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Posts Tagged ‘Yoga’

Just found this!

Vanity Fair spread on some inside and out beautiful yogis!!!  Take a look!

Vanity Fair Yogi Spread

XOXO

(btw, obsessed with Gossip Girl, so will now be signing all of my posts as such)

Britt

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So I quite my job recently and in efforts to have something to occupy my time, I’ve been looking for different websites/blogs to write for. One of these start up sites has me as their yoga/green commentator- the editor is open to ideas from me, but also asks me to do certain things. So far she has suggested reviewing a kundalini class (not really my thing, but I’m down to review it), different things I do in my life to be “green”, some nutrition stuff, etc. And then this weekend I got a request from her to write about “doing yoga in the dark to world/ethnic music”. I was a little thrown by this, just because I wasn’t really sure what she was looking to explore. Actually the yoga I practice is generally done is a dark-ish room, not pitch black, but dark, and always to different types of “world” music. I’ve actually wrote about this before. So I sent her a note back, asking if there was something she was trying to get at- I figured this request had to come from somewhere. Her response:

“I have only seen it done with the light on and wondered if the experience would be different with the light off so yoga in the dark. Would you personally feel somewhat liberated, would it be the same, do you lose your focus or concentrate even more. I continued my pondering and had the thought what would it be like to do yoga in your birthday suit? Would it be comfortable or feel awkward, does yoga still feel like yoga? Finally I wondered if you can listen to music while doing yoga and if certain kinds of music would influence your yoga experience. You’ve done yoga for awhile and it seems to be an important part of your life, but how powerful is it? Can you still feel centered, in the dark, naked and with the music on?”

Dear readers, naked yoga must never ever be done. Never. Never. Think of happy baby pose. Naked. Think of half moon. Naked. No matter how hot you are, some things should never be done naked. Ever been to a nude beach? Not like in France where every beach is topless, but like a NUDE beach. The people are not pretty…not at all.

Oddly there are SEVERAL places in New York that one can practice nude yoga:

Naked Yoga NYC– this site doesn’t give out the location of the studio. You have to email them. My favorite quote: “Honor and CELEBRATE your menstrual cycle in all its phases and respect your body how and it wants to be honored in this practice. Women on their moon cycle in the past have used sea sponges, The Keeper, tampons, sarongs, traditional undergarments or placed a towel over their mat and free flowed”

EW, EW, EW, EW, EW!!!!!!!!!

There is also, Hot Nude Yoga, which is only for gay men. Its in Chelsea. Shocking. Its actually an ingeniuous business idea… and there is no one on their “moon cycle” here, so I guess that’s a plus. While Naked Yoga NYC has a strict no touching policy, that isn’t the case at Hot Nude Yoga, “You will have the opportunity to meet other physically fit men and discover, through partner yoga, how to touch other men energetically and sensually.” Yowza.

I was talking on the phone with my mom last night about this naked yoga request, and she reminded me of a similar experience that we both found to be ridiculous.

We were in class together and one of the practitioners (who is a teacher that I have wrote about before, but will not mention her name now) was doing her class blindfolded. The entire class. With a blindfold on. Now, I’m sure you have noticed, I have the sense of humor of a 4-year-old, and of course, I could not keep myself together during the class. Every time I looked up at the blindfolded yogini, I raised my eyebrows to my mother, who then started to laugh, which made me laugh…not a good chain of events for yoga.

I understand the sentiment behind practicing blindfolded, or naked, or in the pitch dark, or blindfolded while naked in the dark (which maybe isn’t yoga, but a good Friday night)- people are trying to find a new, deeper connection to their bodies. They want to bring their physical consciousness to an even higher level. And I dig that. So if thats your thing, touche my friend, I’m all for it.

Though I am now reminded by another event- My dance teacher when I was a teenager was a man, a sort of weird man, he taught ballet to young girls and wasn’t gay, so you get my drift, but was nonetheless a mentor and someone I spent a whole lot of time with. He once recommended that I come to the studio when I knew no one would be there (I had my set of keys he said), and dance in the nude (no one else would be there or drop-in by chance he said). This skeeved me out. Of course, I never did make it to dance in the nude. And soon after, I left the studio because this was just one of a series of dodgy suggestions. So perhaps my adversion to nude yoga is just some deep-seated teenage/father-figure/bizarre-o land issue and in reality is just AWESOME. But I doubt it. Think about it. Nude bird of paradise.

