Archive for July, 2007

Iyengar, 1938 film clip, #1

Silent, from a newsreel. Source unknown. But very cool to watch Iyengar as a young man. More to come.

Sting Does Yoga in Toronto

It must suck to have reporters watching you while you practice.

Read the National Post’s blow-by-blow blog-style article about Sting’s yoga performance.

Don’t Litigate–Meditate?

After San Francisco lawyer, Mark Webb’s, successful “total yoga makeover” in which he lost 30 pounds and regained mental clarity, sponsored by (and profiled in) Yoga Journal, he is organizing a yoga course for the legal world. His mission statement says [all caps his!], “WE HAVE GATHERED SEVERAL OF THE FINEST YOGA INSTRUCTORS IN SAN FRANCISCO, WHO ARE DESIGNING A COURSE TAILORED FOR LAWYERS, LAW STUDENTS, & LEGAL SUPPORT STAFF, TO BE GIVEN IN MID-JULY 2007. JUDGES ARE ALSO WELCOME.”

Bravo, Mark (but what’s the deal with judges?) (and the capital letters?) and long live Yoga May we all have a less litigious world.

Arnie Herz of the blog Legal Sanity seconds the motion. Herz has also written about the benefits to the legal profession of yoga and meditation.

Japanese Yoga

Combining principles from Japanese and Indian culture, Japanese Yoga promises to deliver a double-whammy of oriental peace.

The publisher’s Web site says: “Emphasizing gentle stretching and meditation exercises, the ultimate goal of Japanese yoga (Shin-shin-toitsu-do) is enhanced mind/body integration, calmness, and willpower for a healthier and fuller life. Developed by Nakamura Tempu Sensei in the early 1900s from Indian Raja yoga, Japanese martial arts and meditation practices, as well as Western medicine and psychotherapy, Japanese yoga offers a new approach to experienced yoga students and a natural methodology that newcomers will find easy to learn.”

Fusion is forever.

Copyrighting Yoga Poses–an ABCD perspective

On May 7, 2007, writer SUKETU MEHTA wrote in the New York Times with a rare Indian perspective on the yoga craze, particularly the craze to copyright poses or sequences of poses instigated by yoga bad boy Bikram Choudury. Choudury has lived in the US since the 70s, and according to one Indian friend of mine, is a classic south-asian businessman.

Mehta says,”I GREW up watching my father stand on his head every morning. He was doing sirsasana, a yoga pose that accounts for his youthful looks well into his 60s. Now he might have to pay a royalty to an American patent holder if he teaches the secrets of his good health to others. The United States government has issued 150 yoga-related copyrights, 134 patents on yoga accessories and 2,315 yoga trademarks. There’s big money in those pretzel twists and contortions — $3 billion a year in America alone.

“It’s a mystery to most Indians that anybody can make that much money from the teaching of a knowledge that is not supposed to be bought or sold like sausages. Should an Indian, in retaliation, patent the Heimlich maneuver, so that he can collect every time a waiter saves a customer from choking on a fishbone?”

Read the whole story on the New York Times site: “A Big Stretch.”

"Yoga Unveiled" documentary quietly debuts

Gita Desai’s thoughtful documentary “Yoga Unveiled” debuted in 2006 well under the yoga-nation radar. It looks like the kind of well-made piece that could serve as an antidote to all the yoga craze–and craziness–currently around us.

Krishnamacharya, 1938, on film

A silent movie clip of the master of masters demonstrating yoga. This is rare stuff.

Rodney Yee Makes Page Six

The New York Post’s gossip column, Page Six, rats on Rodney Yee’s July 4th class in the Hamptons, which was held outside without a permit.

“July 4, 2007 — HAMPTONITES looking to Zen-out with yoga master Rodney Yee before the holiday crush got a rude awakening yesterday. The Post’s Thomas Hinton reports too many people showed up for Yee’s class in his Sag Harbor studio, so he and his modelicious wife, Colleen, decided to teach a larger class in the Marine Park by the harbor. But the Yees didn’t realize they needed a permit. As the class started, cops descended and threatened to arrest the couple, but were talked down and the group was allowed to disband without a violation being issued.”

Yoga and Wine Vacations Rear Their Heads

As reported unironically in the Chicago Tribune.

“The yoga package is priced at $2,590, including accommodations, all meals, all activities and transfers to and from Rome. Trans-Atlantic airfare is additional. The tour is offered by Tuscan Way, known for its Tuscan cooking vacations. (800-766-2390;”

Michael Moore to Try Yoga Next

According to an interview on the Chicago Tribune blog, Michael Moore is trying to loose weight and get in shape. Yoga is next.

“Q: You are so ready for yoga.

“A: I’m telling you, that’s my next step. I’ve been putting it off because you have to get down on the ground, but they say you can start practicing in your chair.”

Moore says he weighs between 300 and 305 pounds.