Wednesday, July 30, 2008

The Celtics, Sheryl Crow, and Strong Pipes

Tuesday night, Boston Celtics president Rich Gotham let me hold the Larry O'Brien World Championship trophy at the Best of Boston party, an annual fete hosted by Boston magazine (my employer). In addition to debuting the top-selling issue of the year and throwing a memorable bash each July, the Best of Boston event also recognizes one local charity for its work in the community. This year, the Boston Celtics Shamrock Foundation was a natural choice, as the organization's off-court contributions to the city are just as praiseworthy as its championship play on the court.

While lifting the sparkling new hardware into the air- so I could say that I did- and to help Celtics brass nestle the trophy into its soft chamois cover to prepare for its transportation, I had one thought:

Damn, this thing is heavy!

Luckily, a little weight-lifting and a lot of low-push up ensured that the trophy remained safe while in my grasp- and reminded me of the importance of strong pipes, a theory further supported by Sheryl Crow's lithe and lean arms, strumming away at an array of guitars during her concert last night in Boston. While her look for the evening included a slammin' outfit that any om gal might covet, her most impressive fashion statement was a figure that not only seems to have conquered cancer but also reversed the effects of aging. Um, you go, sister!

So here are my picks for moves to chisel your arms, which in addition to being one of the season's hottest accessories (a la the former, almost Mrs. Lance Armstrong) also enable you to do cool stuff like lift trophies and babies and beach chairs. What's more, these upper body exercises can all be done at home, so you can spend less time in the gym and more time at the parties, concerts, and sweet summer events of your choosing.

Dolphin pose/Forearm stand.

A handy move with dumbbells that I learned in Pilates: Lie on the floor, face down, arms at your sides at 45-degree angles. Keep your forehead on the floor, legs are mat-width distance apart (assuming you do this on a yoga mat), feet turned out. Do a set simply lifting and lowering 2 lb. weights (or cans of soup in a pinch!); next, trace circles in the air, being sure to get both directions. Finally, lift your arms off the floor, then raise and lower them to shoulder height (think: airplane); try ten repetitions. Be sure to keep your tailbone tucked throughout to protect your lower back.

Stop breezing through low push-up: Time and again, I watch people short-change chaturanga, thereby diluting its myriad of benefits to the triceps, biceps, chest, and abdominals. Remember not to drop your shoulders lower than your elbows; maintain a 90-degree angle.

Start volunteering to hold the baby: Lift a friend's child or fallen spirits. Offer to carry someone else's burden for a while, or at least their groceries. The strength of our physical bodies is not separate from the strength of our spirits. It's that simple.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Your Daily Om Gal Fix: An Inquiry on Addiction

I’m not an expert on addiction. I’m not an addict. I’ve never been to rehab. I barely succeeded in giving up sugar for Lent this year. I have never suffered through the dark hours and days of being weaned off a substance on which I was physically and emotionally dependent. The hardest stuff I do is yerba mate.

However, like you, I know people who are addicts, and I recognize certain qualities in myself that without my own outlets for angst (like yoga, meditation, and Thai food with my best friend after a bad day or week) I might just as easily turn to a harmful, as opposed to healthful, means of decompression. More than a few times, I’ve wondered what I might do without my chosen practices of stress relief. Where would the anger go, if not out my pores along with the sweat of a long-distance run? What would relieve the tightness that clamps down on my lungs during periods of grief without pranayama? How would I process my hurts or ponder my missteps without the clarity of a stretch of road or the swath of a yoga mat?

I count luck and a healthy amount of fear as key factors in my ability to avoid self-medicating with drugs and alcohol. I am no better than the millions of people who detour into these behaviors to ease their own pain, and I believe, to a degree, that we’re all dancing with addictions of some kind. From gossip, to dieting, to certain relationships, we all know the seductive pull of something that starts out harmless enough but, when left unchecked, can leave a friendship in shambles, endanger our health, or mushroom into the drama that accompanies toxic relationships. Perhaps that’s why society currently finds itself in a love affair with the concept of rehab. It’s a familiar and sensationalized version of our own struggles all at once.

From TV shows like Intervention and Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew to the safari-like fascination with which we keep tabs on the Lindsays and Britneys of the world, to the flummoxing inclusion of Amy Winehouse singing her hit “Rehab” at Nelson Mandela’s recent 90th birthday celebration, we certainly seem to have an unprecedented curiosity in the addictions of others and how they are addressed, or not- or in Britney’s case, um, undressed. In these people, we see Fun House reflections of ourselves; we wonder how we might handle the same situations if we were them, or their families, or their friends.

