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Archive for the 'Yoga International' Category

The Path to the Yoga Sutras

The Path to the Yoga Sutras: A Practical Guide to the Core of Yoga by Nicolai Bachman

Many serious yoga practitioners pore over Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras, and any reputable yoga teacher training will require this foundational text for its students. But just as many people find the mysterious aphorisms, Sanskrit, and multitude of commentaries intimidating. Nicolai Bachman, a Santa Fe-based Sanskritist and yoga teacher, has compiled The Path of the Yoga Sutras to address this issue.

Rather than going through the sutras verse by verse as most commentaries do, Bachman spotlights the text’s core concepts (51 by his count), following a similar structure to the Yoga Sutras home study course he released last year. Continue reading ‘The Path to the Yoga Sutras’

Yoga Is

Yoga Is: A Film About the Transformational Power of Yoga written and directed by Suzanne Bryant

Yoga Is is Suzanne Bryant’s paean to yoga, an homage to the practice that held her together while her mother was dying of breast cancer. In gratitude, the former journalist explores yoga’s mysterious power—to engender love, happiness, and transformation—through interviews with such yoga world celebrities as Sharon Gannon and David Life, Alan Finger, Baron Baptiste, Seane Corn, Gurmukh Kaur Khalsa, and Shiva Rea. She also travels to India (though we see her there mostly with American teachers). Skillfully produced, the film charts similar territory to Kate Churchill’s thornier 2008 film Enlighten Up! but with a much less critical eye. Still, this is a good documentary for newcomers unfamiliar with yoga’s higher purpose, showing without a doubt that yoga is more than a sweaty workout.

published in Yoga International, Fall 2011 issue

Yoga Woman

Yoga Woman: Never Underestimate the Power of Inner Peace a film written, produced and directed by Kate and Saraswati Clere

“Women have made yoga an international phenomenon and a multi-billion dollar industry,” observes Yoga Woman, a documentary from sisters Kate and Saraswati Clere. While yoga benefits both genders, Western women now dominate the practice, and they’re bringing issues such as body image, fertility, and family/work balance to the forefront. The film attempts to spotlight women of every age, race, situation, and nationality (though it remains U.S.-centered), and includes moving footage of pioneer teachers Patricia Walden and Angela Farmer, Seane Corn’s crew of yoginis building a birthing center in Uganda, and Indra Devi, “First Lady of Yoga,” who pestered paterfamilias T. Krishnamacharya until he accepted her as his student. In the end, Yoga Woman is a testimony to yoga’s transcendent power to calm, heal, challenge, and transform both individuals and societies.

published in Yoga International, Fall 2011 issue

Fierce Medicine

Fierce Medicine: Breakthrough Practices to Heal the Body and Ignite the Spirit, by Ana T. Forrest.

This generous and straight-talking book showcases Ana Forrest’s intelligence and creativity as a healer, while dipping into memoir to detail the extreme abuse she suffered as a child. Born crippled, Forrest (the creator of Forrest Yoga) was imprisoned, drugged, starved, and raped from the age of two, and started drinking alcohol at four. At six, she began working in a nearby stable to escape her sadistic family, and, at 17, while working as a horse trainer, she attempted suicide by jumping off a cliff. As remarkable as her recovery from these soul-crushing experiences is her perspective—rebellious, inquisitive, and clear-eyed.
Continue reading ‘Fierce Medicine’

War & Peace of Mind

The U.S. Military Embraces Holistic Healing

The U.S. Military’s ideas of fitness are changing, and in some surprising ways. In December 2009, the Department of Defense brought together over 70 experts to explore the possibility of a holistic approach to health that includes physical, psychological, and spiritual health. The results, published in the August 2010 edition of Military Medicine, outlined the radical new concept of “Total Force Fitness”—eight interconnected concepts for health, half of which focus on mind-body, spirit, community, and psychological wellness.

Ideas about holistic health are more often heard in yoga studios than in war rooms. But with thousands of service members coming home with symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), brain injuries, chronic pain, and sleep disorders—and many thousands more expected as wards in Iraq and Afghanistan wind down—the military is looking for a broader range of effective long-term treatments. Continue reading ‘War & Peace of Mind’

Field Notes

Developing Educational Standards for Yoga Therapists

What is a yoga therapist versus a yoga teacher? Is yoga therapy clinical or relational or both? Should training standards start low (200 hours) to be more accessible, or start high (1,000 hours) so that they are rigorous and safe?

These are some of the hard questions that the International Association of Yoga Therapists (IAYT) has been debating since the fall of 2009 in an effort to establish minimum standards for yoga therapists-in-training.
Continue reading ‘Field Notes’

Lulu Bandha’s LuluVu (media)

Lulu Bandha’s LuluVu, lulubhandas.com

At LuluVu—the online studio counterpart of California yoga community Lulu Bandha’s, helmed by Kira Ryder—simply signing in gets you several free classes. Monthly packages, workshops with visiting teachers (think Eric Schiffmann, Dana Flynn), and highlights from retreats are reasonably priced. And, the abundant offerings are frequently updated so there’s no shortage of inspiration.

published in Yoga International, Winter 2010-2011 issue

Yoga Anatomy Online Course

Yoga Anatomy Online Course by Leslie Kaminoff, yogaanatomy.net

With 25 years’ experience teaching anatomy, Leslie Kaminoff launched his popular Yoga Anatomy course in an online format this fall. The nine-month intensive covers three major areas—breathing, the spine, and the articular body—and inlcudes instructional videos, weekly online chats, and homework. Even better, it counts as 144 non-contact credit hours with Yoga Alliance.

published in Yoga International, Winter 2010-2011 issue

The Guru in You

The Guru in You: A Personalized Program for Rejuvenating Your Body and Soul by Yogi Cameron Alborzian

Former male supermodel Cameron Alborzian has written a compulsively readable book on yoga and ayurveda, littered with stories from his modeling career, personal life, and therapeutic work with clients. The Guru in Yoga aims to get people on the path of health and healing by helping them set clear intentions, work with breath and asanas, and apply ayurvedic techniques. For those who can’t afford Alborzian’s handsome services, this book is a helpful alternative.

published in Yoga International, Winter 2010-2011 issue Continue reading ‘The Guru in You’