Friday, 19 August 2011

Yoga



This is what I've been reading recently: 'The Subtle Body: The Story of Yoga in America' by Stefanie Syman. It's pretty much what the title says - a history of yoga in America - starting with Henry David Thoreau, discussing yoga in the 1940s, Christopher Isherwood's interest in the subject, and much more. I am just reading about the Beatles and yoga (only a few pages on this!) as well as sections on Aldous Huxley and Timothy Leary, and am looking forward to reading the bits about yoga today.

It's a really interesting book, although not a particularly easy read.  Much of the yoga that is discussed in the book (what I have read so far that is) is more about the mind and breathing rather than exercises and asanas (which I am more interested in).  The book is like a cultural history of yoga, and covers quite a lot, I haven't really seen another book like it and it is fascinating. I am more interested in stuff from the 60s onwards but it was also great to read about yoga in the 1940s and before too.

Alongside this I have also been enjoying my yoga classes. Sometimes it takes a few goes to find a class you like, but the one I am going to at the moment is great - not too easy and not too crazy hard (power yoga is amazing but I find it too much after a day at work!). I have also bought a new yoga outfit (hurray!) and wondered why I hadn't bought one sooner - the yoga trousers are pretty much like regular sweatpants (but softer), but the top is kind of like a dress with a gathered waist - so when you are doing strecthes or shoulder stands the top doesn't ride up and expose your stomach for all the class to see (and yeah, I know that they aren't reallly looking) and is just so much more comfortable. I always feel loads better after yoga, like I have worked hard and stretchyfied and am also super relaxed....

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