Wednesday, December 01, 2004

at long last, namarupa!

like many people who subscribed to eddie stern's awesome and intellectual yoga magazine namarupa, i've been on tenterhooks awaiting the latest edition. and boy howdy was it a worthwhile wait!

billed as the "photography" issue, it's truly filled with breathtaking pix of india taken over decades. but the second i write this, i have to confess that every issue of namarupa has contained incredible photos.

really i'm surprised the magazine hasn't won awards for the photography -- the magazine is worth its price for the images alone. i sat on this cool, rainy morning with a sunny cup of gillies fresh, bright tanzanian highland peaberry (more on this later) just delighting in the art. . .

but this issue also contains an amazing set of interviews with tkv desikachar, bks iyengar, and p. jois. i was particularly thrilled by their answers to the question of who, what, and how -- or what makes a good yoga teacher.

the magazine would be worth its price for this discussion alone. but, as the t.v. sez, wait, there's more!

this issue also offers an interview with swami satchidananda of kerala. there are more tremendous articles of historical interest about two famed yoginis, sri anadaymayi ma and atmanananda (scroll down this page to atmanandaji), as well as swami laxmanjoo.

not to let its more scholarly ambitions lapse, there are also in-depth translations and analyses of part of the yoga sutras and the lesser-known gheranda samhita.

in short this issue appeals to all schools of yoga, to those with a cultural interest in india, to those with a philosophical, scholarly, or historical interest in indian thought, as well as to those who just like to look at great photos and read amusing travelogues.

the crowning jewel of this issue is the multimedia cd describing a tour of the indian holy city of varanasi. future issues of namarupa apparently are going to be more and more multimedia, which only makes sense to me, as publishing so many high-quality pix on dead trees and shipping them about has got to be absurdly expensive. . . .

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