As you know, The World According to Om Gal likes to stay atop of what’s going on in the world, hence the title of the blog, (and, for the record, I love both Intervention and Celebrity Rehab), so I hoped I might weigh in on this timely topic, in a manner that’s useful to all of us. To that end, I sought the experience of a friend and former yoga student, who is a “grateful recovering alcoholic and addict” to provide some first-hand insight on addiction (and because he offered). I’ve left our conversation unedited. I hope you find it as honest and hopeful as I do. Thank you, Luke.

O.G.: How long were you an addict?
Luke O.: I was an addict my entire life. That may seem a little odd, how can someone be an addict at age 5? I always felt “different,” even before I picked up a drink or a drug and possessed the characteristics of an addict before I actually used drugs or alcohol. I abused drugs and alcohol for 20 years.

How long have you been sober?
I have been sober for a little bit over 4 years.

Describe addiction in three words.
Fearfulness. Isolation. Selfishness.

Briefly, describe how the addiction started.
Piggy-backing on question 1, I believe I was an addict from birth. I was “troubled,” and both [my] parents were affected by addiction issues. At age 12 I found a solution to my internal pain. I started drinking to get drunk on a regular basis.

When did you know it was time to quit?
I knew I was an alcoholic at age 16; I didn’t drink or behave like others when I drank and knew my relationship to alcohol was unhealthy.

What was the first thing you did after realizing you needed to get sober?
Because there was a long time before I actually took some action in quitting (15 years), I had to wait until the pain got bad enough; I went to an AA meeting.

Was there any one piece of wisdom or element of treatment that helped you stay the course when the recovery process was daunting?
Absolutely- I never had to do it alone. The disease is a disease of isolation and affects the thought process and the emotions. I got to hear other alcoholics talk about their struggles, and they were the same as mine. [It] felt good to be around others who could help me by sharing their experience, strength, and hope.

What's the hardest part about recovery?
Understanding that this is a process that happens slowly, over time, but it must be taken just one day at a time. That “one day at a time” concept is not natural for addicts or human beings for that matter. This is a tough question to answer because it has changed over the course of my recovery. At the beginning, it was to just not physically take a drink or drug, then it was to understand that my way of being in the world was backwards, and I had to learn a whole new way of living sober. Now, it’s a lot of trusting in the universe . . . that I am being taken care of and the less I meddle in the outcome, the better off I am.

What's the best part of being sober?
I get to know who the Authentic Luke [is]; it’s been such a great experience to get to know myself. I get to be the person God intended me to be, sober, loving, authentic. Being present in moments that need my presence. I get to be a sober father to an amazing 3 year-old who teaches me that being curious about the unknown is healthier than fearing it. I get to help others along the way in my journey.

What else do people need to know about addiction & recovery?
This disease does not care who you are, how much money you have, or [what your] your social status [is]. This is not a moral issue. If you think you may have a problem with addiction then seek help. It’s counter intuitive for addicts to ask for help because we feel shame and think we can just “do it” on our own. While I think there are people who have accomplished this, there is no need to suffer that way.

Describe sobriety in three words.
Acceptance. Peace. Authentic.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Destination: Happiness

"For a long time it seemed to me that life was about to begin- real life. But there was always some obstacle in the way, something to be gotten through first, some unfinished business, time still to be served, a debt to be paid. At last, it dawned on me that these obstacles were my life. This perspective has helped me to see that there is no way to happiness. Happiness is the way. So treasure every moment you have, and remember that time waits for no one. Happiness is a journey, not a destination."


Monday, July 21, 2008

More Yoga, Less Poser

Your yoga practice consists of asanas, commonly referred to as poses, but the last thing any of us want to be is a poser, someone more concerned with appearances than substance. We all know a lack of authenticity and consciousness when we see it, and, unfortunately, the yoga world isn't much of an exception. So, here's a quick little ditty that I whipped up late last night while smoking a pack of butts and tossing back a bottle of Jack Daniels [Ha, gotcha!]; it outlines a few oft-observed yoga indiscretions that you, too, have probably witnessed along your travels. Ideally, this cursory list is meant to entertain and enhance mindfulness, ensuring that you're not just going through the motions in yoga class, or life.

