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Thread: Yoga

  1. #136
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    It's all the rage...


    SOURCE: ISTOCK

    "Rage Yoga" Involves Swearing and Booze Breaks
    BY MARK PYGAS
    5 DAYS AGO

    Yoga is supposed to be a relaxing, meditative exercise that gets you ready for the rest of the day. But now, you might be able to achieve the same result by doing the opposite. Rage Yoga aims to calm you down and get you fitter by swearing, shouting, and enjoying a beer.

    Lindsay Istace, the founder of Rage Yoga, explains on her website that her method is "a practice involving stretching, positional exercises and bad humor, with the goal of attaining good health and to become zen AF. More than just a practice, Rage Yoga is an attitude."


    SOURCE: ISTOCK

    Lindsay explains that she "felt really out of place" in a regular yoga class. She adds that it "made me feel like I was standing in a library full of gymnasts." So, she decided to create Rage Yoga. Lindsay says rage yoga has helped her a lot...

    "My practice gave me a strong body-mind connection and a new appreciation for my body. I learned how to slow my mind, feel good in my body and built some decent pipes while I was at it. It helped me overcome addiction and weather a lot of personal obstacles. It kept me healthy and sane!"

    Ashley Duzich, a Rage Yoga instructor at Brash Brewery in Houston, Texas, told CBS DFW that "some people need to release and let go." She goes on to explain that Rage Yoga is “a practice that involves breathing, stretching, mood draws, yoga postures and a lot of bad humor.”

    “Yoga itself actually means union… so union with yourself,” Ashley said. “And that’s not always just super-calm, breathing, practising quiet time, like a lot of yoga places are.”

    “We are all angry about something and we all have been holding onto an ‘F’-bomb for a little bit too long. So that’s what this does – is – it allows you to have a safe space to let go of your and frustration and rage in a healthy way… and then also wash it all away with some ice cold beer.”

    “One of the funniest things I think I ever heard was, ‘I told you to do the dishes,'” Ashley added.

    According to the Rage Yoga website, instructors need to complete a minimum of 200 hours of yoga instructor certification.

    There are three official Rage Yoga locations — Calgary, Edmonton, and Houston — and hopefully, they're able to add more locations soon for the rest of us.
    More on Rage Yoga
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
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  2. #137
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    Goat Yoga

    One of my friends tried Goat Yoga recently. She enjoyed it but did get bit on her fingertip.

    It's so absurd to me, especially after studying Yoga in India. Silly U.S. marketing that should not work but does.

    I'm trying to imagine goat Qigong.

    Half Moon Bay's yoga hack: Adding baby goats to each class
    By Alyssa Pereira, SFGATE Published 3:29 pm PDT, Monday, March 18, 2019


    Photo: Lemos Family Farm / YouTube

    Lemos Family Farm

    Sure, yoga is great, but have you tried the remix?

    Half Moon Bay's Lemos Family Farm is switching up the flexibility activity by corralling in more than a dozen tiny goats into each class held at their facility.

    At $31, each class costs less than one morning at SoulCycle, but is infinitely more memorable.

    "Fifteen small goats will roam around during yoga class, perhaps licking at your toes, nibbling your yoga mat, climbing on your back during cat/cow and cuddling up with you during savasana," the site reads. "Expect the unexpected, but also expect a lot of laughter and levity."

    Since posers are definitely going to lose focus during meditation with tiny animals frolicking about, Lemos' yoga class includes a 15 minute wind-down for guests to hang out to meet, hold, and pet the goats.



    The same goes for the farm's Mommy & Me yoga classes (for children aged 12 months to six years), wherein even smaller goats wander around the room. Those classes, it should be noted, are shorter (30 min.) and are sold in six-class packages.

    Alyssa Pereira is an SFGATE staff writer. Email her at apereira@sfchronicle.com or find her on Twitter at @alyspereira.
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
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  3. #138
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    Stroke

    'thanks to yoga'? srsly?


    Woman suffers massive stroke thanks to yoga

    Rebecca now cannot speak for more than a few minutes, suffers headaches daily and has severe memory loss



    By Neil Shaw Head Of Digital, Live And Trending For Plymouth Live, DevonLive And CornwallLive
    09:07, 25 MAR 2019 UPDATED12:07, 25 MAR 2019

    A young woman who suffered a massive stroke caused by yoga bravely got back on her mat just one month later.

    Rebecca Leigh, 40, was performing a yogic headstand when she tore a major blood vessel in her neck.

    Just two hours before the life-altering injury she had filmed an advanced sequence in a pink bikini for her 26,000 social media fans.

    Today the exercise obsessive cannot speak for more than a few minutes, suffers headaches daily and has severe memory loss.

    But just one month after the devastating episode, Rebecca was back on her mat and still practices the ancient exercise for an hour every day.

    She is now telling her story to raise awareness of yoga-induced strokes, so other people can spot the symptoms and seek medical help quickly.

    “After decades of focussing on working out and my diet and making as many healthy decisions as I could for my body, having a stroke by doing yoga just didn’t seem fair," she said.

    “But I had to get back out there and do the things that made me happy and one of those things was obviously my yoga practice.”

    Rebecca, who ran a mobile sunless tanning company, tore her right carotid artery in a ‘hollowback’ handstand on the morning of October 8, 2017.

    She said: “I was on my front porch practicing a pretty intense type of yoga handstand called a ‘hollowback’ handstand.

    “This pose requires you to extend your neck, drop your hips back and arch your lower spine all while in a headstand.

    “I felt that I had really nailed it but as I walked inside my house, my peripheral vision went out and the rest of my vision became blurry.

    “It was like a curtain coming down all around me.

    “I sat down and tried to put my hair into a ponytail but my left arm flopped around without any control.”

    At first Rebecca attributed the symptoms to the severely herniated discs in her neck which she had been diagnosed with in her early twenties.

    She said: “I knew that arm numbness could be a symptom of that.

    “It only lasted for five minutes but then my head began to hurt.


    Rebecca Leigh doing yoga before her stroke

    “I have suffered from headaches and migraines since I was a teenager but I knew this was different.”

    Two days later, Rebecca was horrified to notice that her pupils were different sizes.

    “My right eye drooped and my pupils were different sizes,” she said.

    “It was terrifying.

    “It was then that I knew something was very, very wrong.”

    Rebecca and husband Kevin, 45, immediately went to the emergency room where an MRI scan revealed Rebecca had suffered a stroke.

    She said: “The doctor on staff came into the little room we were waiting in and said in a monotone voice: ‘Well, you my dear, had a stroke’.

    “Kevin and I both let out a little laugh, because we thought he had to be kidding.

    “There was no way that someone my age, in my health, could have had a stroke.

    “But he responded to our laughter in solemn silence and his face said it all.”

    She spent the next five days in the neurological intensive care unit as doctors battled to understand why an active, healthy eating, non smoker aged 39 could have suffered a stroke.

    “After all the blood work, ultrasounds, MRIs and CT scans, it was finally a CTA scan that explained it,” she said.

    While doing handstands Rebecca had torn her right carotid artery, one of the four arteries that supplies blood to the brain.

    The tear sent a blood clot to her brain which caused the stroke and the trauma of the tear in the wall of the artery also caused a small aneurysm, a bulge in the vessel, to develop.


    Rebecca Leigh in hospita

    At first Rebecca felt fury and disbelief that something as healthy as yoga could have triggered a stroke.

    She said: “I couldn’t believe it.

    “How could this happen to me?

    “I was angry at my body, I felt that it had betrayed me somehow.”

    For six weeks, Rebecca endured terrible pain with constant headaches which made any kind of light unbearable.

    She lost 20lbs and couldn’t get out of bed without help.

    “The stroke caused massive head pain, unlike any headache I had ever experienced before,” she said.

    “I couldn’t shower without help, wash my hair, feed myself, or take my pile of scary and unfamiliar, life-saving medications.

    “The nerve damage made any sort of light unbearable.

