Removing your Super Bowl obstacles

Due to a long day of travel, I’m a little behind on this… it feels like the Super Bowl already is fading from memory.

But we couldn’t not pass this story on, via USA Today:

When Tom Brady reached his locker, about an hour after victory and a series of interviews, he was done talking to the news media. But his locker spoke for him.

Prominently displayed was was a four-inch bronze elephant-headed statue — Ganesha, the Hindu God. Or as Brady quietly told a vistor, “The remover of obstacles.”


Ganesha illustrates the spiritual side of his psyche developed with trainer and adviser Alex Guerrero. But the spiritual is coupled by mental commitment, evidence by more items in his locker.


Brady walked into into the cool night air and toward the team bus with impeccable style.

At that point, Brady could not be lured in even by talk of the remover of obstacles.

“No Ganesha,” he said with a grin.

It was an obstacle — one Brady’s locker removed.

There’s a picture of his locker at this link to a Yahoo story about the game.

Posted by Steve

Yoga and the Super Bowl

CNN has the download on yoga — with a focus on “weekend warriors” — via a teacher who, apparently, has dozens of pro football players among her students/clients:

NFL players, like weekend warriors, save their biggest events for the weekends (with the exception of Monday and Thursday-night football, of course). Therefore, they need to be smart all week about preparing their bodies and minds for the big game.

For my football clients, yoga is an essential part of that preparation.

Mobile midbacks and hips with stable cores and shoulder girdles are important for any athlete, but especially athletes that have to absorb impact. When mobility and stability are limited in any of these areas, the risk of knee, low-back and neck injuries increases dramatically.

The same mentality applies to weekend warriors, who likely spend much of their week as desk jockeys then suddenly take part in strenuous activity. Unless they integrate mobility exercises into their everyday lives, they risk wrenched backs, sprained knees and dislocated shoulders during even the friendliest of touch football games.

More over the world’s former news leader.

Posted by Steve

Yes, the yoga team won the Super Bowl

I nearly pulled the trigger on pointing out that the Seattle Seahawks win in the Super Bowl on Sunday was one for the yogis.

Why? Because the team fairly famously incorporates yoga and meditation into its routine. (I didn’t pull the trigger because I cannot be a fan of the team’s coach, Pete Carroll, for a whole ton of reasons. But having lived in Seattle way back when, I was a divided fan, I guess.)

Now, two things have pushed me over the edge. First, Eddie Stern’s reaction includes this hilarious incident:

I was on a train back from a great weekend at Ashtanga Yoga Richmond when Sunday night’s Super Bowl ended with the Seahawks crushing victory, and so I thought I would test out the hypothesis that the Seahawk’s won because of all the yoga and meditation they did on my cab driver. “More likely it was their defense”, he replied.

And now the New York Times is calling the Seahawks’ win “a triumph for the profile of yoga.” And who can argue with the New York Times?

The Seahawks’ success suddenly seemed inextricably tied to Coach Pete Carroll’s new-age approach to his team, which includes an extensive support team for his players’ well-being, led by a sports psychologist, Mike Gervais. When the Seahawks beat the Broncos in dominating fashion, the image of the browbeating dictatorial coach took a wallop. In its place, meditation might become the new black.

And here I thought orange was the new black.

Posted by Steve

A hidden gem of an Ashtanga resource

At some point during the week, the Facebook feed for Richard Freeman’s Yoga Workshop posted a link to its “What is Mysore?” explanation.

It got shared, as these things, do, and for good reason.

But there was something more, something deeper that was the real find: the page’s full Mysore FAQ.

Here’s how you find it, if you haven’t seen it.

Under the main page’s “Schedule” link is another link, “About Mysore.” It starts with the usual “Boy, am I sore” joke, but the real hidden and buried gems are when you expand  the “More Mysore FAQ” bar. Get ready to spend some time reading.

Maybe during the Super Bowl today?

Because injuries have been a topic here recently, to give you a sense of what you’ll encounter, just one of the FAQs:

i’ve heard assists in mysore class can be extreme. is this true and what if i have an injury, will i get injured through an assist?

Assists in yoga are intended to help educate the practitioner about correct alignment and form so they may embody the more subtle internal aspects of the practice. Sometimes assists can be aimed at giving the student a physical experience of what a posture might feel like or how to work towards being able to do the posture. Verbal assists give the student a more clear understanding of the form or the benefits of the pose. Some assists might seem extreme while others are very subtle. Teachers at the Yoga Workshop always work with students where they’re at and we do not push people beyond their limit. Self practice is a way for student and teacher to work in concert together, but ultimately in self practice, it is your practice. So please, if you have an injury, be certain to tell the teacher. Poses and assists can always be modified to accommodate an injury and to facilitate healing.

Posted by Steve