Yoga Rag Round-Up: Yoga Journal (Oct 2008)

A few interesting things this month:

WELL BEING: GOOD MEMORY by Hilary Dowdle (pp. 43)

A great micro-introduction to the idea of neuroplasticity, the brain’s continual self-reorganization as a result of experience.

“Many people still think of the brain as a machine that wears out over time--the gears start to slip, and the belts get loose,” says neuroplasticity guru Michael Merzenich, a professor at the Keck Center for Integrative Neuroscience at the University of California at San Francisco. “But there’s a completely different way of looking at it. It’s a machine that’s constantly remodeling itself based on how you use it. When we start to lose our cognitive abilities, it’s not so much a problem of the brain’s physical condition but a result of how it’s been used.”

It’s great that this concept makes its way into the pages of Yoga Journal. The predominant take on yoga in the US is neo-religious, but some schools, such as Iyengar--the kind I practice and teach--has a very strong neuro-mechanical element which often gets looked down upon as being somehow less important than devotional practice.

BASICS: URDHVA MUKHA SHVANASANA by Natasha Rizopoulos (pp. 66)

A great break down of key points and variations of Upward Facing Dog.


An intermedate/advanced practice to strengthen the arms and core and open the hips in preparation for Ashtavakrasana (Ashtavakra’s Pose).

PEACE OF MIND by Nora Isaacs (pp. 83)

A look at the idea of the Buddhist practice of mindfulness within the context of asana practice.

MASTERCLASS: PINCHA MAYURASANA by Desiree Rumbaugh (pp. 101)

A short sequence designed to get you into Peacock Feather Pose/Forearm Stand from the perspective of Anusara yoga. If, like me, you are unfamiliar with the Universal Alignment Principles of Anusara Yoga much of the technical terminology may go over head, but it might be worth experimenting with as the language they use is very evocative.

And then, of course, there’s the usual panoply of inspirational and fluffy lifestyle stuff.

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