    “The pain it caused my eyes was excruciating. My usually bright, sunlight-filled house was kept completely dark for the first few months.

    “The tear in the artery caused my blood flow to be turbulent.

    “For the first three months I heard a constant ‘wooshing’ sound in my right ear. That was the sound of the blood trying to get through my artery up into my brain.

    “It was absolutely terrifying.”

    But slowly she began to notice improvement and was able to take short walks outside by herself.

    “Eventually I was able to shower with my husband nearby,” she said.

    “I slowly started to take two to three-minute walks outside.

    “I started to make simple meals for myself and I was able to sit up in bed to watch TV.

    “These small accomplishments felt huge to me.

    “Each week I made it through felt like a milestone.

    “Simply surviving was an achievement.”


    Rebecca Leigh doing yoga before her stroke

    Incredibly just one month after the stroke, Rebecca was back on her yoga mat.

    She said: “I simply sat on my mat in lotus pose and listened to my breath.

    “I slowly led back up to simple stretches and the poses that felt most safe to me.

    “I knew that if I didn’t get back to my practice relatively soon after my stroke, I never would.

    “I would have freaked myself out too much about it.”

    At Rebecca’s six-month scan, doctors told her that her carotid artery had completely healed.

    The aneurysm however was still there and Rebecca feels the effects daily.

    She said: “The immediate arm numbness that I experienced during the stroke went away that day, but in its place is a nearly constant tingly sensation.

    “It’s like a wave of electricity is going back and forth from my elbow to my hand and back over and over again.

    “I am still dealing with some sort of headache, face or neck pain on a daily basis.

    “The carotid artery apparently houses a bundle of nerves and when it was torn, those nerves were damaged.

    “My face physically hurts and gets worse just by talking for a few minutes or having a busy day.

    “My eye is still a bit droopy and my memory is awful.

    “I forget things quickly. I have to ask people to remind me of things they’ve already told me, something I never had to do prior to my injury.

    “I fatigue much quicker than I did before. It doesn’t take more than a trip to the grocery store to count me out for the rest of the day.”

    But the most damaging after effect is the fear that the stroke could strike again at any moment.

    She said: “It’s very hard to recover from something so scary that came out of nowhere.

    “You think you’re doing everything right and then when something like this happens, it’s hard not to think that it can happen again.”

    But the yogi is happy to be back on her mat, practicing sun salutations.

    She said: “About a year after my stroke I was about 75 per cent back to where I was before my stroke.

    “I know I will never be where I was before 100 per cent.

    “The fact that I can touch my toes is enough to make me smile.

    “I wanted to share my story so that something like this doesn’t happen to any other yogis.

    “I had never heard of it happening before it had happened to me.

    “If I had read of just one incidence of something similar, I would have known that a stroke was a very real possibility when I was experiencing my symptoms.

    “That it wasn’t my neck, my herniated discs or my nerves. It was my brain gasping for its life.”
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
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  4. #139
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    not a gay maker, even in russian prison

    I feel so reassured...

    YOGA DOES NOT MAKE INMATES GAY, SAYS RUSSIAN PRISON CHIEF AS CLASSES ARE REINSTATED
    BY BRENDAN COLE ON 4/8/19 AT 8:27 AM EDT

    Russian prison authorities have reinstated yoga for inmates after dismissing a claim by a religious scholar that the practice could make them gay.

    Both a Moscow pre-trial detention center for women and the renowned Butyrka prison in the Russian capital introduced yoga classes last year, according to The Moscow Times.

    Theological professor Alexander Dvorkin wrote a document suggesting yoga could cause uncontrolled sexual arousal and ****sexuality in detention centers, leading to riots, the newspaper Moskovsky Komsomlets reported. Senator Elena Mizulina, who is known for her conservative views, used the document to appeal to the Prosecutor General's Office to check the legality of the yoga classes, and asked for them to be suspended, according to the paper.


    A guard stands in a passage of the notorious Butyrka remand prison in Moscow, on December 4, 2013. Russia has reinstated yoga classes for prisoners.
    KIRILL KUDRYAVTSEV/AFP/GETTY IMAGES

    However the classes have been reinstated and Valery Maximenko, deputy head of the Federal Prison Service (FSIN) told a Russian radio station that the sessions had a “very positive” effect on inmates.

    “We conducted a study, and among those people who practiced yoga, there was a sharp reduction in visits to doctors for help,” he told the radio station Govorit Moskva (Moscow Speaks).

    Maximenko said that in addition to yoga, prisoners will also be taught qigong breathing exercises and dismissed any claims that it led to ****sexuality.

    “The whole world is engaged in it [yoga], and no one is harmed by it and no one will be drawn to ****sexuality. Even it did, we live in a democracy and everyone has the right to choose their own way,” he added, pointing out that ****sexuality was not illegal in Russia.

    He said that Dvorkin had “outdated concepts” and added that “people of non-traditional orientation can occupy high positions, so we do not have the right to condemn anyone.”

    Such a statement from a senior official in Russia is unusual. The country has a law banning so-called “gay propaganda” in which LGBT issues cannot be discussed or disseminated among children and young people.

    Human Rights Watch have said the law has contributed to a culture of persecution toward the LGBT community.

    However, Dvorkin said his comments about ****sexuality had been taken out of context and that his request also included for there to be checks on those who led the yoga sessions. He said the Kundalini yoga being promoted in the jails was associated with sects and its association with Hinduism means it may not be compatible with Christianity, which he says prisoners should be made aware of.

    Meanwhile Mizulina, the lawmaker whose appeal led to the suspension of the classes, said the claim reported by Moskovsky Komsomlets that she asked for classes to be prohibited was "fake news," the state-run TASS news agency reported.
    Gene Ching
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  5. #140
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    International Yoga Day

    I'm posting this in Bodhidharma's Influence and what Shaolin means to TCMA because it popped when searching 'yoga' in the Shaolin sub-forum, plus the Yoga thread, of course.

    Posted at: Jun 21, 2019, 5:28 PM; last updated: Jun 21, 2019, 5:28 PM (IST)
    Yoga enthusiasts across the world perform asanas to mark International Yoga Day


    This photo taken on June 20, 2019, shows yoga enthusiasts performing yoga in a cave at Longgong village in Dafang County, Bijie City, in China''s southwest Guizhou Province, to mark International Yoga Day on June 21. AFP
    Beijing/London, June 21

    From China’s famed Shaolin Temple to Britain’s iconic St. Paul’s Cathedral, yoga enthusiasts rolled out their mats on Friday to participate in colourful events held across the world to mark the fifth International Yoga Day.

    June 21, the Northern Hemisphere’s longest day, is celebrated as the International Yoga Day worldwide after the United Nations General Assembly adopted in 2014 a proposal mooted by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

    Yoga has become immensely popular all over China in the past few decades and is emerging as a major fitness discipline which is specially promoted by the Chinese Ministry of Sports.

    Hundreds of yoga enthusiasts took part in the yoga day event organised by the Indian Embassy in Beijing at the India House in which Indian Ambassador Vikram Misri and his wife were present.

    Addressing the yoga enthusiasts, Misri said yoga represents not just the civilisational connect between India and China “but also the modern aspirations of our two people, that acknowledge the shared benefit of working together in spirit of friendship and cooperation”.

    Yoga events were held at the Tianhe Tan Park in Guiyang, Yellow Crane Tower in Wuhan, Shaolin Temple in Henan and Qingdao city in Shandong, the Indian Embassy said in a statement.

    The Shaolin Temple in central China’s Henan province is a famed Buddhist temple believed to have been founded in the 5th century CE. It is the main temple of the Shaolin school of Buddhism.

    In the UK, yoga enthusiasts marked the day with a session at the iconic Durdle Door stone arch, a natural UNESCO World Heritage Site on the south-western coast of England.

    The first-of-its-kind open-air event at the site, which involved around 30 yoga enthusiasts performing asanas, was organised by India Tourism London.

