Good reads: Peace, dangerous yoga, and vegan bodybuilders

For your weekend reading pleasure, here are links to three articles I’ve found thought-proving this week.

  • As a reporter, I’m constantly tuned in – following breaking news on Twitter, sharing interesting articles on Facebook, and listening religiously to National Public Radio when I’m in the car.

But as a yogi, I’ve experienced the benefits of a quiet mind; and as a traveler, I’ve experienced the rejuvenating benefits of spending time completely off the grid, immersed in nothing but the moment.

So last Sunday evening, when I returned from a day-long ice skating adventure in Yosemite National Park, and read Pico Iyer’s beautiful essay, ‘The Joy of Quiet,’ in the New York Times – it really spoke to me.

Turn off Twitter, the television or your background music before reading this piece. It’s worthy of your complete attention!

In the article, writer William J. Broad argues that “a number of factors have converged to heighten the risk of practicing yoga.”

 Among them:  “The biggest is the demographic shift in those who study it. Indian practitioners of yoga typically squatted and sat cross-legged in daily life, and yoga poses, or asanas, were an outgrowth of these postures. Now urbanites who sit in chairs all day walk into a studio a couple of times a week and strain to twist themselves into ever-more-difficult postures despite their lack of flexibility and other physical problems.

I wouldn’t want the article to deter anyone from trying yoga, or practicing it. But the article does reminds us to be mindful of not letting our ego control our practice, and not pushing past our own physical limits.

That’s coming from a girl who injured her shoulders doing too many chaturangas in a New York ashtanga studio, and who wound up in the Emergency Room after attempting to drop back into wheel-pose.

  • On a lighter note, I was completely amused by this New York Times article about vegan bodybuilders.

Vegan bodybuilders, really? Yup. According to the Times, the Web site has more than 5,000 registered users.

The article contains awesome details, like this: For a midafternoon snack, Jimi Sitko sometimes eats 10 bananas.

And it contains gems of quotes, like this one: “I laugh at the drug tests,” said Billy Simmonds, a vegan bodybuilder in Las Vegas. “I don’t even eat meat.”

Out of curiosity, I checked out the nutrition plan for a female vegan bodybuilder. To be honest, the meals look pretty good. Maybe I missed my calling?



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