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!
- Live Yoga Class with Alanna Kaivalya, The JivaDiva
- Alive Yoga — these are downloads for a fee
- Yoga Today
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.
December 20, 2008 § 5 Comments
Now that I know about the Shorty Awards, I am spending a little time this morning thinking who I want to nominate in different categories, and what my criteria is.
I am finding that I like best the Twitterers that are smart (but I won’t follow you if you’re not, so I guess that goes without saying) have useful and/or entertaining content, and who don’t overuse auto-feeds. I like to see a little personality come through. Personal and practical, and any combination thereof. And for my vote, it helps if you have a sense of humor and that you occasionally interact with me (not to be too self-absorbed about it).
I might suggest to the shorty awards that they create a couple of categories:
- Community Building
- Citizen Journalism (which I suppose could be lumped in w/ news, but the main stream news outlets are *very* different.)
- Social Change
- Reference and Libraries
- Emergency Response
If these categories existed, I would nominate the following Twetters:
- pattidigh for Writing and Positivity
- NurtureGirl for Positivity and Social Change
- TheUptake for Citizen Journalism and Social Change
- JoinTheImpact for Activism
- AdBusters for Activism, Creativity, and Social Change
- NetSquared for Community Building and Creativity
- K.G. Schneider for Reference and Librarians
- hurricaneike for Emergency Response
- maddow for Television
There are others who I think are great for these categories (and the categories the Shorty Awards have already established), too. If you want to more Twitter feeds that I think are worth following, check it out.
I might also suggest getting rid of the Personal category because it’s a little too mushy. And from what I can tell from the nominees that I checked out in that category, all of them would fit into another category.
I think the Shorty Awards are a great idea to inspire Tweeters to think about their content and how they are using Twitter. I know that it has got me thinking! I find myself nominating people using criteria that I use for my own tweets. I look forward to seeing who wins, and I look forward to finding more interesting people to follow.
July 13, 2008 § Leave a comment
I have heard friends complain that they can’t switch to Facebook after using MySpace for so long. I do understand the investment of time and having a strong orientation to one site over another. This especially makes sense when considering wanting and needing to stay in touch with friends and contacts.
I maintain pages at both sites, though recently I have declared my preference for Facebook. I started out with a MySpace page, and thought it was interesting. I have accumulated random friends, people I’ve found who I think are interesting, and some random groups, bands and causes that I want to support or affiliate with in some way. With both services, I have been able to reconnect and stay connected to friends very easily since we moved across the country. I find it easier to share things there and integrate other online services I use there so that folks who are interested can see what I’m up to, and for me to follow what they are up to. However, I find that I have more friends on Facebook and it is easier to communicate there. At MySpace there are too many bells and whistles and way to many obnoxious flashing ads. It’s enough to give you an anyerism.
However, I consider myself to be ambidextrous even while I have a preference. I don’t want to limit myself, and I don’t want to miss out on local events just because they’re posted on MySpace but not Facebook (though most other folks are ambidextrous, too, or are becoming so, and events are often posted in both places).
It’s not unlike the fact that I am equally comfortable using Macs and PCs, or that I have been able to cross over from my Palm Pilot to my new Blackberry, which I was told would be really hard to do (it wasn’t). It’s all about what we’re used to and what we prefer. But all of us, no matter how stubborn, can learn to use new technologies.