Tuesday, May 08, 2007

thanks for the link, giuliano!

as i was hanging out at yoga class this evening in baddha utthita parsvakonasana, enduring the hilariously bad teacher with the voice like a tasmanian devil, i began to think "omigod, if she can't give decent yoga instruction, could she at least shut up for 30 seconds?" but no, alas, she couldn't.

her habit of raising her voice in pitch and talking faster and faster as the class goes on was beginning to make me quite tense. by savasana she sounds like a tasmanian devil on both speed and helium.

note to would-be yoga instructors: there's a reason so many great yoga teachers have cultivated soothing tones. think about it.

however, i took advantage of my slender knowledge of patanjali here. in one sutra he notes that yoga students can practice concentrating on whatever suits them individually.

naturally, i choose giuliano hazan's mind-blowing chocolate-ricotta pudding. a large bowl of which was sitting in my refrigerator at that moment.

yes, i counted my breath and concentrated on hazan's yummy wonder. whatever it takes.

my pay-off happened when i came home and attacked the budino with a large spoon! hooray!

but what was even better was the email i got from an attentive reader who noted that hazan had linked my blog on his press page. double hooray!

so thanks to you, giuliano. please keep the italian chocolate recipes coming.

finally, i also had a brief email exchange with the amazing stefanie syman, who's writing her incredible tome on yoga. it motivated me to catch up with lois, the historian at the nabe landmark plymouth church of the pilgrims.

i've often heard rumors that when emerson spoke there – which he did several times – he talked to the ladies about yoga topics, among other things. alas, lois noted that the church's archives are unscanned and sitting at the bklyn historical society.

so while she knows that emerson did visit the church, she has no firm knowledge of what exactly his talks may have covered. pity.

until someone has the time to root around in those archives we have no evidence as to what role, if any, emerson and/or that church's progressive congregation played in starting yoga in brooklyn during the 19th cent.

however we must note that emerson died before swami vivekananda gave his famous speech at the world parliament of religions in 1893, organized by unitarians, which of course emerson was.

and given that the vedanta society in nyc didn't open until 1894, anything emerson might have said would have had to come from his own readings and interest in yoga and not from swami vivekananda. emerson was deeply interested in yoga and indian philosophy; he even wrote a poem called "brahma."

he also apparently actually met the pandit ram mohan roy, an important indian philosopher and like emerson, a social reformer.

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posted by fortune | 7:58 PM | top | link to this | email this: | links to this post | | 1 comments

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