Thursday, January 26, 2012

Mindfulness: The New "Multi-tasking?"

Just got an automated update from LinkedIn (and for those who are unfamiliar, that's the Facebook for the professional networking set). It suggested that I add new skills to keep up with my peers. It suggested several, which it no doubt got from my the decade of work experience I logged whilst shackled to a desk. Among them: "Advertising," "Writing," blah, blah, blah, and "Mindfulness."

Wait. Wha...?

Since when has the corporate world valued mindfulness as a skillset? I used to get praised and promoted for being a Grade A Multi-tasker. In fact, I even featured it prominently as one of my top most valuable skills on my resume.

When I left the corporate world for the yoga world, my office mates were mostly puzzled ("Did she say yogurt?") derisive ("Dude, you gonna go twist yourself into a pretzel or something? heh heh heh") or a slight variation of condescending, ("Well that sounds...relaxing.") (Me: "Um, actually, it's relaxing to DO yoga. It's a JOB to TEACH yoga. But thanks.")

But now LinkedIn's listing MINDFULNESS as a key skillset?! Interesting. Wonder what the coporate peeps would have to say about that? Maybe I'll start seeing them in my classes... :)

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

OK Fine--Let it Snow

Unlike the majority of (the apparently insane) Bostonians, I dread the cold. I loathe the cold. I don't ski, ice skate, snowboard, or make any other attempt to be a little less miserable in winter. I do what the sensible plants and animals do: hibernate and wait for spring.

However, as I was out celebrating my friend D's birthday last night, it started flurrying. By the time we left the restaurant (when they were closing and kicking out out politely hoping we'd leave), it was a white cascade...a beautiful first snow in Boston. And since I was wearing the equivalent of a giant sleeping bag (a wonderful puffy coat I got on sale), I was able to enjoy the winter weather. Or maybe it was the red wine keeping me warm from the inside-out. Whatever it was, it worked.

Ran home, bundled up the puppy, and went for a moonlit/streetlit midnight walk. The city was so still and silent around us. Nobody else was out. It was just perfect.

And Pelu, who apparently didn't remember snow from last year, was so freaking cute...had no idea what to make of the white stuff and was alternately galloping around in it, dragging her nose along in it, or prancing like a Lippizaner trying to get it off her tiny feet.

Love nights like that!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Can Yoga Really Wreck Your Body? HECK YEAH!!

The New York Times just ran a bold headline: How Yoga Can Wreck Your Body.

The accusatory, innately negative tone no doubt spurred outrage, defensive denials, and offers to meditate on their un-yogic vibe through the yoga community.

But this IY is here to say that I agree with this article 100%. Yoga can absolutely injure, damage, and wreck your body. I've been practicing for twelve years and teaching for four. I am an anatomy geek. I'm knowledgeable and informed. And I STILL have gotten injured when taking other teachers' classes.

I could not agree more with what this article represents. In fact, I've reached some of the same conclusions on my own. When I was in India this summer, I was amazed to see the general public squatting and sitting cross-legged on the ground. Contrast that to our chair-loving western culture and it comes as no huge shock that a system designed in India for Indian bodies could...gasp...not work so well for chair-loving westerners. 

I could not agree more that inversions are far too dangerous for most practitioners and that the alleged benefits aren't worth it in comparison. Which is why I don't teach them.

I know not everyone agrees with me--and that's fine (sort of). So let's talk about it! What do YOU think?