Always Looking Up: The Adventures of an Incurable Optimist

I just heard about this book by Michael J Fox, who got the Parkinson's disease in 1991 at the age of 30. It's called "Always Looking Up: The Adventures of an Incurable Optimist".

Just the name of the book gives me a heartache. It's incredible how Fox can continue to be so brave and go on to start a foundation to fight the Parkinson's disease. Here's an interview given by Fox which gives an insight to his thinking.

"Success is determined by how you handle setbacks." - Anon

An Open Letter to Daughter

Last Sunday was Father’s Day. How did you spent yours with your dad?

Most likely it doesn’t have anything to do with yoga, since the gender imbalance in yoga learners is a little pronounced. In fact, according to this 2008 survey by Yoga Journal only 28% of yoga learners in America are men.

What is it with fathers nowadays? First, the belated Randy Pausch had to write an amazing tear-jerking book (The Last Lecture) dedicated to his children before he died of cancer. Now, Jim Rogers, a lead investment guru who co-founded a fund with George Soros also wrote a book for his children. Titled “A Gift to My Children: A Father's Lessons for Life and Investing", this handy little book dispenses wise advice such as:

  • Focus on what you like (hey, good news for us hardcore yoga addicts!)
  • Be persistent (that sounds like the mantra for us too!)
  • See the world: In 1990, Rogers traveled through six continents by motorcycle. (Now, when are we going to make that trip to India?)
  • Nothing is really new: anything deemed “innovative” or “unprecedented” is usually just overhyped, as in the case of the Internet or TV (probably good advice given the plethora of new yoga styles that we see nowadays)
  • And Boys will need you more than you’ll need them (great advice from a father!)

Speaking of parents, the newest yoga fad sweeping across the globe is Yoga for parent and baby or postpartum yoga. The exercises range from simple wriggling of the baby’s hands and toes to doing full yoga poses like the plank with the baby lying on the mat between your hands.

While this yoga is targeted more at new moms (who enjoys the double benefits of getting back into shape while spending precious bonding time with the baby), there is nothing stopping sensitive new age fathers from trying it out with their son / daughter too. If you are interested, you should check out the Baby Om: Yoga for Mothers and Babies, a great book by Laura Staton and Sarah Perron. Here’s a little sneak peek at five Baby Om mini-workout that you can try out.

Have Fun!

YogaPalooza 2009

If you are staying in San Francisco, you are in luck! YogaPalooza 2009 is back again.

This is an annual event organised by Yoga Bear, a non-profit organisation that provide cancer survivors with alternative rehabilitation through yoga practice. They have lined up a group of fantastic yoga teachers for the day. So why not try out a new yoga teacher, and do good deeds at the same time?

A little sidetrack here. I love the word "Palooza"... The word just seems to roll off the tongue and imply something fantastic. Curious, I went to google for this word. Fascinatingly, wiktionary has a definition for it:

  1. An exaggerated event.

Wiktionary even provided some quotations on the word. Reproduced some of them here:

  • 2002, Darin Strauss, The Real McCoy, A Novel, Dutton, ISBN 0525946519, page 97
    It was not a rumor, not merely news item, or talk, or fad. It became a palooza beyond even Johnnie Gold’s desires—a wonderment scattering far and wide out of the spacious mouth of the sky, billowing everywhere and expanding forever.
  • 2005, John Lithgow, “Boredom Blasters”, “Rainy Day Fun Edition”, Running Press, ISBN 0762422122, page 5
    That’s a palooza, in a nutshell: flexing your creative muscles to make your own fun. So have a go at one or all of these, and don’t say I didn’t warn you—once you get a taste of doing a palooza, you’ll go from wondering what you’re going to do all day to wondering where all the time went!
Now, with a name like that, I'm sure the YogaPalooza will be a great success!