Ashtanga, NY

Ashtanga, NY - A Yoga DocumentaryAs I perused netflix’s yoga offerings the other day, I noticed this little gem–Ashtanga, NY— available for streaming. If you love yoga and have 40 minutes I very much recommend it.

This short documentary was shot during Sri K Pattabhi Jois‘s visit to NYC in September 2001. (Also known as Guruji, Jois was a father of the modern yoga movement and popularized/founded the Ashtanga style of yoga.)

Every day that month, hundreds of NYC yogis woke up at dawn to practice yoga under instruction of Guruji and family. This is an Indian-style family affair, with Guruji’s daughter (Saraswati), grandson (Sharath), and various other family members serving as Guruji’s posse during his international trip.

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Yoga and vampires

I wish I knew how to link to this:

I love vampires. So I investigated what the internet had to offer in regards to vampires & yoga. Not much to find, mostly that a handful of hot young actors on vampire TV shows do it (yoga). Ryan Kwanten, who is unconscionably crushable, plays a human on True Blood (my favorite of the vampire shows and airs on HBO) and has trained with Kathryn Budig, a CA-based yoga teacher. Nina Dobrev plays a breathy human and her evil twin vampire ancestor on the Vampire Diaries (a WB show about supernatural high schoolers) and says she would be a yoga instructor if she weren’t an actor. Ian Somerhalder plays a bad boy vampire on the Vampire Diaries and apparently tweets about doing hot yoga. (All male vampires are bad boys, which is why we love them, but some are badder than others.)

Other vampire yoga odds and ends include this amusing blog post speculating on vampires’ need for yoga. From what I gather the author is an academic in philosophy and a dedicated Ashtangi. I’ve quoted him at length:

If vampires do exist, would they need to practice yoga? If everything we know about vampires is correct, vampires never grow old and die. So it seems that they wouldn’t need to practice yoga for the health benefits…but maybe some vampires might decide to practice yoga anyway, because like humans, vampires also have worries, and practicing yoga would also enable them to have greater equanimity in the face of stressful situations and life’s many worries (“Where is my next vial of blood going to come from?”)

Should there also be classes that are exclusively for vampires? And maybe yoga DVDs made exclusively for vampires (the latest Rodney Yee video to hit the shelves: “Yoga for Vampires and Other Undead Citizens”)?

Remember, this is not a laughing matter. If you have taken Philosophy 101, you would know that just because something has never happened before does not mean that it will not happen in the future: Just because there are no vampires around today (at least not any that we are aware of) does not mean that there will be no vampires in the future. We need to be prepared. [my emphasis]

Lastly, this reading of Rock N Roll and the Immortal Soul: A Vampire Musical, shows some vampires (I think) at a yoga class. It raises the dilemma a vampire might face while doing sun salutations, because the sun is deadly. oy vey.

Yoga in pop culture, Elvis

I love when yoga gets a shout out in TV or film. The theme is often “bewildered dude encounters hippy crap” and is usually hilarious. The clips reminds me of my first traumatic yoga class. My friends took me to Bhava Yoga Center, then located in the Lower East Side, promising “yoga is amazing!” Most of the students seemed to be off-duty dancers, showing off their flexibility and strength in impossible poses. I hated downward facing dog, which looked simple but felt impossible. The spirituality seemed superficial and fake. I remember how badly I wanted the class to end, and I didn’t step inside another yoga studio for year and a half.

Never seen this show Dexter, but this clip makes me laugh.

Yikes, I just googled the show. This guy is a serial killer. Anyway, here’s a deleted yoga scene from the movie Forgetting Sarah Marshall.

(“What’s up? My legs, that’s what! I’m doing a handstand motherf***er! I’m doing a handstand!”)

Another deleted scene from Forgetting Sarah Marshall.

This page has linked to a quite a few more pop culture yoga scenes.

OMG, Elvis!