Remember, the word yoga is a verb, which translates to mean "to yoke" or "to join," suggesting that through this practice, we become more unified with ourselves and our place in the world. Put simply, we become the best, most authentic versions of who we are, inside and out.

Om Gal's Top 10 Ways To Avoid Being a Yoga Poser:

1.) For the love of all that is holy, turn off your cell phone, Blackberry, iPhone, or other modern-day, technological device, capable of ringing, beeping, vibrating, flashing, playing a ringtone by the Pussycat Dolls, or shouting the phrase, "I gotta have more cow bell!" when you're in class. Why? Because if you had Zen on speed dial, you wouldn't need yoga- or this blog, for that matter.

2.) Leave your romantic agenda at home. It's yoga class, not Happy Hour. Now, if you happen to meet a like-minded yogi in class, and the two of you decide that you want to practice your chaturanga together, then go for it. However, cruising yoga studios for a date is Creepsville, not to mention terribly misguided.

3.) Abstain from bodysnarking. It might be witty and welcome in celebrity mags, gossip blogs, and around the water cooler, but you and your body don't feel more aligned when you dissect the appearance of someone else. I often remind my students that they should not even know what the person next to them in class is wearing. Focus on yourself; that's why you're in yoga class, remember?

4.) "Zip the lip, Chatty Cathy." Attending yoga class with a pal is wonderful, but if you want to have coffee talk, go for coffee. Gabbing in class is disrespectful and distracting. Period.

5.) Inhale. Exhale. Preferably not nicotine. I don't want to vilify smokers, here, but, at a certain point, it is inconsistent to be a yogi and pollute your body by welcoming carcinogens into it willingly and the bodies of others via secondhand smoke.

6.) Work out less; work in more. The tight tush and flat abs are nice, but they're merely sweet side effects of a more spiritually fulfilling practice.

7.) BYOWB: Bring Your Own Water Bottle. It's the least we can do for Mother Nature. Feel free to reprimand me for forgetting my own.

8.) Part with Thy Possessions. Clutter stagnates the energy in class. Leave your bags, backpacks, and briefcases in the lobby or locked in a locker or the car.

9.) Support and inspire the people around you with your prana, commitment, attitude, and intention.

10.) Doing yoga does not make you a nice person (we can all attest that there are plenty of jerks who do yoga). Make an effort to incorporate your yoga into your life, off the mat, every day. Meditate while waiting in line at the store. Stretch your ability to be courteous in a traffic jam. Set your drishti on a goal to benefit the greater good. Exercise your mind and body through volunteerism (i.e. karma yoga). Burn the gossip pages of your brain. Push the limits by forgiving those who harm you.

Have a tip of your own on how to be a more considerate and genuine yogi? Please share your thoughts, here.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

New on Om Gal!

You’ve probably noticed that I’ve recently added a new “label” or category to the blog, Rebecca’s Reviews, which serves to provide a trained perspective of yoga classes in the Boston area (although other areas will be covered in the future). The purpose is to highlight talented teachers or innovative classes or both. While I realize that the implication of reviews is that they’re outlets for both positive and negative criticism, you won’t see anyone getting panned on Om Gal. You just won’t hear about them—period. I have plenty of criticism and disdain for mediocre, uninspired, or technically unsound yoga- and don’t even get me started on faux accents or hackneyed New Age lingo with nonexistent authenticity- however, I don’t have an interest in sharing it here. The bottom line is this: Reviews will only be given to competent-to-highly talented teachers who teach noteworthy classes that should be on your radar. This blog is meant to be “a yoga and wellness resource with soul, style, and smarts.” In short, it’s purpose is to serve up information and inspiration about topics that are important to you and protect you and your path to wellness from getting stale, uninspired, or inconsistent with the rest of your life.

Perhaps some of you are wondering what qualifies me to provide an analysis of someone else’s teaching. Here’s a snapshot on my teaching, yoga, and yoga teaching experience. For those of you who are not former students, this might be a helpful.

Teaching I’ve been teaching and/or tutoring a smattering of subjects and activities most of my life. Got kids who are terrified of the water? I’d wage my entire collection of Lululemon gear that I can turn them into polliwogs in a matter of hours (I was a lifeguard on the Cape and taught swimming lessons to oodles of kids ranging in age from 3 to thirteen). I also taught high school English for a nonprofit program for at-risk youth. By day, I regularly broke up fights and devised highly elaborate schemes to make Shakespeare cool. By night, I taught yoga.

