September Is Yoga Month!

September 1, 2011 § Leave a comment

My favorite recent yoga resources

I don’t know where the summer went, but here is September! And September is Yoga Month! To celebrate and motivate (myself and others, if you are so inclined), and to honor work/life balance for information professionals (and everyone!), I am sharing some more of my recent favorite resources.

If you have never done yoga before, I highly recommend that you attend an in-person class in your neighborhood when you get started. Nothing really beats a live class. But to keep up a solid practice, doing it at home is really important, too. I have found over the years that the growing resources online have really helped me establish a solid home yoga practice. Yoga resources on the Interwebz are growing in leaps and bounds, I am happy to report, so here are some really great ones:

Videos

Unlimited yoga videos for $18 a month

Free livestream classes, and unlimited yoga videos for $15 a month. They also have four classes available for free any time. These don’t change frequently, but they are great classes and are worth repeating! I recommend Charlie Samos’ classes.

A nice variety of levels, styles, and class lengths here. Many videos available for free, unlimited availability for $9.95 a month. There is an online community and some programs for yogis/yoginis to accomplish specific goals.

Podcasts

If you search for “yoga” in the iTunes Store, and look at the available podcasts, you will find numerous choices. And the selection grows every day.

Music

I always like to recommend my Pandora Power Yoga Music station. It’s a great way to discover new music that is good for yoga practice, and a great way to get some variety.
What are some others that you recommend?
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Web v. Paper: On Serendipity

May 10, 2010 § Leave a comment

A few weeks ago, I attended the Women in the Forefront luncheon hosted by the Chicago Network, an organization that advocates for women in business leadership in Chicago. The keynote speaker was Ann S. Moore, the Chairman and CEO of Time, Inc.

Moore shared many wise points and witticisms in her speech, like the connection between a weak economy and searches for tuna casserole on the Internet, the importance of dinner time with family, and advised us all to get a compass in place of the clock. She lifted her glass to economic recovery, more women leaders, less tuna casserole, and more sunshine and serendipity.

She also shared her fear about the precarious state of America’s newspapers.  She reminded us that the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution is Freedom of the Press, and that democracy is possible only when citizens have access to information. While the Internet is a wonderful source of information, she warned that too much unfiltered information is overwhelming.

She criticized the trend of citizen journalism, saying that the sacrifices and risks that professional journalists make is undervalued. They go to war-torn countries and put themselves in danger to provide regular citizens with a complete story, while, Moore argues, most citizen journalists plagiarize their work. This is a rather harsh generalization, and while I do think that citizen journalism has a place, I couldn’t agree more that we need to protect the profession of journalism and ensure that it continues to be a viable career choice. We need to support the brave men and women on the front lines of getting first-hand accounts of world events.

About serendipity, Moore worries about the younger generations will not have the experience of reading the newspaper and stumbling randomly across stories and information. She asked us “how do you look for something when you don’t know what you’re looking for?”

This made me think of young people I have worked with in recent years who refused to read the hard copy version of their reading assignments. They complained that that got ink on their fingers! I would always counsel them that they will miss important details that they didn’t know they were looking for. Moore describes reading a hard copy newspaper as a serendipitous process, which I think very apt.

I’m always eager to learn about new technology. While I identify as an early adopter, I would qualify that by saying that I am also conservative about it. I will only actively adopt technology if I think it is a useful tool and will seamlessly fit into my already incredibly full information consumption routine.

Technology is convenient, and I admit, like those young researchers, I have become lazy in how I rely on technology to push information to me. Serendipity to me these days is reading my Twitter and RSS feeds, or listening to my podcasts. I lament that I am no longer in the habit of reading a morning news paper. I think I might go old-school, and be a minority on the bus in the morning, reading my paper with ink-stained fingers.

Social Innovation Conversations

February 27, 2010 § Leave a comment

If you are a nonprofit professional or work in any way with social benefit organizations, you should be reading the Stanford Social Innovation Review. If you are not, start now, or at least check out their blog and social media now and then.

The other day I stumbled upon the Center for Social Innovation’s Social Innovation Conversations podcasts while I was listening to my Stitcher podcasts. Yet another tremendous resource from Stanford. On the way to work, I listened to a lecture by Priya Haji, who talked about her company, World of Good, and its associated nonprofit organization, World of Good Development Organization. The combined mission of these organization is to improve economic and social conditions of women living in poverty. The business model is based on selling goods from impoverished communities that are produced ethically, sustainably, respectfully of the culture of the people, and ultimately get money back to the communities where they come from.

Haji’s enthusiasm and inspiration are infectious, and listening to this on my way to work made for an uplifting bus ride. Especially knowing that I am working with colleagues who are dedicated to ending hunger in the U.S.

For nonprofit professionals, it is important to be realistic about the challenges that our organizations face. It is equally important to find messages of hope and optimism, and sustainable business models that help us to think differently about what we do every day so that we don’t get stuck in a rut.

We should all be reading the SSIR and listening to its podcasts to keep up with industry trends as well as looking for inspiration.

Namaste: Yoga Music

February 21, 2009 § Leave a comment

As an addendum to my last post on yoga podcasts, I thought I would share a station on Pandora that I have created for my yoga practice. I have come to really enjoy playing ambient music during my practice, even while I play the podcasts.