    The Indian High Commission’s annual yoga session in London took place near another famous UK tourist spot of St. Paul’s Cathedral in the British capital.

    In Israel, over 400 people performed asanas to mark the International Day of Yoga at the picturesque Hatachana compound in Jerusalem, with India’s envoy to Israel Pavan Kapoor asking the Israeli government to consider making it a part of the annual calendar of events.

    “It always amazes me to see how popular yoga is in Israel. The number of teachers that you have in the country. The different kind of yoga that is practiced and taught. Everything from pre-school yoga to workplace yoga,” Kapoor said.

    In a first of its kind yoga celebration, the iconic UN General Assembly hall reverberated with chants of ‘Om’, ‘Shanti’ as UN officials and diplomats joined hundreds others to commemorate the International Yoga Day with the underlying message of yoga’s valuable contribution in addressing climate change and promoting tolerance and peace.

    It was the first time a grand yoga event was held inside the iconic UNGA hall.

    In Singapore, the Indian High Commission observed the International Yoga Day at the Sunlove Homes for the Intellectually Infirmed, Demantia and elderly day care centre.

    The yoga sessions held across the city-state, touched the lives of the physically challenged, the commission said.

    In Abu Dhabi, thousands of Indian expatriate residents and others participated in yoga sessions.

    The Indian Embassy in Abu Dhabi hosted the celebrations at the Umm Al Emarat Park from 7 p.m. onwards on Thursday evening, the Gulf News reported.

    Shaikh Nahyan Bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, United Arab Emirates’ (UAE) Minister of Tolerance, who was the chief guest along with Charge d’Affaires of the mission, Smita Pant, inaugurated the event.

    Shaikh Nahyan congratulated India on the occasion and said: “Yoga encourages an attitude that looks towards a common humanity as an extension of the ancient principle of Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam,” the report added.

    In Bangladesh, the yoga day celebration at the Bangabandhu National Stadium in Dhaka drew around 7,000 enthusiasts joining the sessions organised by the Indian High Commission.

    Sports associations, Yoga associations and Institutes, students from various schools, colleges and universities in Bangladesh participated in the celebrations. Several celebrities including sports personalities, popular film actors, and singers also participated in the event.

    Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena tweeted a video in which he is seen performing asanas.

    “I compliment my friend @narendramodi for his efforts at bringing our common heritage of Yoga to the international stage. I urge all to practice yoga like me,” he tweeted.

    The fifth International Yoga Day was also celebrated across Australian cities, including Melbourne, Canberra and Brisbane.

    A yoga session was held in the Indian High Commission in Canberra on Friday.

    According to the World Health Organisation, yoga is a valuable tool to increase physical activity and decrease non-communicable disease such as hypertension, diabetes, heart diseases and stroke. PTI
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
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  6. #141
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    Tibetan Yoga: Principles and Practices by Ian Baker

    This article is really more of a book promo, but I like the yogic drop pic.

    Health & Wellness
    Next-level yoga: the secrets of Tibetan yoga explained, from tantric sex to redirecting dreams
    Forget your downward facing dog, Ian Baker’s book goes deep – explaining how yoga can change the course of a dream, and transfer consciousness as you die
    Baker, who has studied yoga for decades, hasn’t written a how-to manual, but rather a rare explanation of the six processes of Tibetan yoga
    Kate Whitehead
    Published: 8:00pm, 28 Jul, 2019


    Author Ian Baker has been interested in Tibetan yoga since the late 1970s, and recently published Tibetan Yoga: Principles and Practices.

    Could you spend a month alone in a cave? That was the challenge put to Ian Baker.
    The American first visited Nepal as a 19-year-old undergraduate in 1977, fascinated with the mountains, Buddhist art and meditation. After completing a masters in literature and anthropology at Oxford University, he moved to Nepal to work for the School for International Training in Kathmandu – and to learn about yogic practices outside monasteries.
    “I went looking for a teacher. I wasn’t going to become a monk in this life, but I wanted to understand the essence of the practice. The teacher said, ‘Can you spend a month alone? Come back when you have a month free and spend it in a cave’,” says Baker.
    He did just that. In his early 20s, he went deep into the Himalayas and spent a month alone. Happy with his commitment, the teacher, Chatral Sangye Dorje, took him on as a student.


    Tibetan Yoga: Principles and Practices by Ian Baker.

    “It was a very personal immersion, which led to experiences, which led to an academic interest. The non-monastic yogic tradition fascinated me – that done in caves and forests, often in solitary retreat or with a partner,” says Baker, whose latest book, Tibetan Yoga: Principles and Practices, was published in June.
    In the Tibetan language, the word yoga, or naljor, means to know yourself in the deepest way possible, and Tibetan Yoga: Principles and Practices offers a rare insight into this. This isn’t yoga of the downward facing dog variety. This is the next level.

    This is about ultimately freeing yourself from disempowering struggle and discontent and awakening empathy. This is deep.
    It’s also a rare glimpse into a world that has traditionally been kept secret in Tibet – many of the teachings have never been written down, instead passed down orally from teacher to student. As Bhakha Tulka Pema Rigdzin Rinpoche explains in the book’s foreword, not because knowing one’s true nature could ever be considered harmful, but because Buddhist practices that integrate all aspects of life on the spiritual path can easily be misunderstood.


    A practitioner in Bhutan shows a yogic drop. Photo: courtesy of Dasho Karma Ura

    “As much as the book has a scholarly approach, it’s an outgrowth of personal experience and experimentation, and that’s the key of yoga. We experiment with ourselves, we turn our bodies and minds into a laboratory,” says Baker, speaking on the phone from London, where he is preparing for a 2023 exhibition on Tantric Buddhism at the V&A museum.
    It took a while to set up an interview with Baker. His publicist was vague about his whereabouts – “he’s travelling, somewhere remote” – and, when pushed, suggested “the Himalayas, maybe Bhutan”.
    It turns out this is par for the course for Baker. He has spent decades living in Nepal and travelling in the eastern Himalayas and Tibet and has written seven books on Himalayan and Tibetan cultural history, environment, art, and medicine. The Dalai Lama’s Secret Temple (2012), which illuminates Tantric Buddhist meditation practices, was written in collaboration with the Dalai Lama.
    “The very fact of writing a book like this is a break from tradition, it wouldn’t previously have been written for a general reader. But times change. His Holiness encouraged, his instruction was that ‘the time for secrecy has passed and more harm is done by not writing about it, or else traditions will die out’,” says Baker.


    The vajra position. Photo: Ian Baker

    Tibetan yoga begins where the more familiar yoga ends. In fact, the asanas – the postures – help to prepare a person for meditation.
    “All these physical movements of stretching the body help to open up the energetic centres – that’s what fascinated me. In Tibetan yoga, there’s a set of six processes, practices which can be undertaken at different stages of life. It’s about integration and synergy,” says Baker.
    The six processes he refers to are: tummo, the cultivation of “fierce heat” (kundalini yoga in Hindu yoga); gyulu, “illusory body” yoga; Ōosel, the “clear light” awareness that encompasses waking and sleeping; milam, “dream yoga”; powa, the transference of consciousness from the physical body at the time of death; and bardo yoga, involving near-death and after-death experiences.
    In Tibetan yoga, there’s a set of six processes, practices which can be undertaken at different stages of life. It’s about integration and synergy
    Ian Baker
    Tibetan Yoga isn’t a “how to” book or instruction manual, it’s a scholarly tome. But if you read it closely and have some experience of yoga and meditation, much is revealed. Thames and Hudson has a reputation for producing beautiful books and this is no exception – it’s beautifully illustrated with colour photographs of yogis, landscapes and Buddhist art.
    So, let’s cut to the chase – for many, tantric yoga is associated with sex. The practice of karmamudra, or sexual union with a physical or visualised consort, is well depicted in Buddhist Tantric art. Saraha, the most celebrated of the mahasiddhas (a person who, by the practice of meditative disciplines, has attained siddha or miraculous powers), proclaimed of the erotic experience, “In this state of highest bliss, there is neither self nor other.”
    Baker explains that the yoga of intimate relationships can be teased out to show a more evolved way of relating to those who are closest to us, free from the negative fallout of emotional attachment. He talks about visualising your partner as a deity – and transforming desire into a state of empathetic bliss.
    “Both partners make the vow that, as these energies are aroused, not to succumb to damaging forms of attachment,” says Baker.
    This isn’t about open relationships or transient sexual partnerships. He says the most profound unions are those in long-lasting, exclusive partnerships that recognise a deep sense of engagement and appreciation of the other without the negatives that can come with attachment.
    “The idea with all these yogas is we don’t have to change our lives. We integrate into things that are happening during our lives – waking, sleeping, dreaming, dying,” says Baker.
    Take Tibetan dream yoga (milam naljor), which is about recognising that what arises in a dream is illusory and therefore alterable. This process is about waking up within a dream, recognising it for what it is – if you’re flying or walking through walls, you know you’re likely dreaming – and bring an inquiring mind try to change the course of the dream.
    “In this way, you can slice through the subconscious and find what’s at the heart of an experience, something you might not recognise in your daily life.

