This is a few weeks old now, but the Yoga Workshop sneaked (well, to me anyway) a new talk by Richard Freeman up on the website and/or Soundcloud page. Give it a listen at either link. It’s about 75 minutes.
And to avoid that being our shortest post ever, here’s a link to a piece about Russell Brand’s meeting Amma. It includes this quote:
When I first heard of ‘The hugging saint’ I thought, how can you get to be a saint just by hugging? My understanding is that you have to do at least three miracles that are then verified by the Vatican. I suppose my fervently competitive nature is incensed by the notion of another’s canonisation “That’s not fair, I want to be a saint”, I think. Plus if epic physical interaction is now a milieu that’s acknowledged in the mystical realm I’d like to trade my awards for something more spiritually substantial. Like sainthood.
This frivolity aside, I first met Amma in Manhattan about five years ago with my mate Eddie Stern who happens to be one of the world’s foremost yoga teachers. At the summit, Amma, which is Malalayam (sic) for ‘Mother’ is backed by swamis and sari swathed acolytes. There is no grandeur, no messianic staring or theatrical laying on of hands, just a woman dressed in white giving out cuddles and sweets.
I know that sometimes the Chopra Well’s videos seem to play over the last, so I’m hoping this link comes out correctly: It’s what I’d call Part II of the discussion between Eddie Stern and Russell Brand. We put Part I here.
I can tell you what the biggest story of the week isn’t. It isn’t anything to do with that other A-yoga. (I’m a bit baffled that there hasn’t been more coverage as folks have gone on the record with all that’s happening there. Especially curious is the New York Times’ silence, given it did a big magazine piece on that A-yoga and its leader.)
No, the mainstream media’s fixation on yoga boils down to one, OK, three things: Russell Brand, one woman he was seen going to a yoga class with and a second woman he went to a yoga class with.
Seriously. Throughout this week, the “yoga” Google alerts have been filled with gossipy stories about the Englishman (but living in LA) and his post-Katy Perry life.
(Baba Ramdev is a close second.)
Now, I won’t try to pretend these stories are substantive in any way, shape or form. I’m purely going on number of mentions of the word “yoga” to define the biggest story. (That seems fair, though, doesn’t it?)
I’m certainly not sure they are reinforcing the best image of the practice. Although, gossip blogger Perez Hilton reports of Brand: “The good news is that he’s trying to improve himself by doing meditation and yoga twice a day. He also just recently got a tattoo that ‘reminds him to be truthful at all times.'”
So maybe I’m wrong. Maybe a huge focus on Brand’s yoga-fueled love life will spread the word of yoga, and how it can improve lives, to millions.