New Yorker Lampoon: Yoga Teacher Bios

Hat tip on this one to Eddie Stern, who posted it to Facebook. We’ve started getting the New Yorker, again, at home — although it always feels wrong given we’re in Los Angeles, but there’s nothing similar out here, or anywhere, really. I’m still not in the habit of checking it online regularly.

It’s lampooned yoga teacher bios. (Right now it appears to be the most popular piece, so watch out for it to trend.) Here’s just one of a handful:

Mary-Sage Porter

Mary-Sage began her yoga journey at sixteen, while recovering from a groin injury sustained at an Up With People concert. Her SpiritTone™ system, a movement technology that polishes the aura while simultaneously increasing the thigh gap, came to her in a vision after she made the painful personal decision to sneak into the employee bathroom at Bali’s famed Ubud Monkey Forest. Mary-Sage recently got her real-estate license and was called to combine sacred movement and property sales for her popular Yoga for Real Estate class.

Enjoy. I don’t think any of them are based on people we know (although Tulum gets a mentioned) but the composites are familiar.

Posted by Steve

Coffee may not help with … what word am I looking for? Creativity

The aim here is to demonstrate how reliable all our pro-coffee posts have been in the past.

Because this time we’re pointing you toward some negatives about coffee/caffeine. See, we’re trustworthy!

The New Yorker has a story online on how caffeine might not be the power boost to creativity that it often gets portrayed as — via someone like Balzac, who gutted down the rumored equivalent of 50 cups of coffee per day.

Here’s the crux of the issue:

The more their mind wandered when they stepped away, the better they fared at being creative. In fact, the benefit was not seen at all when the subjects engaged in an unrelated but demanding task.

In other words, a break in intense concentration may increase unconscious associative processing. That, in turn, allows us to perceive connections that we would otherwise miss. Letting our minds wander may also increase communication between the brain’s default mode network—the parts of our brain that are more active when we’re at rest—and its executive areas, which are used in so-called higher reasoning and decision-making functions. These two regions become activated right before we solve problems of insight. Caffeine prevents our focus from becoming too diffuse; it instead hones our attention in a hyper-vigilant fashion.

And then there’s this: “Caffeine also inhibits another mental process that’s necessary for creative thinking: sleep.”

All is not lost, though. The piece — perhaps driven by the writer’s own desire to redeem the humble cup of joe — gets to a best-case scenario: You drink coffee while researching or investigating ideas and information, and then you get into a more mind-wandering state when it comes time to be creative.

Of course, this may be moot given Ashtanga’s set sequence. For it, you really don’t need much creativity. (And don’t go making up your own sequences too soon.)

Posted by Steve