    The seven-pointed meditation posture of the Buddha Vairocana. Photo: Ian Baker.

    “On the superficial level, it’s recognising all our experiences – waking or dreaming – are dreamlike and not to become too attached them. It’s an opportunity to alter the course of our experience. By changing that reality, it has a follow-on effect in our waking state. That everyday experiences are a reflection of our everyday mind gives us a greater sense of awareness,” says Baker.
    In a chapter titled “Exit Strategies”, Baker explores powa, the yoga of conscious transference at the moment of death. In this, one visualises oneself as a Tantric deity and, compressing one’s breath, uses the sound of the chosen deity’s mantra to open the “aperture of Brahma” between the frontal and parietal bones at the crown of one’s head.
    If you can do this at the time of death, so the book explains, your consciousness will be ejected from the body and enter the transcendental Land of Bliss.
    “This release of consciousness at the end of life – how to open up energetic channels within the spinal cord – is given very openly, often at mass congregations. Powa is the quickest way for people to recognise the energetic core of our consciousness,” says Baker.
    He is working with a Bhutanese lama who is a master of the six-yoga system and plans to lead a group to Bhutan next year, from April 25 to May 5. If that sounds like something you might be interested in, keep an eye on his website ianbaker.com for more details.

    This article appeared in the South China Morning Post print edition as: Wisdom of the ages
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
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  7. #142
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    see ya later, alligator

    my definition of yoga pants is forever perverted.

    Florida woman sentenced after pulling alligator from her pants during traffic stop: officials
    Stephen Sorace 1 day ago
    NYPD fires officer who used fatal chokehold on Eric Garner
    Barr removes acting Prisons chief in wake of Epstein's death
    A Florida woman who pulled an alligator out of her yoga pants during a traffic stop pleaded guilty to illegally possessing wild animals and was sentenced to probation, authorities said last week.


    © Charlotte County Sheriff's Office Booking photo of Ariel Machan-Le Quire.

    Ariel Machan-Le Quire, 25, was in the passenger seat of a car pulled over in May for running a stop sign in Punta Gorda, the Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office said at the time. Machan-Le Quire, along with 22-year-old driver Michael Clemons, initially claimed they were trying to collect snakes and frogs from underneath an overpass.

    The deputy was given permission to search the bags in the trunk and subsequently found 41 3-stripe turtles in a “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle” backpack. When the deputy asked if the pair had anything else, Machan-Le Quire pulled out a 1-foot alligator from her pants.

    Machan-Le Quire was charged with possessing an America alligator, possessing more than one turtle per day, transporting more than one turtle or turtle eggs and one count of possessing a softshell turtle, the Miami Herald reported, citing court records.

    She was sentenced Wednesday to six months’ probation, 200 hours of community service, and was ordered to donate $500 to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Committee, the agency that took over the case following the deputy's discovery, the paper reported.

    Charges against Clemons were pending.
    Gene Ching
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    Belly Breathing during yoga or meditation

    What Is Belly Breathing and Why Is It Important for Exercise?
    Say it with us: deep breaths.
    By Mallory Creveling August 23, 2019


    FIZKES/GETTY IMAGES

    Take a deep breath. Do you feel your chest rise and fall or does more movement come from your stomach?

    The answer should be the latter—and not only when you're focusing on deep breathing during yoga or meditation. You should also practice belly breathing during exercise. News to you? Here's what you need to know about making your inhales and exhales come from your gut.

    What Is Belly Breathing?

    Yes, it literally means breathing deeply into your stomach. It's also known as diaphragmatic breathing because it allows the diaphragm—the muscle that runs horizontally across the belly, kind of looks like a parachute, and is the primary muscle used in respiration—to expand and contract.

    While belly breathing is our body's natural way to inhale and exhale, it's more common for adults to breath ineffectively, AKA through the chest, says Judi Bar, a 500-hour certified yoga instructor and yoga program manager at the Cleveland Clinic. Many people tend to resort to chest breathing when they're stressed because the tension makes you tighten your belly, explains Bar. This ultimately makes it harder to breathe efficiently. "It becomes a habit and because it's a more shallow breath, it actually feeds the sympathetic response—the fight or flight response—making you more stressed," she says. Thus, you get a circle of anxious reactions just from chest breathing. (Related: 3 Breathing Exercises for Dealing with Stress)

    How to Belly Breathe Properly

    In order to try belly breathing, "you first need to understand how to relax enough so there's space in the belly for the diaphragm and your breath to move," says Bar. "When you're tense and hold the belly in, you're not allowing the breath to move."

    For proof, try this little test from Bar: Pull your belly in toward your spine and try to take deep breathes. Notice how hard it is? Now relax your midsection and see how much easier it is to fill your stomach with air. That's the looseness you want to feel when you're belly breathing—and a good indication of whether it's all coming from the chest.

    The practice of belly breathing itself is pretty simple: Lie down on your back and place your hands on your belly, says Pete McCall, C.S.C.S., a personal trainer in San Diego and host of the All About Fitness podcast. Take a nice big inhale, and when you do, you should feel your belly lift and expand. As you exhale, your hands should lower. Think of your stomach like a balloon filling with air, and then slowly releasing.

    If taking deep inhales and exhales feels tough or unnatural to you, Bar suggests practicing it once or twice a day for just two or three minutes. You can place your hands on your belly to make sure you're doing it right, or just watch to make sure your stomach moves up and down. Try doing it while you're tackling an everyday task, too, says Bar, like while you're taking a shower, washing dishes, or right before you go to sleep. (Because there's nothing like a little breathing exercise to calm the mind for bedtime!)

    After you've been practicing for a while, start paying a little more attention to your breath during exercise, says Bar. Do you notice if your belly is moving? Does it change when you're squatting or running? Are you feeling energized by your breath? Take all these questions into consideration when you're doing your workout to check in with how you're breathing. (These running-specific breathing techniques can also help make miles feel easier.)

    You can belly breathe during most forms of exercise, spin class to heavy lifting. In fact, you might have seen a technique used among the heavy lifting crowd called core bracing. "Core bracing can help stabilize the spine for heavy lifts; that is a form of belly breathing because of the controlled exhalation," says McCall. To do it correctly, practice the technique before actually lifting heavy loads: Take a big inhale, hold it, then deeply exhale. During a lift (like a squat, bench press, or deadlift), you'd inhale, hold it during the eccentric (or lowering) part of the movement, then exhale while pressing to the top. (Keep reading: Specific Breathing Techniques to Use During Every Kind of Exercise)

    The Benefits of Belly Breathing During Exercise

    Well, you're working an actual muscle—and one that helps to improve core stability, says McCall. "People don't realize the diaphragm is an important stabilizing muscle for the spine," he says. "When you breathe from the belly, you breathe from the diaphragm, which means you're strengthening a muscle that stabilizes the spine." When you do diaphragmatic breathing through exercises like squats, lat pulldowns, or any of the like, you should actually feel your spine steady through the movement. And that's the big payoff of belly breathing: It can help you learn to engage your core through each exercise.