My Power Yoga station on Pandora that has shaped up rather nicely if I do say so, incorporating Thievery Corporation, Massive Attack, the Cocteau Twins, Niyaz, and William Orbit as the seeds. Since I don’t have a lot of yoga music in my collection, the station has introduced me to a lot of new artists. The station is calming, and I even listen to it at work sometimes. I have had to thumbs-down some rather stressful electronica,  or really cheesy muzaak, as Pandora is wont to play some odd choices, but I’ve been working on the station for a little while, so most of the tunes that come through are beautiful, peaceful, though sometimes can get you moving for a more vigorous practice.

Sometimes I like the ambient stations on SOMA FM for my yoga practice. I recommend Groove Salad or The Drone Zone.

As always, I welcome comments or recommendations. Namaste!

Namaste: Yoga Podcasts

February 21, 2009 § Leave a comment

A while back on Paradoxologies I blogged about some great free yoga pod casts that I found through iTunes.  (That was all the way back in June of 2007!) Since then I have developed a really nice home practice with the inspiration mainly from Phil Urso’s Baptiste Power Vinyasa classes. I decided to blog about it here because I consider these podcasts a positive use of technology, promoting health, peace, and namaste.

Phil Urso’s podcasts are wonderful, and throughout 2006 and 2007 he was uploading them pretty regularly. In 2008 and so far in 2009 the podcasts have been more sporadic. Nonetheless, there are numerous class-length podcasts here, enough here to mix it up or repeat your favorites. His classes are challenging, his meditations are insightful, and his suggestions and tweeks for the poses have offered some really helpful enhancements to my practice, taking me deeper into some of the poses.

I have recently noticed that there are some other teachers out there providing free pod casts. I have been checking some of them out, and these are worth mentioning.

Dave Farmar — I haven’t spent as much time with these podcasts, but the few that I have tried have offered a more aggressive and vigorous practice. One could almost say more athletic. These again are full-length class podcasts are good for those who are looking for a more athletic practice.

TeriLeigh — I discovered these podcasts just a few weeks ago, and I may be partial to them because TeriLeigh is someone I could have gone to high school with. She grew up just a few miles from my home town, and is just a few years younger than I am. She has podcasts going back to March of 2008, and so far what I like about them is the variety. She has podcasts of different lengths — from 20 minutes to two hours — and each one so far offers a different series of postures. I find that many teachers tend to follow the same series, with a little variation. This is fine, but it is kind of refreshing to find a series of classes that offers a little variety. TeriLeigh has a very spiritual approach to her practice, and I find her vinyasa flow to be slow and intentional, allowing for time to really deepen each pose. While the practice is gentle, I find that it requires a lot of stamina (and therefore builds stamina, which is one of my goals) I generate a lot of heat.

These three podcasts, are all in the Baptiste Power Vinyasa method, and the teachers assume that you have had previous yoga training and are familiar with the postures. I do not recommend these for those just beginning. They are really great for intermediate and advanced students who want to get a solid home practice going.

More appropriate for beginners is Yoga Journal’s podcasts. While Yoga Journal is a commercial enterprise chock full of ads for weight-loss products aimed directly at women, and I indeed have my criticisms of it, I still find it to be a helpful resource and inspiration for my practice. They have launched a series of podcasts, which are now videos. Videos offer the advantage of actually seeing what the posture is supposed to look like. For beginners this can be a really helpful reference. What I like about these videos is that they are short and focus on specific poses parts of the body. If you have a specific part of your practice that you feel needs a little strengthening, there are videos that are available to address your specific concern. I recommend that you warm up a little on your own with a few sun salutations before launching into the podcasts about hip openers or backbends.

Some other podcasts and videos that I haven’t tried yet may also be worth checking out. Please leave a comment if you know of another good one!

Following the Economic Crisis

February 14, 2009 § Leave a comment

Since I study finance, wealth, and people for a living, I have a great deal of exposure to tools and information that help people understand the economic crisis. You can find my bookmarks on Delicious.

While all of the sites that I bookmark there are worthwhile, there are some that I think are exceptional:

  • Planet Money: Their blog and podcast offer unconventional and innovative reporting on the financial crisis. It’s entertaining and informative, explaining complicated concepts in terms almost anyone can understand. Some of their stories are featured on numerous NPR programs, so if you’re an NPR geek like me, you’re certain to have heard them. They also encourage audience participation. Upload a photo to their Flickr page, post a question to them through their Facebook group or Twitter, subscribe to the blog in your RSS feed, and listen to the podcasts. You’ll better understand these complicated economic times and how they could be effecting you.
  • IGM Forum: A web resource started by faculty members from the Initiative on Global Markets at the University of Chicago Booth School of Busines. The University of Chicago has long been known for its intellectual leadership in the world of finance and economics, and this crisis is no exception. Faculty members are regularly consulted by the media for thier analysis of the credit crisis and what it means for the future. While this is not a website with the intent to breakdown complicated economic policy like Planet Money, it is probably one of the primary resources that Planet Money would consult.
  • Speaking of Faith’s Repossessing Virtue: The wonderful radio program Speaking of Faith (SOF) launched this series on the economic crisis in the fall of 2008. Producers of SOF have gone back to interview previous guests to hear their responses and analysis of the financial crisis. This series offers thought provoking commentary regarding the spiritual and emotional side of this crisis and what it means for us. What’s offered here are lessons of mindfulness, responsibility, and values that can help us make economic choices that are sustainable and ethical.

As always, I’m interested in more resources, so I encourage readers to share their favorites.

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