OK, I admit, I have been captivated by the media blitz around Michael Jackson. Our TV has been tuned to countless MJ videos and news commentaries. Sure, he was a big part of my music and dance history, which accounts for some of the fascination, but it still leaves me wondering …
There are an infinite number of exercises we can do with the breath, but the fundamental one that we yogis all come back to time and time again is to lie down in savasana (relaxation or corpse pose) and observe the breath with as little manipulation as possible. In this video from our online yoga club, Colleen and I walk you through three versions of savasana, with do’s and don’ts plus tips on using a simple prop and adjustments to help completely relax your body and mind.
Cobbler's pose benefits and how-to from The Practical Power of Yoga
I’ve been wondering for years when the time would be right for this collaboration to take place. In times of crises, yoga has a great deal to offer, so this PBS program, The Practical Power of Yoga with Colleen Saidman and myself, is timely. It’s airing right now across the country on many PBS stations.
From the ages 46 to 51, there have been some apocalyptic changes in my body. My hair is graying and receding; my arm is not quite long enough to read fine print; and my pants are not as loose… Yoga is definitely helping slow this inevitable aging process and I’m happy to say that it is a practice that will be taking me (and Colleen) all the way to the last breath.
When I went to Pune, India, I had seven years of arduous practice under my belt. It was 1987 and I was on my way to study yoga with the master himself B.K.S. Iyengar. I thought I was ready, but I was secretly worried about two basic postures: Reclined Hero’s Pose and Shoulderstand. Maybe I could hide in the corner or go to the bathroom when these poses were addressed. Fat chance! Geeta, Iyengar’s daughter, had me demonstrating Reclined Hero’s Pose on the first day. And B.K.S. Iyengar looked at me with massive disapproval during Shoulderstand. To my delight he manually adjusted my pose making it light and aligned.
Colleen (my teaching partner and wife) and I have always been shy about promoting ourselves. I know it may be hard to believe, but it’s true. At yoga retreats we never put out flyers, DVDs, audio programs or books. But for the first time we are compelled to announce loud and clear the launch of the Gaiam Yoga Club. This online yoga program, delivered via the Internet, has us so excited that we feel we must do it justice and promote it!
Our son is turning 18 this summer, which qualifies him to vote in the upcoming presidential election. When I turned 18, the draft had just been disbanded. I’ve heard my oldest brother talk about his brush with the draft, his near induction. Even though my dad was a military man, we five kids were all vehemently opposed to serving in the military. Like my wife Colleen’s mom and dad, Colleen and I would be the first to pack our bags to emigrate if any of our children were drafted. The thought of sending an 18- to 25-year-young person to war is completely incomprehensible to us.
The 10th anniversary of The Vagina Monologues was celebrated in New Orleans at the Superdome on April 11 and 12, 2008. Poets, politicians, movie stars, celebrities, and social luminaries were on a monolithic stage giving speeches, having dialogues, and performing in honor of the courageous, vivacious women of Louisiana.
“He who binds the breath, binds the mind.”
Svatmarama, Hatha Yoga Pradipika
We spend years in pranayama, the art of breath control, trying to free up the breath. It is slippery business. So many times we end up with a manipulated breath from concepts given to us by teachers, books, videos, and countless other influences. This manipulated breath often just covers up our habitual breath, which is a deeply ingrained breath pattern that has been imprinted off our ancestors.
Back in the day when I was a ballet dancer, I was using yoga as a way to balance my body and my emotional states of being. Yoga was extraordinary in balancing my dance body and advancing my abilities in dance. Injury prevention, improving coordination, balancing right and left sides, breath awareness and integration, greater relaxation in all situations, and mindfulness, were some of the main benefits that yoga gave to my dance career.