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!

Father’s Day Gifts for Yoga Loving Dads

It will be father’s day round the corner soon. If you have a yoga loving dad, you will need to start cracking your brains over what to buy for him.

Some great suggestions to kick start your brainstorming:

1) Wii Fit Yoga Mat
For dads who just cannot get enough of their yoga, maybe they can try a wii fit yoga mat. At the very least, they can get a kick out of creating their own avatar (called a Mii) and seeing the avatar perform yoga poses on screen.

2) Nasal Cleansing Pot (Neti Pot)
Remember this was the craze in the yoga community just a few years back? With increasing pollution in our environment, it is important for us to keep our sinuses free and clean. Daily nasal irrigation will help your dad prevent nasal congestion and respiratory illnesses. It is one of the purification techniques performed prior to practicing yoga as a way of preparing the body for the yoga practice.

3) Manduka BlackMatPRO 71-Inch Yoga and Pilates Mat
Did I mention I love Manduka Black Mat Pro? This Ferrari of yoga mats offers the best comfort and cushion. Just spreading the mat and standing on it gives me a thrill. I’m sure dad will appreciate such practical gifts!

4) Yoga Anatomy
This book is chock-full of facts and knowledge about yoga postures and their relation to the various parts of the body. Great for fathers who love to know the science behind every asana.

5) Amazon Gift Card
Or why not just buy him an amazon gift card? You buy almost anything from Amazon nowadays, anyway, including top yoga products from Manduka, Hugger Mugger and more.

Baby Yoga

This is just so hilarious!

10 Popular Yoga Blogs

I came across this list of 10 Popular Yoga Blogs on

According to this site, 10 popular sites include (in no order):

I had a blast of time surfing all these blogs. They are all so different - ranging from formal corporate blogs to gossipy, chit-chatty ones. Have added some of my favourite ones on the sidebar.

Of course, I haven't wasted the time to submit my own blog to the site as well. Am now fervently praying that a miracle will occur and they will add me to their list...
Hello? Are you sure if you have never heard of Yoga Radio???

Playfulness in Yoga: Have Great Fun!

Having fun is a BIG philosophy of my life. I love going for roller coaster and Viking rides, and I love trying out new things from salsa to cooking.

That’s how I started learning yoga. I got curious about it. I wondered why yoga studios are mushrooming, why my friends are raving about yoga, and what is yoga actually?? Is it just about twisting yourself into a pretzel, and chanting om?

I’ll leave that thought to another blog post (it sounds like a great philosophical piece). But today, I wanted to share all the funny, wacky yoga stuff that I found…

Find No 1. Yoga Cookies!

This just brings a great big smile to my face. It’s so utterly silly and adorable.

Find No. 2. Yoga Comics: Adventures of a Yoga Boy

Don’t you just find some of the poses we do and the things that happen in yoga class absolutely hilarious? So it’s no wonder that there’s yoga comics! Chris Panico draws some great cartoons. Hope he continues to keep up his good work.

Find No 3. YogaDawg
And while I was checking out the comments from Chris’ page, I found another great link! This is an irreverent website for some silly fun if you have time to spare.

Hey, posting this is great fun! Maybe I will try to continue with a second post on fun yoga things soon.

What other fun yoga stuff have you come across? Please share with me if you have some great recommendations!

Blogging for a Cause: Help Yoga Bear to Win $6K Just by Blogging About Them

The other time I blogged about this great non-profit organisation called Yoga Bear that helps cancer patients by providing free yoga lessons to them.

Well, this time, it is Yoga Bear that needs our help!

As part of Zemanta’s Blogging for a Clause campaign, the charitable cause that has the most number of blog entries by different bloggers will get a prize money of $6,000. This amount means a lot to a non-profit organisation like Yoga Bear, which is run entirely by volunteer staff.

You have until the end of the day on the 6th of June (Midnight GMT) to Blog For A Cause though. So, catch the train (and spread the word) fast!

This blog post is part of Zemanta's Blogging For a Cause campaign to raise awareness and funds for worthy causes that bloggers care about.

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world. Indeed, it's the only thing that ever has.” – from the Yoga Bear website