|This image is from the article I'm linking to, really!|
Monday, March 11, 2013
Saturday, March 9, 2013
In Steve Perry’s Matador series, Emile Antoon Khadaji kicks off an interstellar rebellion against a corrupt government using nothing but non-lethal weaponry (primarily a fancy dart gun with poison that paralyzes victims for six months) and his mighty Zen kung fu skills. He becomes The Man Who Never Missed, waging a one man war on a single planet, incapacitating close to 2400 troops without creating one fatal casualty. The plan all along is for Khadaji to inspire revolutionaries to go out and topple the “Confed”, and soon enough his name cried out in street battles and uprising across a dozen star systems.
But all along Khadaji has fought with a worldview that holds life precious- ahimsa, anyone? He carries the weight of robbing thousands of people of a half year of their lives as some kind of karmic debt that he can barely hope to repay. As the blood starts flowing in the streets during the uprising he uses his resources to ship the kinds of non-lethal weapons he had used to revolutionaries everywhere. Crates of dart guns, tranquilizer darts, and gas grenades that cause immediate vomiting and diarrhea start showing up at every hot spot. Khadaji knows that not everyone will accept these non-lethal approaches, but he can at least offer those he inspired the option to overthrow the Confed without tumbling down a karmic sinkhole. Overthrowing a violent government leaving behind no bodies, just sleepy soldiers with messy pants? What a great notion.
What you see above, however, is the reality of street warfare, specifically Aleppo in the middle of the Syrian Civil War. Could all these noble concepts of non-lethal rebellion possibly work in a real life situation? Every day in the news lately there has been discussion of new US Secretary of State John Kerry’s decision to send non-lethal aid, meaning food and medical supplies, to the Free Syrian Army. His fear, quite justified, is that any advanced weaponry sent may end up in the hands of al-Qaida elements of the Syrian revolution. But what if the United States airdropped literally hundreds of tons of non-lethal weaponry into the Free Syrian Army zones? Would a mountain of tasers, tranq darts, tear gas, stingball grenades, (dubiously non-lethal) rubber bullets, bean bag shotgun shells, flash-bangs, and a hundred thousand flex cuffs make a difference in an environment like this?
Tuesday, March 5, 2013
I rolled over in bed one morning and asked “Did I show you the naked yoga video on YouTube?”
Mrs. Yogi, my in-home guru, blinked a few times. “What?”
“Well you know how me and Friend-Who-Shall-Remain-Nameless pass videos of women doing athletic things back and forth on Facebook?”
“No,” she said, “I didn’t know that. What kind of ‘athletic things’?” Mrs. Yogi is open minded, to a point.
“Stilt walkers, knife throwers, burlesque shows with trapeze setups, crazy yoga postures…”
“So one of us found a series of people doing yoga naked.”
Skepticism crossed her face. “Men or women?”
“Both, but mostly women.”
Skepticism continued. “I see.”
“So the weird thing is that it is actual yoga, and the models are really fit. It’s not like a stripper watched a yoga video and did a bunch of awkward postures.” Truth be told, there are a ton of those on YouTube as well. I continued, “and the cool thing is that because everyone is naked you can really see the body dynamics at work and the muscle groups working together.” We practice a type of yoga that spends a lot of time discussing whole body integration in postures.
She still wasn’t convinced, but was getting there. Mrs. Yogi is versed in the benefits of naked yoga from our mutual Friend-Who-Shall-Remain-Nameless, who practices in the altogether most of the time. When we took a class together once he looked at me and said “I don’t remember the last time I did yoga with my pants on, I wonder if I’ll be okay?”
I grabbed my I-Thingy from the side table and said “here, let me show you.”
“Wow, they are real people,” she said.
“And look” she said, “you can really see how she does that (only ¼ of the way into Yoga Teacher Training and don’t know the name of that posture) by the movement in her (really need to work on the anatomy homework so I can remember these muscle groups).”
|From Asana Exposed|
“I know, and you can’t see that muscle group move in yoga pants, but here you can see how the whole posture comes together,” I said.
So there you go- naked yoga. Not for everyone, not for me (at least not now), but a way to be in the practice and better appreciate the practice of others.
Monday, March 4, 2013
In an earlier post I talked about the mixed messages I felt when I first saw the "Yoga by Equinox" and asked why on Earth anyone would do yoga in their underwear. Since then I have learned sometimes yoga in your undies is just the best way to go.
Since starting yoga teacher training I have built up a short daily practice that follows a very specific routine for days that I wake up at home (ie, not in a hotel on a business trip). Every day I do a series of Sun Salutations, starting with one on Monday, two on Tuesday, working up to seven on Sunday. Sounds pretty straightforward, but this is what it really looks like:
- Wake up around 5:30, hit snooze several times
- Get up, walk carefully down the hallway while the cat shows his love for me by trying to trip / bite me
- Put heavy socks, sweatshirt, and old jeans over whatever I slept in the night before
- Go down stairs, turn on computer, start coffee, feed cat
- Drink glass of water and cup of coffee while reading nerd blogs and Yahoo! News
- Roll out yoga mat on living room floor
- Take off heavy socks, sweatshirt, and old jeans and throw them into a chair
- Do Sun Salutations in whatever I slept in the night before, usually my undies
Friday, March 1, 2013
Sometimes people ask about yoga, particularly certain postures (downward dog?) and immediately associate what happens on the yoga mat with the ability to turn oneself into some kind of twisty sex god. Sorry, it’s just not true. I’ve been studying one particular form of yoga for two years now and so far no one has taken me to a dark temple where I am taught the wonders of the sexual body by a four armed, blue skinned goddess. It’s even a tantric form of yoga, but not an orgy to be found. Mrs. Yogi has been studying for over a decade, and unless she is hiding something there does not appear to be a scroll of secret ancient yoga sex moves (although I am sure I will come up on a lot more internet searches now that I have used the phrase “secret ancient yoga sex moves”).
Having said that, yoga helps you feel comfortable in your body, increases flexibility and muscle tone (particularly core strength), encourages steady breath, allows you to appreciate the beauty in others, and can add to an overall sense of ease and calm for the day. Read into that what you will.
Post Script: While looking for an image for this post I came across a few funny additions. Maybe there is a reason so many people confuse yoga and sex. It's a shame none of the articles talk about love.