Another week — another lesson (or a million) learned. The first part of the week was spent in Belgrade, Serbia and after a 10 hour bus ride (which included a broken bus mid-way) I found myself in Ljubljana, Slovenia. Come Saturday September 15th — I’ll be in Lake Bled. So yeah. Three places — one week — it’s a miracle my head isn’t constantly spinning.
Here are the things I learned this week from books, articles, people etc.
I’m re-reading some literature I read — admittedly a bit too hastily during my yoga teacher trainings. One of which is a Yoga Philosophy & History text.
So while I had a good idea of the following prior to this week, it’s still a good idea to do some reviewing. And again, since I don’t have notebooks to hold on to at the moment, this blog is my notepad.
I just finished reading the chapter that gives a very short overview of Yogic history and in the practice of taking notes, here are mine —
Marked by rituals. Spiritual knowledge passed down by word of mouth with hymns composed by ‘seers’ (spiritual leaders from the highest classes).
These practices and sacred hymns were guarded from from the eyes of the ‘uninitiated’.
Texts: The Vedas
Preclassical Yoga — The Upanishads
Teachings of Samkhya-Yoga (the basis of all yogic teachings) are more developed.
The Baghavad Gita (part of a larger epic Mahabharata) & the Ramayana — major texts concerned with living out one’s dharma (morality — as this text defines it, but if I’m not mistaken it can can also be viewed as each individual’s purpose/law).
Early teachings of Jainism and Buddhism.
Classical Yoga — Pantanjali
Yoga Sutras & the 8th Limb Path.
Raja Yoga (royal yoga).
- Tantra Yoga
Medieval esoteric* yoga tradition.
- The Puranas
Encyclopedic texts that contain yogic legends and teachings.
Not to be confused with preclassical yoga period Upanishads. More Yogic texts — not really sure what these were about other than more yogic wisdom — perhaps I’ll learn more about this soon.
- Hatha Yoga
An offshoot of Tantra Yoga. The physical yoga practice the modern Yogi is most familiar with — although the beginnings of Hatha Yoga still looked very different from today’s almost-competitive look on yoga practice. Much more on this later.
- Bhakti-Marga — Way of Devotion
Most prominent among Vaishnavas and Shaias. Bhakti-Yoga (yoga of devotion) at the core.
Planned Parenthood new president.
I was kind of on a new haitus for a — well, long time — which is probably why I’m just now hearing the news that Cecile Richards is stepping down from being the president of Planned Parenthood. This is old news, I know.
They’ve named Dr. Leana Wen the incoming president. This woman sounds just as badass as Cecile did and she has a background in ER medicine. Neat. Read about it from NPR here.
External rotators role in hip flexion.
When we walk, our external rotators are used to stabilize each leg from swinging out to the side. This may result in overactive and tight external rotators which prevent the pelvis back from rotating over the femoral heads in order to fully bend forward (flexion). These overactive muscles are commonly responsible for giving some students a hard time with flexion of the hips. So stretching the external rotators is a helpful addition to stretching the hamstrings (among the other muscles involved).
James Bond was invented by a real life spy.
Ok this one is possibly my favorite fun fact yet! Ian Fleming was a British intelligence officer during WWII. He’s also went on to write spy novels aka James Bond. Ugh. This makes James Bond SO MUCH COOLER.
Another fun fact I learned from reading my current novel/non fiction story about Elezebith Freidman — The Woman Who Smashed Codes.
The Island Where People Forget to Die — also the name of the NY Times article on this subject.
There’s a small Greek Island where people rarely (if ever) die — or get sick for that matter. I met a Slovenian doctor in Ljubljana who, ever since learning about the research done on this subject, can’t get enough of the island. After our 2 hour conversation, it was pretty clear the guy was in love with the small island — so I upon his insisting (and my own curiosity) I’ve noted the article. And will read it… Maybe today. Maybe tomorrow.
I did learn from the conversation that the people here have the lowest frequency of illness and death. I’m sure this has something to do with it being an island (a really small one) and the lifestyle?
Ok. I’ll go back to sipping on my wine and reminiscing with an old friend. If you learned something extra fun this week — do share!?!