Seekers of enlightenment sometimes get sidetracked, as is the case with several swamis, gurus and world-renowned yoga teachers claiming to be holy, or at least ‘holier than thou.’ The latest attention sucking scandal involves John Friend, the founder of Anusara Yoga. Unimpressed and indifferent, those outside the yoga community just see it as some ordinary freak that smokes pot, fudged some paperwork and likes to have sex; lots and lots of sex. But inside the yoga community there are lines being drawn, mass exoduses by those affiliated with his school of yoga, and sides being taken.
Those who love John Friend are calling him just an ordinary human for allegedly lying about employee pension plans, smoking pot and having sex with his students. “Everyone makes mistakes, that is how we grow spiritually, and John Friend is no exception,” read a comment on Facebook. The other camp however, those who can smell a fraud from a mile away, are in no way calling his behavior excusable, and they are making it known.
Yawn. It is not just high-esteemed master yogi’s that have fallen victim to inappropriate self-indulgences. The Catholic Church has experienced its fair share of sex scandals, politicians frequently get caught lying or cheating, and the high school valedictorian surprises everyone by getting busted for selling cocaine. To mull over another ‘good guy gone bad’ story is a waste of time indeed, but we all love to paw at people’s misfortunes. Some might call this fussing or fretting an addiction in itself, one that feels nearly impossible to break, as we stay glued to the tabloids and blogs that dig up the latest dirt on authority figures.
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Choosing a yoga style is like trying to find a great pair of jeans. You may have to test out a few dozen styles before you find a pair that fits your body and your personality.
Here are five of the most popular yoga classes and an introduction into the philosophy, history and style of each.
Ashtanga Yoga: One of the oldest form of yoga, Ashtanga Yoga, is Sanskrit for “eight limbs,” which represent the eight aspects of yoga as outlined by the sage Patanjali in the Yoga Sutras. Even though Ashtanga yoga is believed to be 5,000 years old, if not older, its modern popularity is credited to Sri K. Pattabhi Jois, who in 1948, under the guidance of his guru, Krishnamacharya, created The Ashtanga Yoga Research Institute in Mysore, India for teaching this specific style of yoga.
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So everybody in your life, including your pregnant friend, 65-year-old mom and teen-aged niece, are all doing yoga. After listening to them extol the benefits that this ancient Indian practice has had on their stressed out minds and seeing the proof in their new lean yoga bodies, it is time that you discover firsthand what the yoga buzz is all about.
But before you lift off into a headstand in the middle of your kitchen, read our Beginner’s Guide to Yoga so that you’ll be in the know-how as you roll out your mat and join the millions of Americans practicing yoga.
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Ok, so your trainer just beat you up at the gym or you stretched your downward-dog a little bit too far in yesterday’s yoga class and now you’re feeling the burn. Instead of reaching for the ibuprofen and Bengay, have you ever tried the topical ointment, Arnica? Arnica, a pain-relief cream that comes from the plant Arnica Montana has been used as a natural remedy for aches, pains, inflammation and bruises for over 500 years. Arnica comes in either a cream or tincture form and it is safe when used topically at the prescribed dosages for short-term use only. Prolonged use has been shown to cause skin irritation. It can be picked up at your local health food store. Talk to your primary care physician about it the next you’re in for a routine visit.