Yoga I’ve been practicing yoga for thirteen years. Hatha, ashtanga, and power yoga formed the foundation of my practice. I’ve also studied yoga as an academic pursuit, including a visit to India, the birthplace of yoga, and collegiate courses in Eastern religions and examining sacred texts affiliated with the practice of yoga.

Yoga Teaching I began teaching yoga in college; I was 20 years old; yoga was not very popular yet. After graduation, I moonlighted as a yoga teacher- in no small part due to the fact that it was the only way this broke 22 year-old could afford a gym membership! Later, I fell under the tutelage of a “celebrity” yoga teacher. I taught at a highly visible studio for more than four years. This tenure included teaching six days a week, assisting on Teacher Training Bootcamps, evaluating and advising new teachers, creating and conducting master workshops, teaching private clients, and counting among my students professional athletes, movie stars, and all the other classifications of people that somehow qualify a teacher as being established, seasoned, or high profile- no matter how misguided that categorization may be.

If nothing else, I want to impress upon the growing readership of this blog that I (and, by extension, the reviews written, here) value authenticity and intention over most qualities in yoga teachers (and people, in general). As a rule, I think it’s important to support and celebrate these qualities and the people who embody them. Hence, this site will serve as a place to applaud the talents of good teachers and the effectiveness of the styles of yoga that they teach, when appropriate.

Other new features on The World According to Om Gal. . .

Subscribe: Just click the button on the left and get the latest posts delivered directly to your inbox. Consider it a regularly scheduled delivery of Zen!

Collaboration: As mentioned last week, I am excited to announce my role as a featured contributor on a new website founded by Deepak and daughter Mallika Chopra. Check it out for yourself. The fully developed site launches later this summer.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Props to My Om People!

Thank you so much to the cadre of insightful commenters who posted their thoughts this week. Your honesty, levity, and- you bet- snarkiness are both refreshing and informative. How else, for example, could I learn that some, among you, have a serious affinity for Flavor of Love? I was also pleased to see my college pal, NYC gal, take the opportunity to toss out a playful jab. Above all, you've illustrated that the "inmates running the asylum," isn't such a bad thing. Bravo!

Overwhelmingly, your comments gave me the sense that you are, indeed, overwhelmed- which is why I'm making it my mission to help cultivate more balance in your lives, if only for the few moments a day (ahem, everyday) when you check in with The World According to Om Gal.

While we're on the topic of balance, I wanted to give you the inside scoop that I'm slated to begin contributing to a new website launched by Deepak Chopra, his daughter, Mallika, and others very soon. I'll be a regular "voice" on the topic of Balance- in life, not necessarily on one foot. More details to come . . .

In the meantime, keep reading and commenting- and even blaming me for your chocolate chip cookie binges.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Retraction: I Screwed Up My Transcendentalists

For those of you who are even dorkier than me (and I mean that as a sincere compliment since I dig dorks), I erroneously attributed a beautiful quote to Henry David Thoreau that was actually written by Ralph Waldo Emerson [photo, right] a while back. I know- heresy! Carelessness! So, in the interest of accuracy, here's the amended post.

In the interest of entertainment, on the other hand, a running [and writer] pal of mine crafted his own witty remarks recently, when I couldn't accompany him on a jog. The following day, I jovially inquired, "How was your run?" This was his curt response via email:

"I'm a fat slug. I got a pizza instead. I blame you."

I told you he was witty . . . I share this with you because I find it thoroughly entertaining and thought you might too. For all the helpful wellness insight I try to provide people, I apparently also (unwittingly) influence them to skip healthful activities and opt for junk food instead. Feel free to blame your own health-related shortcomings on Om Gal as well;-) It's the least I can do.

All kidding aside, if you have a wellness gripe to share, post a comment, here! What impedes your workout, yoga practice, or nutrition plan (real, imagined, or hyperbole)? Who knows- perhaps the process of writing it down will help you turn the corner and adjust the behavior.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Om Gal Has a Ball!

