Yoga reads: Stretch, the unlikely making of a yoga dude

October 30, 2014

Neal Pollack didn’t fit the yogi stereotype: he was an overweight, balding, skeptical guy. So how did he become a man devoted to the mat? Stretch: The Unlikely Making of a Yoga Dude is his story. “Neal Pollack was out of shape. The hair on his head was thinning and the hair on his face was pretentious—traits a New York Times critic gleefully pointed out while panning his second book. Combined with the predestined failure of his punk rock band, it was almost too much for Pollack to bear. He was willing to try anything to get his life back [...]
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Budokon: yoga meets martial arts

October 29, 2014

Take two ancient practices, yoga and martial arts, add some meditation, mix together in 21st-century America, and voilĂ : you have Budokon, a fusion of transition-based Hatha yoga with the continuous circular rotation native to martial arts. Created by Cameron Shayne, in 2000, Budokon typically begins with 20 minutes of yoga sun salutations to, as Shayne says, “lighten and open the body,” followed by a martial arts segment. The end is a guided meditation. “Through martial arts I experienced meditation; both yoga and martial arts share self-reflection, but both suffered from the same disease of being stripped down to a westernized [...]
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Untranslatables: windows of perception

October 28, 2014

I’ve always been fascinated by untranslatables, those words that defy easy (or any) translation from one language and culture to another. So much of how we live and love and think is structured by the language(s) we speak, and what a perspective-shifting experience it is to explore a new way of communicating. Untranslatables are, for me, windows onto another world. Here are a few particularly beautiful examples: Mamihlapinatapei: Yagan, language of Tierra del Fuego The wordless, yet meaningful look shared by two people who both desire to initiate something but are both reluctant to start. lunga: Tshiluba, language of Southwest [...]
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