Tag Archives: videos

Jump Back: Slow Motion

Here’s another view of a Jump Back, in super slow motion:

It’s a Crow pose, almost a Tripod Headstand, in the beginning. Great video.

I think this guy is overusing his lower back. It looks like he collapses into his low back a little when he lands. And watch the curve of his spine from Up Dog into Down Dog. (I tend to do the same thing, letting lumbar flexibility overpower core strength.) What do you think?

The Story of Stuff

I’m kind of overwhelmed by green lately. The movement. I was better at recycling and volunteering and changing the world before there were signs and ads and celebrities telling me to do it. Like veganism, being green can turn into a whole neurotic set of shoulds and guilt. Like conspicuous consumption, being green can become an ego trip of competitive materialism. Which is horrible; being environmentally friendly is one of the best things you can do for yourself, your community, and the earth. But pop culture is in-your-face and annoying, so we can’t expect green culture to avoid those tactics and side effects entirely.

Anyways. Therefore. I really appreciated The Story of Stuff, a video by Annie Leonard that uses cute and simple illustrations to give a big-picture perspective on consumerism. It deconstructs our objects of desire, whether fashionable, technological, or lifestyle, instead of hammering us with another list of do’s and don’ts. The New York Times says it’s a hit in schools, supplementing science textbooks and seeding discussions on environmentalism. In just twenty minutes, the video shares a lot of information, but also a lot of heart. Our economic production cycle is broken into a five-stage diagram that’s filled out with people, skull-and-crossbones, fat cats, and trash. Common tenets about recycling and value are debunked, but Leonard doesn’t strand us in apathy. She suggests actions, and alternatives, to reshape the machine.

(And we could of course segue into a long discussion on the principle of santosha, or contentment…)

So feed your brain with the video above, or pop over to the site to see it in higher quality. It’s the next Inconvenient Truth.

We Are Incredibly Powerful Beings

“The whole system that we live in drills into us that we’re powerless, that we’re weak, that our society is evil, that it’s fraudulent, and so forth. It’s all a big fat lie. We are powerful, beautiful, extraordinary. There is no reason why we cannot understand who we truly are, where we are going. There is no reason why the average individual cannot be fully empowered. We are incredibly powerful beings.”

“I think I spent thirty years of my life trying to become something, I wanted to become good at things. I wanted to become good at tennis, I wanted to become good at school, and grades, and everything I kind of viewed in that perspective: I’m not okay the way I am, but if I got good at things… I realized I had the game wrong the game was to find out what I already was.”

“Now, in our culture we’ve been trained for individual differences to stand out, so you look at each person and the immediate hit is brighter, dumber, older, younger, richer, poorer, and we make all of these dimensional distinctions, put them in categories and treat them that way. And we get so that we only see others as separate from ourselves, in the ways in which they’re separate, and one of the dramatic characteristics of experience is being with another person and suddenly seeing the ways in which they are like you, not different from you. And experiencing the fact that which is essence in you, and which is essence in me, is indeed ONE, the understanding that there is no other, it is all one.”

Zeitgeist, The Movie

Wii Fit Yoga is Keeping Me Balanced

Wii Fit Yoga
Wii Fit Yoga

I’m staying with my older brother and his darling wife this week for the family Xmas get-together. They have more video games than God, and one of those systems is the Wii Fit!

I’ve only played a Wii once, and that was the cooking game where you have to turn and shake the controller to crack eggs or saute veggies or roll out ravioli. The Wii Fit has a floor panel that you step on, which measures your balance both left/right and front/back. It’s only about 15″ x 20″, so you’re limited to basic standing poses. In Warrior II you have only the front foot on the panel; in Down Dog you have just your hands on the panel.

The poses are offered individually, not in sequences, like a Hatha class. You mimic the trainer guy or girl on screen, and try to synchronize your breathing to a circle that expands or contracts. (Unfortunately the breathing circle doesn’t really match up with the movements in the pose.) There’s also a little balance indicator a dot within a circle that you try and keep centered by centering your weight.

It’s super interesting to see where your balance actually lies. In the last few months I’ve realized that my left leg and arm are noticably weaker than my right, and the Wii Fit agreed I consistently had my weight around 52% on the right side, 48% on the left, even after watching the dial and trying to fix my imbalance. If there was a full-size yoga mat with balance sensors, that would be REALLY interesting.

Of course the game is totally different than a real yoga practice; it actually made me MORE tense because once I hit my mark, I didn’t want to move or breathe and lose points. The pose alignments are also weird; in Warrior II the demo guy has his front knee in front of his ankle, which is not generally regarded as safe for beginners. But the balance info is really cool. And the Wii system is really designed for sedentary people, so it’s definitely a good way to get off the couch. Where else can you alternate yoga with slalom skiing and hula hooping?

Note: I’ll be back home on New Year’s Eve, posting for the New Year!