Posts from ‘reviews’
For a supposedly ancient practice, there is no shortage of digital yoga resources to help a person deepen, advance or diversify their practice: YouTube videos, webinars, smartphone apps, video streaming, podcasts and much more.
But a new “book” has taken digitalized yoga to the next level. Visvamitrasana: Volume 1 of the Sage Series is more than an e-book – it’s an interactive digital experience, combining text, audio, video and links for an intuitive and engaging experience.
The project presents an opportunity to delve deeper into the challenging pose Visvamitrasana, which is an arm balance, side stretch and hip opener. As teacher Nikki Vilella writes in her introduction, the pose demands “hamstring flexibility, arm strength and the ability to twist and lengthen the side body.” Continue Reading
IAYB reader and ally, Razielle, participated in Matthew Remski’s recent online Ayurveda course, and she was so inspired by it that she decided to write a review. Here it is!
Now, you may be thinking: “online courses, that sounds cold and disembodied.” But nothing could be further from the truth! Matthew’s online presentations are vividly human and energetic. The setting for Ayurveda Online is informal as Matthew presents from a relaxed seat on his comfy couch, sipping on hot tea. The effect is a lovely and inviting online experience that magically creates virtual coziness and warmth. To borrow a phrase from Marshall McLuhan, the medium is the message! Ayurveda Online makes a wealth of otherwise arcane information accessible in an interactive way. Reaching a global village, Ayurveda Online goes far beyond what McLuhan, the grandfather of communications theory, ever dreamed of in the early 1960s, when he first began to question the way we reify our lived experiences through (our then groundbreaking) forms of social media, namely television and radio. Continue Reading
Occupy Love begins with a question: How can our current crisis become a love story?
Director Velcrow Ripper posed this question to a host of activists, authors, rebels and world changers, including climate activist Bill McKibben, author bell hooks, “sacred economist” Charles Eisenstein, zen teacher Roshi Joan Halifax, biologist Rupert Sheldrake, indigenous leader Clayton Thomas Mueller, and a whole lot of Occupy organizers, artists and on-the-ground protestors.
The responses vary. Social activist and author Judy Rebick scoffed “Love?!?” and laughed. Later in the film, she confesses to thinking it was a stupid question. It is a brave, rather naïve question – but one of the strengths of the film is that the question doesn’t get answered. Continue Reading
I recently received an email with the subject, “How to Live Your Yoga.” It was an e-newsletter for a weekend yoga conference at a retreat centre. While I applaud the effort to present the promise of a yoga practice, I also know that one can’t expect to learn how to live their yoga in three days of retreat from life.
It takes daily practice to really live your yoga, as Swami Radhananda suggests in Living the Practice: Collected Writings on the Transformative Potential of Yoga (Timeless Books, 2012). The book is a collection of short essays Swami Radhananda wrote over a period of 10 years for Ascent, a magazine about yoga and engaged living which folded in 2009.
“The Western challenge is to bring yoga into our daily lives,” Swami Radhananda writes in an essay titled, ‘From Earth to Heaven.’ “We can’t easily do what Eastern tradition prescribes: sit in a cave, or wander India leading the ascetic life. We have to go inward, and that knowledge has to be brought out again. We need to transplant the seeds of yoga into our lives.”
While not a guide or self-help book, Living the Practice provides an example of how once can transplant the seeds and watch them flourish. For Swami Radhananda, this happens through reflection, self-inquiry and paying attention to the symbols in her life. Continue Reading
At the beginning of January, the New York Times published an article called “How Yoga Can Wreck Your Body,” which set the online yoga world on fire. Well, that was an excerpt from a book The Science of Yoga: The Risks and Rewards, by William J. Broad. The rest of the book is now ready for the world.
I’ve seen this book referred to as “a book about yoga injuries,” but that’s hardly the case. The topic of injuries only amounts to one chapter (obviously, falling under the category of “risk”). Rather, the book is a meticulous look at a century and a half of scientific research on how yoga affects general health and healing, moods, sex and creativity. Much of this research has been ignored; Broad’s task was to bring it to light.
In the introduction, Broad states his research process and his initial surprise at what he discovered about yoga. “Overall, the risks and benefits turned out to be far greater than anything I ever imagined. Yoga can kill and maim – or save your life and make you feel like a god.”
Judging by initial responses to the NYT article excerpt, many people are perceiving this book as a threat to yoga. However, the book actually addresses a very real threat that yoga practitioners face right now – the lack of reliable information about the benefits and risks of the practice. Continue Reading