Friday, November 04, 2005


i see you!

yuppers, i'm back at work, able to read, and do a little typing! i'm so grateful for all your kind messages.

my new glasses with my wacky prescription should arrive at the end of next week, and the world should then stop looking like the funhouse mirror ride.

i'll even be back standing on my head full-time by the middle of december. hooray!

speaking of yoga, before i went into surgery, they took all my vital signs and such. the nurses and doctors kept asking me if i ran the marathon.

"no way!" i said, "why do you keep asking?" the reason they kept asking was that my resting heart rate clocked in at a cool 48, a figure they associated with long-distance runners and lance armstrong.

and my blood pressure was 99/68. . . .i will confess that before surgery i did do 100 4-count ujjayi breaths to calm myself down before the general anesthesia. . .

oh yeah, yoga works. i don't run, i don't spin, i don't step, i avoid gyms like the plague.

i walk from one subway stop to another and the only "excerise" i do is plain vinyasa yoga 5 days a week. long-time readers know i don't even do ashtanga, but spend a lot of time with viniyoga.

thus i remain confused by all the "studies" in the press that tell us over and over again that yoga doesn't "burn fat" or "help with cardio." ok, so how come all the dedicated yogis and yoginis i know lose some weight and have these fabulous cardio numbers?

the reason is that yoga does work over time. you have to put in your 5 or 6 days a week for a couple of years, and then don't stop.

being a long-term lifestyle process, yoga isn't going to show tremendous results in the little 8- or 12-week trials they base these studies on. i bet if i were to measure my so-called vo2 max, it would also show good results for a supposedly "sedentary" person. . .

clearly we need the national institutes of health or some other serious body to do a 2- or 5-year yoga lifestyle survey!

in other yoga news, now that i can see, i can't wait to read the new issue of namarupa that came out recently. as always, it looks fabulous.

this is the one yoga magazine for the person with a serious practice. i can't recommend it enough.

i also received a hilarious copy of an article from one of my favorite yoga teachers of all time, the beautiful and smart-as-a-whip nancy la nasa, who teaches jivamukti yoga in nyc and florida. this article concerned my occasional commentary on why i'm mystified that so many christians are bizarrely hostile to yoga.

she alerted me to praise moves, which teaches postures that sure sound like common asanas to me, albeit giving them chic kabbalistic names based on the hebrew alphabet, while condemning yoga as "the missionary arm of hinduism and the new age movement." if my eye weren't wonky, it'd be rolling in laughter: someone needs to have a discussion with this otherwise sweet lady about the concept of metaphor and the role of bhakti in patanjali.

i'd hate to tell her this, but she's another devotee in the great realm of bhaktas; jesus is her ishta devata; and so she's teaching what seems like a classic yoga class to me. some start class with a chant to shiva or ganesha; some to jesus or the buddha.

there's really no difference in the yoga process no matter what she wants to argue. . .grace is present in the new testament and also in yoga, if that's what you're looking for.

but hey, whatever works for them. every one has to do their own yoga, no matter with what marketing moniker they choose to dress it. . .it's a shame however that she is reluctant to take advantage of this opportunity for interfaith, ecumenical dialogue with her fellow bhaktis.

posted by fortune | 7:33 AM | top | link to this | email this: | links to this post | | 4 comments

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