-Britt

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So other than yoga, my great love is politics. I just saw this on the Huffington Post (I know I post things from them way too often, but what can you do), and thought it was such a great idea! The Democratic National Convention is coming up and the Huffington Post has created the HuffPost Oasis. which will be available for political pundits, delegates, etc.

“The Oasis will feature complimentary yoga classes, Thai massages, hand massages, mini-facials, healthy snacks and refreshments, music, and a comfortable seating area for lounging and unwinding.”

Um, how awesome! Arianna Huffington wrote about this while hanging in Greece (way jealous- I want to go), but goes on about the virtues of relaxation, which is pretty awesome- she’s a very hard-working, self-made lady, who I admire greatly and its very cool she realizes this. Here is the rest of the article:

The Huffington Post- Oasis The Place

Of course they are going to record everything that goes on in the Oasis, which I’m sure will be up on their site… Its my porn…politics and yoga…mmmm. The Huffington Post has partnered with Seane Corne (who we love, love- when I first started practicing I took from her. She has a great feminine yoga vibe), who runs Off the Mat, Into the World. This is my first time hearing about this, but it sounds like an awesome organization:

“Off the Mat, Into the World™ (OTM) is a program that aims to inspire and guide you to find and define your purpose and become active in your local or global community in an effective, sustainable and joyful way. OTM is an educational, experiential and motivational process for those interested in conscious activism and service. We combine yoga asanas, meditation in-depth self-exploration which culminates in the formation of a group project that is real and in service to the community.”

So well done…what a great partnership! I’m excited to see what HuffPo posts!

-Britt

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I struggle sometimes with the idea of being happy just as you are.  This is sort of a basic yoga principle but not something that I can get behind 100%.  I was on a yoga retreat (ish) in May where many of the other vacationers were firm believers in the idea that ignorance is bliss.  I work in journalism (for now), where you are constantly increasing your knowledge- at least in terms of history, current events, etc.  I’m in awe of two of our writers that have been in the business for many years and remember obscure politicians, conflicts I’ve never heard of and the like.  Everyone chooses to respect certain virtues and even how to define what a virtue is- I realize that these are not the same for everyone.  Regardless, I was frustrated on this retreat, because so many of the people there just didn’t care what was going on (this was during the beginning of the end for Hillary), and it made me oddly angry.  Our country isn’t exactly in a great place right now and not caring about who we were going to pick to clean up this mess just seemed irresponsible to me.  Selfish. I wonder- is your own bliss that important?  So important that you don’t care about your fellow citizens who are losing their jobs, their homes to foreclosures, their sons and daughters to a thankless war?  To me, yoga is more about finding a balance.  Yes bliss and enlightenment are things to strive for, but not without being grounded in reality.  This morning I read an article by Olivia Rosewood and Steve Ross that addressed the idea of living as a yogi in the Western world, which I thought I would share a portion of:

“Your life is perfect as it is. Every aspect is exactly as it should be, pointing you precisely in the direction you’re meant to go. Whether you’re able to see it this way or not is a reasonable measure of your happiness, no matter what your life situation might be. What might seem like problems to some may be seen as invitations to change for others.

If you can realize that you — and that “you” includes the whole world — are perfect right now, you might be able to get past your guilt, find a rock in the woods and sit in silent bliss for the rest of your life. Rocks themselves do it, after all.

In India, faced with an arranged marriage, a life of family drama, and the mundane world of materialism, many people choose to put on the orange robes of renunciation and seek a deeper experience. In the jungles, caves have been filled with yogis seeking the truth in solitude and silence for thousands of years. They go to the caves, perhaps build a fire and sit in front of it, eat freshly picked berries from the forest, perhaps realize their enlightenment, perhaps not, and never leave this natural wonder. It’s a beautiful life, and it is accepted by the Indian people as a noble path. This solitary truth seeking is seen as a service to the planet at large in its own, albeit indirect, way. By not further polluting the world with worries and conflict, they are becoming a part of silent evolution. The love and bliss hundreds of cave dwellers are feeling even as you read these words are emanating and rippling through the world.

