Posts Tagged ‘Yoga’

Loss of innocence about Yoga

March 29, 2018

When I was a child, I was enchanted by the stories I heard about Yogis. I heard they possessed supernatural powers. I heard they had such control over their bodies that they could live for several hundred years, or more.

Sadly, I’ve come to realize that the stories I heard were more fiction than fact. For their supposed supernatural powers, well, they were never scientifically proven. And as for longevity, the Yogis that I am aware of had surprisingly short lives:

  • Paramahansa Yogananda only lived to 59 years of age
  • Swami Vishnudevananda only lived to 65 years of age
  • Maharishi Mahesh Yogi lived to be 90
  • K. S. Iyengar lived to 95
  • Yogi Bhajan lived to 75

That is hardly an impressive longevity list.

3 things that I will never recommend

February 29, 2016
  1. I will never recommend a particular diet (paleo, macrobiotic, raw foods, fruitarian, juicing, etc.)
  2. I will never recommend a particular exercise program (weightlifting, running, yoga, etc.)
  3. I will never recommend a particular book.


Because my views on these things are fluid, constantly changing. Today I am convinced that one diet/exercise program/book is “the ultimate truth” and the next day I realize it’s not. I have no idea what truth is. But I have a pretty good idea what kindness is, so instead of giving my version of truth to people, I will give them my kindness.

When is an exercise mastered?

August 6, 2014

Long ago a Yogi told me, “You have mastered a Yoga asana when you can perform it steadily, effortlessly for 3 hours, 40 minutes.”

Wow! That is awesome.

Recently I have been focussing on the descent part of an exercise. For example, in one hand I lift a dumbell overhead and then slowly, steadily lower it. After it is lowered I explosively drive it back up and then repeat. When is an exercise mastered? I submit this as a measure of mastery: when the weight can be lowered steadily over a period of 60 seconds (1 minute), the exercise has been mastered and it is then time to increase the weight. Thoughts?

A supple spine for youthfulness and long life

April 6, 2014

Recently I watched a YouTube video of a 1960 TV show featuring a Yogi [1]. He said something that really hit me:

There is a natural tendency for the
ligaments to get shortened as you
get old. Often, by the age of 40 or 50
the body has become like a statue.
The Yogi’s method is to keep the body
elastic and supple, especially the spinal
column. By doing so, we can maintain
our youth and have a long life.

Recently I have been going to a place that offers “hot Yoga” instruction (the room is heated to 100 degrees and is very humid). I shockingly discovered that — yikes! — I have become one of those “statues” that the Yogi refers to. I am pretty inflexible. I am determined to work diligently in the upcoming months to reverse this and get back my youthful suppleness.

[1] Yogi Swami Vishnudevananda on TV in 1960: