45-Minute Mandala (My Latest Fave, Free, Online Yoga Vid)

If you click right here, you’ll find a 45 minute flow sequence with Elise Lorimer, courtesy of Yoga Journal.  I’ve been really enjoying this sequence, because of the lively but unhurried flow, the circular “mandala” the movements describe around the mat, and the strength workout provided.  Most of the movements stay low to the ground, and that’s not for everyone – a friend of mine described it with frustration as “that video that had me lunging around the mat like a monkey” – but I found it both challenging and fun.

Dear Yoga Journal,

Dear Yoga Journal,
Please don’t become yet another fashion magazine disguised as a health mag.  I was cool with your features on yoga wear, though I’m kind of attached to the comfy-yet-flattering sweats that I also wear to bed on extra-cold nights, and I don’t feel a need to be trendy while sticking my butt in the air and trying to keep my hands and feet from slipping in opposite directions.   

But I’m just bummed that you used up paper to tell me that that “This season’s tall boots and structured jackets take you from studio to street without missing a beat,” as you explained on page 32 of this month’s issue.  In fact, though I’m a very amateur yogi and have so far only learned about the yogic principle of aparigraha, or non-jealousy, from you, this fashion spread seems (with its slender, coifed models and fancy, flattering outfits) calculated to cultivate a feeling of jealousy (and thencely consumerism).  And a wise publication once told me that “Jealousy means that we desire to be what someone else is, or to have what someone else has. Rather than finding who we are, we look at someone else and say, ‘I want to be that.’ Aparigraha, in its essence, helps us discover our own selves so that we no longer feel the need to covet what someone else has, or be what someone else is.”

So I hope you’ll show me some yogis with style, and forget about the fashion models.
Yours in regular readership,

View from Sun Salutations

I have discovered that the back deck is an excellent place to do yoga.  Thank you, Spring!  As I was finishing, my cat joined me in savasana.

Boa Pose

Yesterday was nice and warm, so my boyfriend – we’ll call him Logan – took his boa constrictor for a walk up the street. His daughter was visiting, and took her chestnut-colored Pomeranian along for the walk. Folks were hanging out on their stoops and on sidewalks, and the double-takes were priceless.

The boa was happy to be out, looking around, sensing the air with her tongue, reaching forward and up toward the light in what Logan calls ‘stargazing.’ For the yogis our there, you might say she was practicing ‘cobra pose.’ But as intriguing as her head movements were, I was just as impressed by her tale: all the while she was used it in an almost prehensile manner to hold herself steady. She’d curl it against Logan’s back, then sweep down and find his belt loop, and take ahold of that. She continuously sought steadiness with her tale while stretching out and up with her head and neck – just as in yoga we try to be as present in our feet as in our head, and as grounded as we are powerful.