to make unlawful sexual contact. Read more
and from Next Media Animation via Fox 31 Denver:
From the Times of India
Every stray dog is his pet
Lawrence Milton, TNN | Apr 29, 2011, 10.54pm IST
MYSORE: For many, love for dogs ends at their homes— having it as a pet, feeding varieties of food, giving a royal treatment, teaching their language, etc. All because it is their dog.But businessman Shivakumar, 50, aka Shiva Swami is a dog lover with a difference. A dozen stray dogs are his pets. Every day, he feeds them with bread and biscuits. He has been vaccinating over 100 stray dogs every year for the past five years. Of course, he owns two pugs, an English Mastiff, Labrador and a mastiff puppy.Calling for tolerance among people for stray dogs, he says a dog bites only when it is provoked. “Dogs are scared of people. I feel bad when people throw stones at them on streets. Once you show your love for dog, it remembers it all its life. Such is its love towards humans. That makes it man’s best friend,” he avers. Shivakumar wants people to take the initiative to immunize stray dogs in their neighborhood at veterinary hospitals where it is done for free.
Shivakumar’s love for dogs became deep rooted with his pet Moon, a Great Dane. But his happiness was short lived as Moon died due to an illness when it was 30 months old. Unable to recuperate form the loss, Shivakumar went into depression. He brought another Great Dane and named it New Moon. Though the Dane was a solace for him, he too died young.
Shivakumar’s dogs have participated in many pet shows and won prizes. Shivakumar, who also practices yoga, said he turned to saffron robes 15 years ago for peace of mind.
Ultra flexible? You’re at triple risk for migraines
Joint hypermobility syndrome, migraines both rooted in same cause: too-elastic collagen
updated 3/2/2011 4:17:11 PM ET
NEW YORK — People with severe forms of double jointedness have a greater risk of suffering from migraine headaches, a new study finds. They also tend to have more severe and more frequent migraines.
Researchers say that the two conditions — “joint hypermobility syndrome” and migraines — may have causes rooted in the same problem.
People who fit the profile for having joint hypermobility have contortionist-like flexibility. They are able to bend their thumbs back to their forearms, overextend their elbows, and place their palms on the floor without bending their knees, for instance.
“It’s a disease of collagen, basically,” study author Dr. Vincent Martin, a professor at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine in Ohio, told Reuters Health.
Collagen is one of the body’s basic building blocks, helping to form myriad structures, including the joints and blood vessels.
Martin’s hypothesis is that if the collagen is too elastic, it leads to both flexible joints and stretchy blood vessels — problems involved in joint hypermobility syndrome and migraine, respectively.
Martin had noticed in his clinical practice that double-jointed patients seemed to suffer from migraines, too. He also pulled from his own experience, having both hypermobility and migraine headaches.
read full article at msnbc
|(Ruth St. Denis and Denishawn dancers in Yoga Meditation, 1915)
“The group, Leary, Swain and the Vedanta devotees then sat cross-legged on Oriental rugs and chanted. When the acid hit, Leary saw shock and amazement on the “Holy folk”, despite their years of practicing Bhakti and Raja yoga. He himself imagined, briefly, that he was Shiva”. (from The Subtle Body, The Story of Yoga in America by Stefanie Syman)
|(Ruth St. Denis)
I f you’re American and you do yoga, you’ve probably wondered, at some point mid-way through a sonorous closing chant of “OM” how yoga even found its way to these shores. The Subtle Body: The Story of Yoga in America is Stefanie Syman‘s folio of American yoga memories; a book dedicated to uncovering the cultural circuitry of American yoga practice. Each snapshot is a peek at the complicated love affair of Americans with yoga. A tango of a relationship that runs hot and cold by turns,
The Subtle Body: The Story of Yoga in America, tracks the historical development of yoga in American popular consciousness, its momentum, and its surprising staying power.
Continue reading at Shivers up the Spine Blog
…or something like that.
L. Burke Files: How to start and maintain a profitable yoga business
Anyone read this? Kino MacGregor recommends the book and Miami Life Center is reported to be buzzing.
Download the first chapter.
Visit the book’s website.
NY Times report on the Hindu American Foundation reclaiming project.
Hindu Group Stirs a Debate Over Yoga’s Soul
Published: November 27, 2010
Yoga is practiced by about 15 million people in the United States, for reasons almost as numerous — from the physical benefits mapped in brain scans to the less tangible rewards that New Age journals call spiritual centering. Religion, for the most part, has nothing to do with it.
But a group of Indian-Americans has ignited a surprisingly fierce debate in the gentle world of yoga by mounting a campaign to acquaint Westerners with the faith that it says underlies every single yoga style followed in gyms, ashrams and spas: Hinduism.
The campaign, labeled “Take Back Yoga,” does not ask yoga devotees to become Hindu, or instructors to teach more about Hinduism. The small but increasingly influential group behind it, the Hindu American Foundation, suggests only that people become more aware of yoga’s debt to the faith’s ancient traditions.
Posted in Amazing, Bent, body, Books & Articles, Events, Money & Deals, Politics
Tagged bikram, hindu american foundation, hinduism, ny times, religion, yoga, yoga in america