    Also, breathing from the belly allows more oxygen to move through the body, which means your muscles have more oxygen to continue crushing strength sets or conquering run times. "When you chest breathe, you're trying to fill the lunges from the top down," explains McCall. "Breathing from the diaphragm pulls air in, filling you from the bottom up and allowing more air in." This isn't only crucial to having more energy through your workouts, but throughout the day as well. Big belly breaths make you feel more awake, says McCall.

    With more oxygen throughout your body comes the ability to work harder through your workout, too. "Belly breathing improves the body's ability to tolerate intense exercise because you're getting more oxygen to the muscles, which lowers your breathing rate and helps you expend less energy," says Bar. (Also try these other science-backed ways to push through workout fatigue.)

    To top it off, practicing a few moments of mindful belly breathing—especially if you focus on counting through the inhales and exhales to make them even, as Bar suggests—can help with a little stress relief and some moments of peace (or, say, when you're recovering from a bout of burpees). "It really down-regulates your system in an effective way," says Bar, meaning it takes you away from a fight-or-flight state and into a calmer, more relaxed composure. Talk about a good way to recover—and a smart strategy for gaining mind and body benefits.

    By Mallory Creveling
    THREADS
    belly breathing
    Yoga
    Meditation
    Gene Ching
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  9. #144
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    Alexa Terrazas

    Student practicing extreme yoga pose falls 80 feet from balcony
    By Hannah Sparks August 27, 2019 | 11:10am | Updated


    An example of the pose reportedly performed by Alexa Terrazas before she fell


    Alexa Terrazas
    Facebook

    A Mexican college student is alive after falling 80 feet from her balcony while practicing a yoga pose.

    Alexa Terrazas, 23, was known to do yoga on her sixth-floor apartment’s balcony, often using the guardrail as a prop for extreme poses. But a risky move nearly cost the yogi her life on Saturday afternoon, as she slipped and landed on the pavement outside her building in the northeastern Mexican state of Nuevo León, according to reports in El Imparcial.

    The health and nutrition student at Tecnológico de Monterrey was treated by paramedics with the Red Cross and Nuevo León Civil Protection, then brought to the hospital, where she underwent 11 hours of surgery. She was considered to be in critical condition as of Monday, having suffered fractures to both legs and arms, hips and head.

    El Imparcial reported that doctors had to “reconstruct” her legs, and that it may be three years before she walks again. People on social media asked their followers to consider giving blood to help her. As of Sunday, a relative of Terrazas tweeted that there was no need.

    Neighbors claim they saw Terrazas perform the upside-down pose over the edge of her terrace. The Nuevo León Attorney General’s Office also confirmed that the rail was structurally sound, and that the woman’s slip was an accident.


    Instagram
    Cute gal. Wonder what she looks like now...
    Gene Ching
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    #WhitePeopleDoingYoga

    OCTOBER 17, 2019
    The Whitewashing of “#WhitePeopleDoingYoga”
    My artwork was about appropriation. San Francisco’s Asian Art Museum tried to appropriate it.
    CHIRAAG BHAKTA


    The artist in 2014 Timothy Palmer

    Back in 2013, the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco invited me to contribute to a show about yoga co-organized by the Smithsonian’s Arthur M. Sackler Gallery. The exhibition, Yoga: The Art of Transformation, was the first major show ever mounted about the 2,500-year history of yoga. It featured over a hundred paintings, photographs, and sculptures. Curators, seeking a contemporary perspective, invited me to contribute to an educational exhibit for the show after having met me at a previous event. At the same time, I had another project up, at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History in Washington, DC, documenting the Indian American motel community across this country. It was an exciting time for me. But I didn’t expect the absurdities that would soon follow—a parade of condescension, passive aggressiveness, and white fragility in which the Asian Art Museum revealed itself to be in a losing struggle with the whiteness at the core of its identity.

    My run-in with the museum is the subject of new work I’m showing this month at the Human Resources gallery in Los Angeles. It’s taken me this long to tell the story because it was such a jarring experience. This was the Asian Art Museum, the largest museum dedicated exclusively to the Asian arts in the United States—one of the largest platforms out there for an artist like me.

    When I was asked to contribute, I took the invitation at face value: The Asian Art Museum wanted to give space to an Indian American artist. Much of my work focuses on first-generation Indian American experiences with appropriation and assimilation. The museum provided a first-floor wall—a big platform and a big honor.

    Our agreement for the installation included my assemblage of yoga ephemera that I’d collected in the form of magazines, books, posters, and album covers. Together they told the story of how the $16 billion yoga industry in this country had rebranded a South Asian discipline to sell yoga as a line of products—how yoga became Yoga™. It’s no coincidence that you rarely see a South Asian person on the cover of Yoga Journal magazine. Yoga has been put in an ironic position: Colonized and commodified, a tradition rooted in detachment and equanimity has been hijacked by a grasping possessiveness. I titled my work #WhitePeopleDoingYoga.



    I knew the title #WhitePeopleDoingYoga would be provocative, but I chose it for a reason: For this installation, yoga was a case study in how culture gets colonized, a pattern that holds across industries, from fashion to food to music. The installation was meant to show how overwhelming and suffocating appropriation becomes under a capitalist structure. Every piece in the installation was either selling something or was itself once for sale.

    But once my proposal made the rounds among curators, educators, and PR folks, cracks started to show in the museum’s support for the installation. The show’s lead curators and education staffers I’d met—all but one of whom were white—didn’t feel completely comfortable with the title. They wanted something innocuous like #PeopleDoingYoga, without the word “white,” because the term “white people” could be “offensive” to museumgoers, donors, and staff. During our initial meetings at the museum, they told me to “turn down the volume” of my critique. They also insisted I remove a section of the installation—a Hindu-inspired shrine featuring photographs of a white couple as South Asian gurus. “This might be offensive to Indian people,” staffers said—white authorities telling me what Indian people might find offensive. They gave me an ultimatum: Either I take down the shrine, or they don’t include my installation. Museum leaders were diluting my installation, going well beyond the standard curatorial role.

    [In an email to a Mother Jones fact-checker, museum reps acknowledge that there had been misgivings over the title and the installation in general, which they emphasize was intended to be “educational” rather than artistic. But they dispute that there was any ultimatum. According to a museum spokesperson, Bhakta was told that the phrase “white people” could be “offensive or puzzling” to some. As examples, the spokesperson pointed to “Anglo practitioners of yoga unfamiliar with the concepts of cultural appropriation/appreciation, and K-12 students who haven’t had the proper exposure to understand the statement implied in ‘White People Doing Yoga.'” Additionally, in the same email to Mother Jones, Qamar Adamjee, one of the exhibit’s curators, writes that the museum objected to the shrine on the grounds that “as an object type [it] did not align with the rest of the display,” but that the installation was not contingent on its removal: “We had invited him to do the display and revoking that invitation was not a consideration at any point.”]

    Over the years, I’ve heard many shocking accounts from friends—artists of color from New York to Bombay, Los Angeles to London—about their experiences with institutional racism in its various forms. The numbers alone tell some of the story: A recent Williams College study found that 75 percent of artists in major US museums are white men, and the Association of Art Museum Directors reports that 72 percent of staff at its member institutions are white. These are the people who shape and reshape the canon, who have the power to decide and dismiss.


