Rox Does Yoga

Yoga, Wellness, and Life

Reading: Yoga Journal September 2012 issue September 27, 2012

Filed under: yoga,yoga lifestyle — R. H. Ward @ 1:21 pm
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Now that my maternity leave is over and I’m trying to get back in the swing of my normal life, I’ve made a start on the stack of Yoga Journal issues I have saved up, in the interest of getting my yoga groove back and getting back in the spirit of teaching again at some point. The September 2012 issue of YJ has a nice photo of India.Arie on the cover – it’s always interesting to see what musicians are also yogis.

In this issue, I really enjoyed the basics article focusing on downward-facing dog. This core pose is such an integral part of almost all yoga traditions, but it seems like it’s rarely taught in detail. I’ll be tearing out this article to review more carefully later . I’ve done some reading on down dog in the past, but it’s such a crucial pose that I want to have as many tools for teaching it as possible!

I’m also tearing out the section on smoothies. F and I used to make a smoothie every morning; with the baby, we’ve gotten away from it a bit, and I’d like to get back to having some liquified fruit in my diet. This article had good tips for incorporating green ingredients like avocado and kale into our repertoire, which is exciting!

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Yoga Journal: May 2012 issue May 8, 2012

Filed under: reflections,yoga,yoga lifestyle — R. H. Ward @ 1:00 pm
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I’m still way behind on my YJ reading – have a stack of them from the fall and winter to go through – but I am at least trying to keep up with the current issues. The May 2012 YJ is the Creativity Issue.

The creativity article, “Express Your Self”, was interesting, but most of it wasn’t anything I hadn’t read in YJ before, I don’t think, although I did like the little profile of Ann Patchett, who I really admire (but in the photo she totally needs to be holding a cup of tea). My big take-away from the article was the bit on “creative mindfulness” (page 101), which cites Jeffrey Davis, an apparently well-known teacher of yoga and writing. This is an intersection I’m really interested in, and I’m looking forward to checking out his book The Journey from the Center to the Page. Along the same lines, the reviews section includes a review of Hidden Treasure by Gangaji, which encourages students to delve deeply into their own personal stories and narratives to better understand the core Self. Just based on the descriptions, it almost sounds like the two books would be complimentary: Davis using yoga as a muse and a tool to help center you when you sit down to write, and Gangaji using writing/storytelling to help you connect with your spirituality. I’m excited to check out both books and see what different things they’ll bring to my practices (of poetry and yoga, and of eventually teaching the two).

Elsewhere in the issue, one little blurb I found interesting described the idea of community-supported yoga, or CSY. Students buy a monthly “share” and in return are guaranteed a spot in a weekly class. The example given is of a teacher in Amherst, who has an 80-member CSY with shares of $30 ($6.00 – 7.50 per class). The idea is similar to buying a class card, but different too: a class card is a business transaction where you’re straight up plunking down money in exchange for classes, and if you don’t use the whole card, you feel like you’ve lost out. I think a CSY, much like a CSA for locally grown veggies, would feel more inspirational, and if I didn’t make it to class, I wouldn’t care as much because I’d feel like I was supporting something valuable in my community. And at that price, you can miss a class or two and not get upset, since a $15 drop-in rate is pretty standard for most yoga classes. I ripped out the article for future reference.

Another little blurb brought my attention to yogitunes.com, which has thousands of yoga-inspired tracks and playlists. Some playlists even benefit specific causes, such as Yoga Aid and Off the Mat, Into the World. Definitely something I want to check out at some point.

 

Reading Yoga Journal March 27, 2012

At the end of my teacher training (and beginning of my pregnancy), I started to get a little burned out on my yoga reading, so I have a pile of Yoga Journal back issues sitting around that I’ve been trying to work my way through. I recently read the December 2011 issue and was pleased to find some articles related to things I’ve been blogging about here lately, so I thought I’d share.

The first thing that really caught my attention was a short article about teaching yoga to Deaf students, since that’s a topic I’d never really thought about, but a Deaf person could walk into my yoga class anytime. There are some simple things a yoga teacher can do to make a class more accessible for a Deaf student, like making eye contact, demonstrating poses, and using touch to guide. These are easy things to do that wouldn’t disrupt my usual teaching rhythm at all but that I wouldn’t have thought of on my own, so I was grateful that this article broadened my awareness. Definitely tore that one out for future reference, and in the future I’d be really interested to learn more – the DeafYoga Foundation offers trainings and presentations on how to make simple adjustments that really help Deaf students, and I’d love to attend one.

There was an article on Chair Pose that I really appreciated, since Chair is one that I struggle with a bit (see the comments here and my write-up from last year here). They describe the alignment bit by bit – getting the top half of the body aligned correctly, then getting the lower half aligned, and then putting the two together for the full pose, which is an interesting bit of yoga dissection. I can see myself coming back to this article for reference later, since they give some good tips.

This issue of YJ also includes a moon salutation sequence as an alternate to sun salutations, which I found really interesting. I haven’t tried it yet, and it could end up being a little flowy for me, but it’s definitely something I want to try. I’ll keep you posted!

I was also really interested in the article on yoga and religion. Regular readers will recall that this is an issue I’ve done some serious thinking about here on the yoga blog. I really appreciated that YJ put together a panel to discuss this. After reading the article, I went back to the March 2012 issue that I’d read a few weeks earlier, and there were several letters from readers about this article, some of whom really liked it. One reader noted that the article might have had more depth if the panel had included some actual religious leaders (priests, nuns, rabbis), rather than just yogis, which was an interesting point. I was glad, though, that Brooke Boon, the founder of Holy Yoga, a Christian ministry group, was included on the panel. I’m really interested in the intersections of yoga with personal faith, and the article gave me some new perspectives and talking points. I wish YJ made its back issues available online.