True, it’s not that easy for everyone. Not all of us live in a country where a life in a cave is as acceptable as a condo by the beach. Some of us have jobs in office buildings and pets and children to nourish. In our culture, it’s easy to still the mind temporarily: surfing, a hard workout, sexing yourself silly, eating yourself into a coma. But full bliss won’t reveal itself to you in a lasting way from a quick fix like this. But bliss can be found, even in our culture. When every action is performed with full attention, in a way that doesn’t solidify the illusion of a psychological identification with the ego mind, you are meditating, merging, practicing yoga in every moment: in your car, at the supermarket, at work, at the park.”

Find the rest of the article on Huffington

-Britt

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Pardonez-moi mom and dad for the following:

There is no doubt that there is a link between yoga and sex.  Do yoga and you get a hot bod, you’re bendy-flexy, you understand your body… all good things.  And practicing can be quite sultry- a hot, dark room with pretty strangers, great music, yoga ass (for anyone who watches Weeds).  Some- ahem, not I, but another one of the writers for this site (to remain un-named), even met her significant other in class.  And how many times ladies, when you mention you do yoga to a guy, do they respond, “Cooool.  Does that like mean you can put your leg behind your head?”  Why, yes jerk, I can, and the entire reason I started practicing is so that on the day I met you, I could put my legs behind my head.

I remember when I first made this connection.  A little after I had first started practicing (I must have been 14 or 15), I was in class with a friend, who was a year older and ions beyond me in maturity.  I’ve wrote about Johnny Kest before, the super cute yoga teacher from Michigan, with the millions of admirers.  After his class, my friend and I were talking, and she said to me, you know, the only reason all these women come to class is so that someone will touch them.  They are totally sexually frustrated with their pudgy suburban husbands, so they come to class to get straddled by Johnny.  This, at 14 years old or whatever, had not ever crossed my mind.  But she was and is quite right…  Dude…cute male yoga teachers…they clean up.

Some people swear by tantric yoga- Sting has been a huge proponent.  For those unfamiliar with the idea, the point of tantric sex is that you (the man from what I’ve heard, but I guess it would work for females as well), withhold from uh- finishing, in order to store energy.  So like Sting has sex for hours and hours on end (poor Trudie).  Personally, does not appeal to me.

So the reason why I am writing about this today is that I just finished a class where the woman in front of me moaned throughout the ENTIRE class…like every down dog, every deep exhale, was an, “Aaaahhhhh, mmmmmm.”  Way sexual.  Way loud.  And I thought to myself, ya, yoga feels good, but like not orgasm moaning good.  And I questioned myself, am I doing yoga wrong that I am not deriving such pleasure?  I, who has the sense of humor of a 12-year-old boy, was of course in hysterics for the majority of class.  So my conclusion is this.  Yes- yoga can be a good substitute for sex when you are choosing or being forced into celibacy.  But no matter how good the class, how good the teacher, how good the stretch- it’s not as good as sex.

-Britt

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So Miss Liza is out camping in the woods with her family for the weekend (meditating on a rock somewhere I’m sure) and has no access to internet.  What does this mean to you, my down dog loving friends?  Well it means I’m hijacking the blog for the weekend and writing about whatever I want!  For those of you who read my posts, you know I rely on very loose associations between whatever I talk about and yoga…Liza usually then goes in, cleans up my language, takes out the nasty things I say, etc.  But, fellow yogis and yoginis…not this weekend!  So I will start my rants with something I just saw on Huffington.  It’s actually not been all that hot in New York this summer, with the exception of a few days- I’ve tried to conserve by only turning on my air-conditioning when necessary.  I also have this weird thing where I’m convinced that air-conditioning makes you sick, is responsible for bad moods, could give you cancer, and will eventually kill you.  Alright, so maybe not, but it most definitely is a luxury that we really don’t need and is baaaad for the environment.  But whatever, I use it sometimes too.  However, as anyone who has walked around Soho with me this summer knows, I find it AWFUL, HORRIBLE, ENVIRONMENTALLY IRRESPONSIBLE and DISGRACEFUL for stores to blast air-conditioning and leave their doors open.  I get the technique they are using and it sucks balls.  That’s right camping Liza, it sucks balls.  So imagine the pleasure I felt today when I saw the following:

“The [New York] City Council is expected to pass legislation on Thursday that would impose fines on stores that leave their doors wide open with the air-conditioning on.