    A bust of Avery Brundage at the entrance of the Asian Art Museum Chiraag Bhakta

    Consider the Asian Art Museum’s own history: It was founded on the collection of Avery Brundage, a Chicago businessman and the fifth president of the International Olympic Committee. Brundage’s portrait still hangs proudly in the museum library; a bust of him greets you at the entrance of the museum. In 1959, Brundage began donating his Asian artwork to the city of San Francisco—a collection that would amount to nearly 8,000 pieces. What the museum leaves out of its public narrative is that its founder was “the preeminent American apologist for Nazi Germany,” in the words of author Jeremy Schaap. In the ’60s, the Olympic Committee for Human Rights, a group protesting racism in sports, demanded Brundage’s removal as the Olympics president. The committee had exposed his ownership of a country club in California that excluded Jewish and black people from its membership. In response to a potential boycott by black athletes of the 1968 Olympics, Brundage notoriously said, “They won’t be missed.” (He had been instrumental in preventing a US boycott of the so-called Nazi games in 1936.) Brundage was “a racist down to his toes,” said Lee Evans, an American sprinter on the 1968 Olympic team. “A brutal, racist pig,” said a teammate, Marty Liquori. A “Jew hater and a Jew baiter,” was the verdict of Gustavus Town Kirby, delivered in a 1936 letter to Brundage himself. Now think about how a man like this actually acquired his art collection. Don’t fool yourself.

    The Asian Art Museum is far from the only institution negotiating its own white supremacist foundations. Just a few years ago, the British Museum’s Twitter account revealed as much when it shared how it decides to label artwork, tweeting: “We aim to be understandable by 16 year olds. Sometimes Asian names can be confusing, so we have to be careful about using too many.” (Dang, sorry to all those 16-year-old Asian kids with funny names.)

    My installation went up after rounds of hard-fought revisions. I stood firm on the title #WhitePeopleDoingYoga, but I caved on the museum’s ultimatum: I took down the shrine depicting a white couple as South Asian gurus.
    continued next post
    Gene Ching
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    Continued from previous post


    The installation as it appeared at the Asian Art Museum Chiraag Bhakta

    Let’s break this **** down: Here were white elites exerting power over Brown critique that was explicitly about white elites exerting power over Brown culture. The irony is comical now, but it was painful and unnerving then. After taking parts down, I thought the worst was over, but it was only the beginning. People across the operation, from the marketing department to the education team to the curatorial staff, continued to sterilize my perspective, tiptoeing around me to make themselves feel more comfortable and spare the museum further controversy. Brown critique had to be sanitized for white consumption.

    Here were white elites exerting power over Brown critique that was explicitly about white elites exerting power over Brown culture.
    Throughout my meetings with curators and educators, there was one person whose name they kept mentioning as an authority calling the shots—the chief curator, also white, an unseen figure in the forest who seemed to be deliberately keeping a distance. At first, I wouldn’t have expected the chief curator to get involved, but it was a bit alarming that he never did, given all that went down. Some of the staffers under him were maneuvering through tense conversations with me, like messengers nervously doing their boss’s bidding to keep their jobs. I completely sympathize, but it left me wondering: Was I seeing the museum’s disorganization or something more malicious, a deliberate mixing of messages? It felt as if I’d hit a sore spot with several white staffers. Some of them had dedicated their entire lives to Asian arts, and now they had been implicated in my critique of appropriation. Why were they being criticized, they seemed to wonder. Weren’t they the ones giving nonwhite artists like me a platform?

    I’d soon caught wind that senior staffers, without telling me, had decided to withhold my work’s title from marketing material. This was enraging. The title #WhitePeopleDoingYoga was my observation—my statement as an Indian American. It was the core of my piece; the ephemera was just the vehicle, and the museum knew that. This battle over a title became a proxy for something bigger: a struggle over whose sensitivities needed to be protected and whose could be ignored.

    As part of the marketing rollout for the yoga show, the museum planned to publish a 12-by-12-inch, 24-page advertising supplement in the San Francisco Examiner, the SF Weekly, and the SF Bay Guardian. In all, 250,000 copies were being printed. The museum had decided behind my back that it was not going to promote my work in an honest way—not just by excluding the title but also by dumbing down the description of my work. At one point, a draft of the marketing material referred to my work as an “amusing” and “lighthearted” collection.

    And of course my title was nowhere to be found in the supplement. I decided to insert it myself: I contacted the supplement’s ad team, without consulting the museum, and took out my own full-page ad:


    Chiraag Bhakta

    I paid out of pocket, negotiating a reduced rate that was equal to what the museum had paid me for my installation: $1,500. Straight into my hands for my work and straight out of my hands for my ad, all to retain my voice. Symmetry at its finest.


    Michael Martinez

    By this point, the museum store had already agreed to sell merch that I would create: T-shirts, tote bags, and postcards. (Ah, the irony of selling products for an installation critiquing capitalism.) When it came time to display my merch in the store, the marketing chief found out that my stuff bore the title #WhitePeopleDoingYoga and froze: In a meeting with two PR leaders, the marketer told me in a chipper, condescending voice that they weren’t sure where they stood on my merch. They needed a few days to think it through while keeping all the products in the basement.

    I called a meeting, inviting all 11 staffers who’d been involved in the process, nine of whom were white. What an awkward meeting. I met them in this grand, lavish, colonial-style boardroom, and from across a formal table, I listened to the marketing chief declare that the words “white people” are “offensive” and appear “out of context” on the merch. (Isn’t all merch out of context?) Remember, this was an approved title. If a museum is going to approve an artwork’s title, either stand by it or don’t. The push-and-pull was infuriating and exhausting. Getting a clear position from the museum was like trying to play catch with a balloon.

    One of the museum’s staff members, who was white, came to my defense in that boardroom. He exposed the museum’s hypocrisy by holding up its own branded tote bag that bore only the word “Asian” on it, and as I remember it he said, “I’m a white man walking around San Francisco with this bag that just says ‘Asian’ on it, without ‘museum,’ and it’s completely ‘out of context.’ Why is our bag okay but Chiraag’s is not?” The marketing chief’s response: “Well, that’s our brand, so it’s okay.”
    continued next post
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    Continued from previous post


    Chiraag Bhakta

    And what to do with all those stacks of merch that they weren’t going to sell anymore? I joked that they should ship them to India—put some shirts on kids’ backs and create some interesting conversation. My other suggestion: Give the merch back to me. The museum eventually pulled all my bags and shirts from the store and sold them to me for a total of $1, to acknowledge the transaction.

    The opening parties featured Indian classical music performed by white people, acro-yoga performed by white people, a chanting group mostly compromising white people, and a white couple from Marin teaching yoga for an hour. There was a sprinkle of Brown acts, but the headliner—wait for it—was a white rapper named MC Yogi, who spit about yoga and Indian culture over a beat dropped by DJ Drez, a white DJ with dreads. (Reminder: the largest institution of Asian art in the United States.)

    Onstage behind the musicians was a massive projection of MC Yogi’s name, an Om symbol, and a crown—the very symbol of British oppression over India for hundreds of years. Here was a white artist mashing symbols and cultures—Indian and hip-hop—to root his identity in the fetishization of Brown and cool purely for his own benefit, disregarding communities of color.


    Musicians perform at a 2014 gala celebrating the Asian Art Museum’s Yoga: The Art of Transformation. Claudine Gossett for Drew Altizer Photography


    Jason Tongen

    To a certain kind of liberal-minded white person, perspectives like MC Yogi’s are commonly viewed as positive. He is “sharing” and “celebrating” cultures, not raiding them for his own benefit. In these contexts, positivity acts as a sort of Trojan horse; it’s how you smuggle white supremacy into the gates. Perspectives like mine, on the other hand, are widely seen as negative, divisive. The title of my upcoming show in Los Angeles plays on this concept: Why You So Negative?

    The yoga show in 2013–2014 was scheduled to make one last stop after San Francisco, in Cleveland. I spoke with the Cleveland Art Museum to see if its curators wanted to include my installation. The lead curator said the idea was “hugely interesting” and “there is a lot of enthusiasm for your project here at CMA.” The curator flew to San Francisco and met me in person. Enthusiasm kept building. The conversation progressed far enough that we began talking costs, which didn’t seem like a sticking point. The curator even emailed me an internal floorplan of the show to finalize gallery placement.

