Big business lunges for a piece of fat yoga profit: “Yoga Journal estimates that 15 million U.S. residents practiced yoga last year, up almost 30% from the year before. The explosion hit a couple of years ago shortly after Gucci grabbed headlines with $850 yoga mats it no longer sells. While yoga appears to be still growing in popularity, other fitness trends, such as the body-conditioning Pilates, are now more explosive, says the IDEA Health & Fitness Association.” USATODAY.com This article comes on the tail of the Washington Post article from last week. It’s a bit breathless.
I was breezing through the latest issue of Yoga Journal and came across an ad that promotes the use of a neti pot (and ingredients) to clear up “nasal discomfort” (page 71). SinuCleanse, however, is available in Walgreens or any other drug store. I guess that’s just another sign of alternative healthcare going mainstream.There are two online videos — an instructional one that explains the use of a neti pot (though it’s never called that or its roots in yoga) and a health news report from a Wisconsin affiliate of NBC. Apparently, SinuCleanse has been around for about seven years, but it has only recently gone national. The kit costs $15 and 100-packet volume purchase of refills costs $10.
On the other hand, the Himalaya Institute Press sells a range of products for nasal washes. Neti pots are also sold in a lot of yoga prop distributors.
I use mine almost every day.
A friend recently reminded me about a book that I had purchased more than a decade ago — Writing Down the Bones by Natalie Goldberg. It is published by Shambhala Publications, a publisher specialized in Zen, Buddhism, spirituality, yoga and other neat things. The book has become a classic, nearly one million copies in print since 1986. Goldberg writes and teaches writing with a Zen punch. She says that “writing is a practice,” just like mediation and yoga.
I was drawn to writing a blog about my yoga life because it is part of a practice for me, just as much as the asanas and pranayama. I learn, share that experience and refine understanding through putting words together. Writing is what sets me apart from most people — I learned that in my graduate studies, at work, on the web and in my life. It is how I manifest generosity and acknowledge the joy and fulfillment of my daily existence.
Golberg explains her 25 years of meditation practice in an article in Yoga Journal. She imparts some wisdom about meditating and writing:
“And my final rule is this: No matter how far your meditation diverts from the cushion or the chair, don’t forget to return again and again, as much as possible, to that immobile sitting position, where everything runs through you. Think of it: If a writer is a writer, she eventually, even 30 years later, must pick up a pen again and write. A Zen student, no matter how much he or she chops wood or carries water, must return to the zafu. Each practice has its one essential activity. For Zen, it is sitting. This is good. Otherwise we might wander off, get lost forever, and never find the beginning.”
I am not a flexible yogi. If I had to make a list of areas I need to work on, I would end up with all the major joints in the body — from ankles to shoulders. But hips are up at the top of the list. I chanced across Hips Too Tight? If you’re having difficulty with forward bends, don’t assume it’s your hamstrings. Inflexible rotator muscles may be to blame. by Judith Hanson Lasiter. The article originally appeared in the January/February 2000 isssue of Yoga Journal, but this version also includes the photographs.
I just wanted to mention that I consider Yoga Journal a first-class publication. I’ve been really impressed by the thorough and thoughtful coverage of all things yogic — from meditation to props. Just looking at the list of authors demonstrates the quality of people buying into their product. I have a subscription to the magazine and will probably renew shortly for 2 more years. I visit the site a couple of times a week to look up old articles. It’s a kind of online encyclopedia about yoga. For instance, I found an excellent article (March/April 2002 issue) about the different approaches to pranayama among six yogic traditions: Integral, Kripalu, Astanga, Viniyoga, Iyengar, and Kundalini. The article was written by Claudia Cummings.
I have my PDA loaded with about 20 articles that I have been reading at my lunch break. I use iSilox to grab web pages and format them for a handheld. The trick is to first get a print version of the web page to eliminate ads and other non-essential graphics and links.