Councilwoman Gale A. Brewer, a Manhattan Democrat who is co-sponsoring the bill, said she gets a lot of mail from residents complaining about these stores. She said electronics stores are the biggest offenders, though there are plenty of other shops on Fifth Avenue, 34th Street and other popular areas that keep their doors open.

“I’m calling it the Clyde Haberman bill,” she said, a reference to the NYC columnist for The New York Times, who has written about the topic on several occasions.

Ms. Brewer and 18 other council members signed on to the bill, which would affect any business with at least 4,000 square feet, or small stores that are part of a chain with five or more stores in the city. The Department of Consumer Affairs would issue a warning to first-time offenders who kept their exterior doors open while an air-conditioning system intended to cool the area was in use.

Stores would be fined $200 for a second offense and $400 for subsequent violations within an 18-month period.”

HA!!!!!  Take that!!!  Karma, my friends, karma.  Read the whole article on NYTimes.com

-Britt

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So this is a bit of a personal post- but I think it might have some value as I think a lot of people are dealing with the same issues.

I full on BATTLE with my weight. I gain it very, very easily and unfortunately like to eat and have no self control. Granted, I’m not overweight and I work out every single day of my life, I take the stairs, I walk places whenever possible- but regardless…I’m no skinny New Yorker.

I’m a pescetarian…I eat fish, but you won’t really ever see me eating chicken and will never see me eat red meat or pork. I hate when yoga teachers preach about eating habits- I don’t think that’s their place. I was once in a class right before Thanksgiving where the teacher said, “You know how people wish each other ‘Happy Turkey Day’? WELL- it most certainly is NOT a happy day for the turkey.” I thought it was a bit much. But the other part of yoga is being conscious and part of that is eating consciously as well and I acknowledge that- its something I wish I was better at. And in my own heart, I know that eating locally and mostly vegetarian is better for the planet, which is part of why I eat the way I do now as well.

So I’ve done the juice cleanse thing twice before (Liza posted one that Prana is holding below). Blueprint Juice Cleanse is a great service if you want to try it- they deliver everything you need, all your juices, aren’t crazy expensive, have different levels for cleansing, and their juice tastes good! I’ve always done the 3 day cleanse, but you can do shorter or longer if you want. I’ve done the first and second levels, which aren’t THAT much different, although the first one has less “green” drinks so it tastes a little better. The thing with Blueprint is that although you aren’t chewing food, you are still consuming a fair amount of calories, so you never are hungry or anything like that. In fact, you drink 6 different juices throughout the day with tea and water inbetween, so you are constantly sipping something. Ya you do lose a little weight, but more importantly you give your body a break and are only putting really pure nutrients in your body, so you feel good at the end of your cleanse.

I’ve also tried the raw vegan thing…so raw fruits, veggies and nuts. I lasted about 3 or 4 days on this and did not feel good…will not go into details, but my body did not dig it. You’re eating harsh food to a certain extent…natural yes, but things your body still needs to really break down. Plus I think I relied on nuts too much…maybe it needs to be tried again.

SO! In an attempt to once again get back to being healthy, maybe lose a couple pounds (I’m changing lots of things in my life-might as well add another one on the list), I’m going to try to eat consciously. What does that mean? I’m laying off the sugar, going light on breads and pastas- and when I do eat them, they need to be whole grain (which I already do already) and small portions, and I’m going light on dairy…that means cutting back on my Greek yogurt addiction.

A person who is new to yoga asked my advice on getting into practicing. The good and bad thing about yoga is that is makes us hyper-aware of our bodies. You feel everything and if you didn’t notice the extra couple pounds you may have put on, you will when you twist, when you stand, when you whatever. And sadly, I know that when I am a skinny binny, yoga is a whole lot easier to do. Think about the weight that is in your arms in a handstand…if you’re five pounds heavier than you were a year ago, believe me you, your arms will feel that! So this girl that was asking me advice and telling me about her experiences is a little overweight, and I know, from experience, that sucks. So- I don’t know what I’m saying- I don’t think that we as yogis should obsess over every pound, but we should be aware of what we put into our bodies. I’m trying to and will continue to falter (I love me some baaaaad for you candy), but maybe, just maybe, will try to think of side crow with a belly when I’m going for the 3rd bowl of cereal. 😉

-Britt

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