    After more than a month of fine-tuning our plans, the curator said there was one last “hurdle” to clear before approval: The Cleveland museum planned to invite the city’s commercial yoga studios to teach classes and had to make sure the studios felt comfortable in the same space as an installation titled #WhitePeopleDoingYoga. That’s when the plans fell apart. Out of nowhere, the curator—the uneasy messenger—emailed me to say the museum felt that my installation would be “ad hoc” (odd, given that we’d spent a month planning it). And, wait, what had happened to that last “hurdle”? It’s not surprising that local businesses could mute a museum’s platform; that’s what happens when you trade curatorial integrity for financial obligations. (Mother Jones couldn’t reach the curator for comment.)

    The whole ordeal left me exhausted. My own community was a source of comfort, though. My friend Vijay Iyer, the jazz composer, MacArthur “genius” grant winner, and Harvard arts professor, gave me reassurance that I was not alone. In a talk he delivered in 2014 at Yale, he mentioned my installation in San Francisco, saying it was part of a “problematic exhibit,” and called out “Northern California culture’s imperial relationship to all things Indian.” Vijay was speaking as a South Asian American who’d spent plenty of time “navigating and resisting the exoticizing, incorporating tendencies of white American cultural omnivores”:

    Because of the circles I traveled in as an artist, I noticed a similar tendency in the way that whites in the Bay Area dealt with jazz, hip-hop, and all things Black: not as a defiant assertion of Black identity and community, but as the fetishized trappings of cool—something white people could wear, collect, or otherwise incorporate into white subjectivity.
    That was it: My experience with the Asian Art Museum was an exercise in watching white people work out their identity on the back of mine. The platform they seemed to give me, it turned out, wasn’t actually for me—it was for them, a way to fashion my Brownness into something they could wear. White supremacy works that way, for all “minorities”; it censors any critique contained in nonwhite expression and commodifies and tokenizes whatever’s left, forcing people like me into the posture of the model minority.

    But I’m the negative one, right?

    You can find more about Chiraag Bhakta’s work on PardonMyHindi.com. His solo show, Why You So Negative?, opens Friday and runs through October 27 at Human Resources in Los Angeles, at 410 Cottage Home Street, HumanResourcesLA.com. The show’s programming includes a performance by artist Nikhil Chopra, who recently performed and has work up at the Met and SFMOMA. A yoga class will also take place the following weekend.

    Chiraag is advised by Dr. Roger Neesh.
    Wow. I was a member of SFMOMA when I lived in SF over 20 years ago. I renewed sometime ago but I don't quite remember when that was. I'm not a member anymore.

    This story went right by me.
    Gene Ching
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    S.168

    So an NFL owner gets busted for soliciting prostitutes, and we get regulated?


    Controversial bill regulating bodywork, intended to fight human trafficking, will get a rewrite

    Posted Oct 28, 5:26 PM


    Bodywork practitioners testify at a hearing of the Joint Committee on Consumer Protection and Professional Licensure on Oct. 28, 2019. (Shira Schoenberg / The Republican)

    By Shira Schoenberg | sschoenberg@repub.com

    Proponents of a controversial anti-human trafficking bill are planning to rewrite it after Reiki, Qigong and even yoga practitioners said the current bill would drive many legitimate healers out of business.

    “While we want to ensure that we can combat human trafficking however it manifests in our communities, we do not want to burden legitimate practitioners with arduous training and education requirements or redefine industry standards for their modalities,” Beth Keeley, chief of the Human Trafficking Division in Attorney General Maura Healey’s office, told the Joint Committee on Consumer Protection and Professional Licensure at a hearing on Monday.

    Keeley said Healey — who worked with Sen. Mark Montigny, D-New Bedford, in writing the bill — will submit a redrafted version.

    The bill, S.168, would license and regulate bodywork businesses. Bodywork can include things like acupressure, aromatherapy, Reiki, reflexology, tai chi, Ayurveda, biofeedback, Shiatsu or a host of other practices, often those that involve moving energy around the body.

    The bill is aimed at cracking down on illicit “bodywork” shops that are actually fronts for human trafficking or sex trafficking, where a trafficker recruits women who are paid to provide sexual services to clients.

    The issue gained national attention this year after New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft was charged with soliciting a woman for prostitution at a Florida spa.

    While experts could not say at the hearing how widespread the problem is, Woburn Police Lt. Brian McManus, who oversees human trafficking cases there, said in investigations, he often encounters “bodywork” businesses advertising on websites known to sell sex, with the same language and emojis used to advertise prostitution.

    McManus said Woburn, with a large business district and easy access to two interstate highways, has a pervasive problem with prostitution. Between 2014 and 2018, he estimated that there were around 30 investigations involving bodywork businesses.

    According to Healey’s office, their investigations have led to the indictment of 10 individuals since 2012 for human trafficking at illicit massage or bodywork establishments.

    In one case, for example, a Quincy woman was sentenced to five years in prison for trafficking women at bodywork establishments in East Longmeadow, Hadley and Framingham. The victims, who were paid for providing sexual services, lived at the businesses and were dependent on the owner for necessities like groceries.

    Currently, Massachusetts licenses and regulates massage therapists but not bodywork, although some cities and towns have instituted their own regulations. “These exist in a no-man’s land where they are not being regulated,” said Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan. “We are asking that the same regulation that has been brought to bear on the massage industry be brought to bear on the others.”

    Montigny has called it the “bodywork loophole,” and said in a letter to the committee that loophole “has threatened consumer protection and the public health and safety.”

    However, at a hearing, bodywork practitioners said the bill as currently drafted would go far beyond cracking down on human trafficking by establishing onerous educational and licensure requirements, which would likely put hundreds of practitioners out of business.

    “What you’re doing right now, it’s madness,” said Clark Reddick, a stress relief and recovery specialist. “For every one person it might help, it promises to create 1,000 citizens of collateral damage.” For example, Reddick said it would not be financially worthwhile for his wife, who works with him part-time, to take an expensive training class in order to continue working.

    The bill as currently written would set up a seven-member board to regulate and license bodywork professionals.

    The board would establish standards for professional and ethical conduct, set educational qualifications, investigate complaints to identify deceptive or dangerous behavior, and penalize those who break the law.

    The bill would require practitioners to have undergone at least 500 hours of education or supervised training. Anyone convicted of a sexual crime or crime of “moral turpitude” could not apply for a license within 10 years.

    But those in the field testified that there is no reasonable way for a seven-member board to develop credentials for licensing what could include 150 or 200 different types of practices. Some involve touch; others look more like exercise; others include meditation.

    Carol Bedrosian, the publisher of Spirit of Change magazine, which writes about alternative healing, compiled a list of 167 practices potentially affected by the bill. Asked why regulating bodywork is different from regulating medicine, she said, “How could one board know what licensing qualifications are for an endocrinologist as well as a heart surgeon?”

    Rita Glassman, a Reiki master and executive director of Massachusetts Coalition of Holistic Practitioners, questioned a requirement that practitioners attend a state-licensed school to become credentialed.

    “No state-licensed schools teach Reiki. Reiki is taught in people’s living rooms, maybe in centers,” Glassman said. She said there are 64 major lineages of Reiki, a type of energy healing, and Reiki cannot be standardized into a single course.

    The bill, she said, “will wipe out the profession in Massachusetts.”

    Robert Nelson, a registered nurse from Holyoke and a Reiki practitioner, said the proposed licensing standards will “dramatically reduce health care options to the citizens of the commonwealth of Massachusetts.” Several speakers noted that hospitals ranging from Cooley Dickinson to Dana-Farber Cancer Center to Children’s Hospital bring in Reiki practitioners.

    Several speakers said licensing should be reserved for practices that can cause harm, like prescribing a drug or injecting someone with a needle. “Does Reiki pose a danger to the public? … How about a mindfulness-based stress reduction program of meditation?” Bedrosian said.