Review: Buddha Camp with Emily Phillips at Equinox, Back Bay

As a kid, I always envied my peers who set off for summer camp in exotic locations outfitted with wood cabins, lakeside activities, and co-ed dances (like, with boys there!). Of course, I had zero weight with which to plead my case to my parents, who, with justifiable reason, thought it was downright ludicrous for a child from a seaside town to venture into the mountains to learn macramé when there were plenty of activities to engage in and boys to torment right at home. So, I stayed on the Cape, happily refining my freestyle stroke, backward dive, and ability to take fireflies hostage in a glass jar. Still, every once in a while, I would feel the familiar tug of experiencing the mystique and merriment of summer camp.

Fast-forward a couple decades and I’m still drawn to activities claiming to be camps of some persuasion, such as yoga bootcamps and a brief foray into the world of “bikini bootcamp” (not quite my cup of tea- too many squats for someone with preternaturally muscular legs- I was destined to look more like a power lifter than a beach babe). The most recent example of my affinity for all things promising the camaraderie of camp, if only through semantics and the genius if marketing, was “Buddha Camp” at Equinox. Immediately I visualized myself delving into a program of undetermined length wherein I would hone my meditation prowess, enhance my knowledge of sacred Buddhist texts, develop an unmistakable glow of inner peace, and nosh on tofu prepared in ways that made me forget my longstanding love of sushi, oysters, and omelets. Said Buddha Camp would require me to leave my urban life behind with all its material trivialities and high-end hair products, in order to venture inward, surrounded by a landscape of unparalleled natural beauty, staffed by a team of earnest monks and experts- and, of course, a kickass chef whose repertoire would include steel cut oats [I’d make them myself, but they take waaaay too long for a city slicker in the morning], lentil loaf [I love it but have botched it too many times to count], and banana ice cream [because it’s a divine and healthful dessert that can steal the thunder from even its most authentic, fat-laden counterparts].

I wasn’t sure that a group fitness class at a swish health club in Boston could meet my lofty expectations. I mean, they have a smoothie bar, but the lentil loaf was probably pushing it, right?


Buddha Camp was nothing like what I imagined (or, truthfully, what the title suggests), but let’s face it, what I imagined was also a New Age illusion. Nevertheless, this class provided a notably fulfilling experience. Taught by laugh-out-load funny Emily Phillips, this class is less Buddha and more fireside fun with the kookiest counselor at Camp Walla-Walla Wahoo. Still, Phillips is not without polished technique and seasoned command of an audience, no matter the size (the class I attended contained a modest handful of students but never felt lacking in energy or enthusiasm). The movements were somewhat yoga inspired but heavily favored the use of a Swiss ball (a la Pilates)- hence the title of this post.

Why you’ll love it: It’s a break from “serious” yoga without sacrificing level of difficulty in the movements or competence of the teacher. I liked it so much that I went out and bought Ellie Herman’s Pilates Workbook on the Ball to maximize my own Swiss ball at home, on which I often sit while writing The World According to Om Gal.

Why you may not: You are a curmudgeon. Or, you don’t like quiver-inducing abdominal work. You wince when yoga errs too far in the direction of fitness (however, one could argue that this class never flat-out presumes to be a yoga class). You dislike music during anything that resembles yoga- or, at least, music with a quotient of hipness that surpasses Enya.

The verdict: Do your gut a favor; laugh it up and work it out at Buddha Camp.*

* Macramé (and lentil loaf) not included.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Matters of the Heart

Reader Query:
You've talked in the past about relationships; perhaps I could entice you to explore this vein a bit more at some point. What does Buddhism have to say about the belief that someone is your soul mate? And how much do you sacrifice when you think that you've found that person? I know it's really a judgment call, but I wonder how much patience is warranted for someone who, as you've put it before, remains guarded and fears a relationship more than they recognize the joy that it could bring. I know she's struggling with this within herself, I just don't know how to reach her. I'm venting here, sorry. My dearest friends have all told me to move on, and yet, I stay, too much of a romantic or maybe just too stubborn. Anyway I'm thankful for any insights you may have.

Dear "Om Pal,"

It's clear that this dilemma weighs heavily on your heart, and with good reason. It can be very painful to love someone who can't love you back the right way. Many of us have been there. Speaking for myself, I've been on both sides- the one guarding and the one being guarded against. And, to be candid, I don't know which is worse. In fact, I can't pretend to know any of the answers because when is love formulaic? When do we ever really have the answers?

I only know the extent of my own foundering experience and what helps me keep my mind sane and heart steady when the storybook ending seems to be written in another language . . . on another planet . . . with an Etch-a-Sketch.

From what you say, you are stuck between a proverbial rock and a hard place. Option 1 is to walk away from someone you love deeply, and Option 2 is to stay in a relationship that is causing you both pain, on some level. You can seek the counsel of all your friends, engage a psychic, attend countless yoga classes, see a therapist, read innumerable books, and meditate every day for an entire year (I've done all of these in times of heartache), yet the answer does not come from outside yourself. Call it hokey. Call it cryptic. But, you will- I promise- someday decide what makes sense in your own heart and what, honestly, honors the love that you have for your partner. Ultimately, love should bring out the best in us, and our best is not guarded or pained or desperate or sad.

That's not to say that we don't feel these emotions at any given point in a relationship that might otherwise be healthy and supportive; however, one needs to right the ship sooner than later. If these feelings are the norm, we miss so much beauty, life, and adventure around us. Sacrificing your self to stay in a relationship isn't an effective way to live. As for the Buddha, I can't speak on his behalf, but I'll share some of his simplest, most reassuring advice, "Be a light unto yourself."

Perhaps you can stay in this relationship and weather the storm, all the while stoking your own inner light- maintaining a hurricane lamp, if you will. Perhaps you will move on and explore a different path within your heart. Neither is right. Neither is wrong. Love is not formulaic. It is, however, the reason we're here. Be gentle with yourself. Be truthful with your partner. Write your own storybook ending.

Other posts relating to love:
Zen and the Art of Relationships

How to Heal a Broken Heart

Monday, July 7, 2008

Review: Budokon

My experience with martial arts is limited, consisting of a year's worth of karate lessons when I was five years-old, wherein, during sparring exercises, the instructors would claim that they'd stolen my Cabbage Patch doll to get a rise out of me. It worked to a degree- hey, I only had one of those bizarre-looking cretin things, so I needed to be protective- but I wasn't in it for the long haul. I was the only girl in class; it would have been a very, loooong, isolated haul.

My experience with yoga, on the other hand, pre-dates my time as a licensed driver. For nearly half my lifetime, I've accessed places of power and peace within myself through the practice of yoga. My time as a yogi pre-dates actual yoga studios too (we practiced in church basements and recreation halls), chic yoga clothes (yes, Virginia, there was yoga before Lululemon), and, most certainly, Budokon. In relative terms, Budokon's place in the yoga pantheon is that of a zygote. Yet, the novelty of this hybrid discipline of yoga and martial arts should not be grounds for dismissal- particularly since it's pretty damn fun.

Why you'll love it: Especially for hard core yogis, Budokon is a welcome breathe of fresh air. It's fun, creative, challenging, and innovative. Confession? I don't do a whole lot of meditating while I'm in Budokon class [with Marc McDonald in Boston]; however, I am wholly convinced that I'm a mere fling with John Mayer and casting call away from being a stunt woman in the next Charlie's Angels movie. After a workshop with founder Cameron Shayne and a handful of classes with McDonald, I'm still unsure of Budokon's validity as a practice of self-defense . . . Would you ever fight someone from downward dog pose when the situation did not warrant it? And, what situation warrants it? But, I digress. I want to be positive, here- which is the point of my reviews, you'll come to notice. (Friends, if I'm not digging a yoga class, I'm not staying up until 1 AM blogging about it; trust me). Overall, Budokon is a blast. I wouldn't wholly substitute it for a more well-rounded, traditional yoga class, but, in my opinion, it' a great supplement and/or change of pace.

Why you might not: Yoga purists might not be able to extract enough yoga out of the practice, and I imagine legitimate martial artists could feel miffed by having all kinds of yogis around botching their mojo with goofy breathing techniques and an affinity for asanas over opening a can of whoop a**. Fortunately, the emphasis seems to be on the similarities within the two disciplines, and there are many. For starters, yoga and martial arts are both ancient practices created to sharpen mental and physical agility. Plus, admit it; it's your only hope of reenacting your fantasy of dominating in a street fight in a back alley of Bangkok.

The verdict: It's time to get your sensei on.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

The Power of Positive Thinking

"If you think about disaster, you will get it. Brood about death and you hasten your demise. Think positively and masterfully, with confidence and faith, and life becomes more secure, more fraught with action, rich in achievement and experience."

-Swami Sivananda