    The bill also raises potential questions of religious freedom. Laura Kandziolka, who teaches Quigong, a Chinese system of breathing and exercises, said she has no reason to touch anyone’s body during her classes. She considers Quigong part of a religious practice, and told the committee, “I don’t think you’re here to require a license to practice religion.”

    Several practitioners noted that if they do something wrong in their profession, they maintain liability insurance. But, they said, regulating irresponsible healing practices is far different from cracking down on illicit prostitution, which is what the bill is intended to do. Several people who testified pointed out that a 2013 report by a special state task force looking at human trafficking made numerous recommendations, but no mention of licensing bodywork.

    Kandziolka said, “It’s not clear how requiring licensing of 150 or more additional specialties will cut down on human trafficking.”
    THREADS
    Qigong Regulation (not quigong )
    Yoga
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
    Support our forum by getting your gear at MartialArtSmart

  14. #149
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    This strikes me as so funny. Can ya blame him?

    JANUARY 13, 2020 DOCUMENT: Crime Moviegoer Beat Fellow Patron Over Phone Use
    Cops: Yoga instructor claimed victim ruined Tarantino film



    JANUARY 13--An Iowa yoga instructor allegedly pummeled a fellow moviegoer whose use of a phone during a showing of “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” was purportedly responsible for “ruining the film” for the accused assailant.



    Police yesterday arrested Nicholas Glasgow, 34, on assault and criminal mischief charges in connection with an incident last year at an Iowa City multiplex. Seen at right, Glasgow was released this morning from the Johnson County jail, where he had been booked on the misdemeanor charges.

    According to a criminal complaint, the Oscar-nominated film starring Brad Pitt and Leonardo DiCaprio had not even begun when Glasgow “contacted theater staff and demanded they speak to the victim about his phone usage.” Workers recalled Glasgow “telling them to take care of it or he would,” an investigator noted.

    At the conclusion of the Quentin Tarantino-directed film, Glasgow allegedly approached the victim and his friend and “demanded they apologize for ruining the film for him.” While the victim was seated and “before he could react,” Glasgow began punching him in the face, cops allege.

    During the ensuing fight, the victim ended up on the ground, and Glasgow began kicking him. The victim, cops say, suffered “a cut to his head, swelling, soreness, and redness to his face, and had his eyeglasses broken from the assault.”



    The 6’, 230-pound Glasgow was identified by theater personnel as “a regular who attends most Tuesday nights.” While the attack occurred in September, an arrest warrant for Glasgow was only issued Friday.

    In an online Q&A posted to the web site of an Iowa pilates studio, Glasgow described himself as “fiercely loyal, flexible, freedom lover” and said he loved yoga due to “the healin power.” In response to a question about his guilty pleasure, Glasgow answered, “Movie theater gluttony.” (1 page).
    THREADS
    Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
    Yoga
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
    Support our forum by getting your gear at MartialArtSmart

  15. #150
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    Dec 1969
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    Bikram

    Not sure how many of you are following the Bikram scandal, but it just goes to show that it's not just Martial Artists and MMAists that get busted around here.

    Creditors closing in on ‘hot yoga’ guru Bikram Choudhury’s cars
    By Noah Manskar February 9, 2020 | 10:25pm | Updated


    Bikram Choudhury Getty Images

    Half of Bikram Choudhury’s luxury car collection has finally been chased down — and it’s ready for the auction block.

    Authorities have seized nearly two dozen vintage automobiles owned by the disgraced yoga master, capping a three-year pursuit by creditors including women who have sued him for sexual harassment, The Post has learned.

    The pervy guru — who lured stars like Madonna, George Clooney and David Beckham to his “hot yoga” classes, only to flee the country amid a slew of rape and sexual assault allegations from former students — had stashed the 22 cars in a Miami warehouse in 2016 to keep them out of at least one of his alleged victims’ hands, court documents say.

    But in December, Miami police quietly seized Choudhury’s fleet, law-enforcement officials confirmed to The Post. Among the pricey rides are a 1937 Rolls Royce Phantom III — the same model that appeared in the 1964 James Bond flick “Goldfinger,” and that was used by its namesake villain to smuggle gold.

    The eye-popping collection boasts a dozen Rolls-Royces in all, as well as five Bentleys, a 1966 Jaguar M10, a 1971 Pontiac Lemans, a 1969 Murano, a specially constructed Ford GT40 and a 1973 Ford Mustang Mach 1, court records show.

    The rest of the collection, which includes three Ferraris and six Mercedes-Benzes, is allegedly still at large.

    The seized vehicles — whose “hypothetical” sales value could range from $800,000 to $1.5 million — are set to be auctioned off March 20 and March 21 at Palm Beach International Raceway, paving the way for some of Choudhury’s alleged victims to get paid, court records show.

    Nevertheless, the women — including Minakshi Jafa-Bodden, an Oxford-educated lawyer who won $6.6 million from a wrongful termination suit against Choudhury — are only likely to get a small fraction of what they’re owed.

    “The projected revenue generated from the car sales will nowhere be enough to satisfy the creditors,” Robbin Itkin, the trustee appointed to handle Choudhury’s corporate bankruptcy, said in a November complaint against him.

    That’s partly because the bankrupt yogi has bent over backwards to hide the extensive car collection from creditors, according to court papers. The cars went missing after a Los Angeles jury ruled that Choudhury had illegally fired Jafa-Bodden after she started investigating his alleged sexual misconduct.

    A few months after the verdict, Choudhury in December 2016 enlisted the help of a businessman known as “Elo” in spiriting at least 23 of his rides from Las Vegas to the Miami warehouse, court documents allege.

    Less than a year later in November 2017 — facing some $16 million in legal judgments, mostly for his accusers — Choudhury filed for bankruptcy protection. Itkin was appointed as trustee the next year at the behest of the Justice Department, which cited Choudhury’s “gross mismanagement” of his own companies.

    Itkin snapped up 22 of Choudhury’s cars at a Jan. 22 sheriff’s sale in Miami, a step that she said allowed her to avoid lengthy litigation to get them back. They’re now technically the property of Choudhury’s estates, but Itkin plans to sell them at auction.

    The proceeds will be split among Jafa-Bodden, various creditors of Choudhury’s estates, and the owner of the warehouse where Choudhury stored the cars. After auction fees and other costs are covered, the first $350,000 will go to the Miami warehouse owner, East Florida Hauling, which says it’s owed more than $600,000 in unpaid storage bills, lawyers’ fees and other costs.

    It’s unclear how much the auction will generate, but if the cars fetch $1.5 million, Jafa-Bodden would end up with just $320,775, minus Itkin’s lawyer fees related to the sale. East Florida Hauling would pocket $583,500 and the estates would get $595,725.

    “Anything is better than nothing,” Itkin told The Post. “Anything we can do to try to give something back to the people who are owed money is better than the situation where we are now.”

    A lawyer for Choudhury did not provide comment for this story.

    Choudhury found international fame and fortune through his signature routine of 26 yoga poses performed over 90 minutes in stifling 105-degree heat. But his cult of personality also gave Bikram Yoga a seedy underbelly of sexual predation, his former staffers and students have alleged.

    Jafa-Bodden and at least eight other women have accused Choudhury since 2013 of rape, sexual assault or harassment, allegations that got renewed attention last year with the release of the Netflix documentary “Bikram: Yogi, Guru, Predator.”

    Choudhury has denied the accusations, saying he would not need to force himself on anyone because women line up to sleep with him. He has not faced criminal charges.

    “Why I have to harass women? People spend $1 million for one drop of my sperm,” Choudhury said in a 2016 interview with HBO’s “Real Sports.”

    One of Choudhury’s alleged sexual exploits even took place in a car. Petra Starke, a former Obama administration staffer who went to work for Choudhury in 2013, said in a lawsuit that she saw Choudhury demand a 23-year-old yoga instructor give him oral sex in a limousine from New York to Atlantic City.

    It’s unclear from the complaint whether he owned that limo.
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
    Support our forum by getting your gear at MartialArtSmart

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