Since I don't own a TV or watch movies , I can do some media viewing when I am travelling. I caught Anthony Bourdain's segment on the last days of El Bulli ( a place like no other place )flying back to LA from Toronto on Air Canada last night. It was a bit perverse , as I am now a vegetarian teetotaller , to sit through an hour devoted to the pleasures of food & drink I can no longer partake of. However , it turned out to be quite inspirational and transcendental , as Ferran Adria' , Jose' Andres & Anthony Bourdain are what I would term gastronomic creatives / philosopher chefs. The essence of the whole El Bulli journey was summed up by Ferran's protege' , Jose' Andres , who very emotionally said , " We came to El Bulli without a spirit , and left with a soul - "
Thank you Eddie Stern for the head's up via email : " Hats off to AYNY student Sylvia Rascon & my wife Jocelyne Stern for the amazing work they are doing at the Lower East Side Harm Reduction Center. " & If you are planning on dropping in at one of Eddie's classes in Soho shortly , you will be heading to the 3rd floor for puja & practice.The 2/F is currently undergoing retrofitting which should be done in a month & a half -
Another warm email in my B'berry InBox before Morning Mysore today. " Hey P , it has been a while. How are you doing my friend ? Wanted to share with you the publication of my new book "The Guru in You " which is out on the 28th of Dec. I will be back in the States to promote it on the Ellen ( de Generes ) & Dr. Oz shows.I hope all is good with you and hope to catch up soon. Much love. " Please check out Cameron's site , www.theguruinyou.co or www.yogicameron.com for more information. His visits to India to study & immerse himself in traditional Ayurveda & yoga along with the subsequent transfomative journeys are narrated in the book. I had posted several years ago that it was after meeting Cameron in NY and listening to his take on vegetarianism that I took the plunge. There has been no looking back since then -
I had done a couple of posts on Rafael Marques AKA Rafael Espacial after my trip to Ipanema earlier this year. It looks like he is now a local celeb , as in , " famoso personagem de Posto 9 ". Famoso enough to warrant a mini-docu on Brazilian TV. His burgers are on my list to try once I am back there latter part of next week. Hare Hare to the best veggie burgers in the galaxy.
Denver is known as the mile high city , and because of this , it experiences extreme swings in climate. Last Monday was 80 degrees; which made me question why I was initially wearing a jacket over a sweater , which was subsequently peeled off to the T-shirt underneath. Tuesday was raining & the image on the left is of the snow that hit Wednesday. And regardless of rain, snow or sunshine , Denver traffic builds up at 4 pm ; its North & South freeways almost as jammed as the 405 in LA.
So with the weather , traffic , multiple meetings ( 6 on Tuesday, whew ) , plus dinners in the evening , truth be told I was finding it challenging to practice some Surya Namaskar A & Bs , along with asanas like Pincha M. , Urdhva D. , Adho Mukha V., Sirsasana , etc.
The next best thing then was to roll-out the 2 restorative poses which a couple of my principal teachers use frequently. I would start with an elevated version of Supta Baddha Konasana , with my fingers interlaced behind my neck . This would be done against the hotel room entry door . SBK would then segue into Viparita Karani , a matter of just extending the legs vertically and stretching the arms fully out to the sides.
The release of tension from the hip opener and the increased circulation from the leg extensions always resulted in relaxation. No problem performing these on a semi-digested bellyful of food from dinner either.
So relaxed finally that the best things to chill & tune out to on the hotel TV ( don't have one at home , hehe) were golf ( yup , my parents will be happy ) or Sam Walton's biography on the History channel.
I am posting this from Austin after flying in from Houston late in the evening. Last night was an exhilirating experience, watching Presiden-elect Obama's speech in Grant Park, Chicago. His message of " America being a beacon " and HOPE echoed with all the hallmarks of the yogic experience. His campaign was marked by a calm equanimity , another signifier of those who seek to travel on the path. And as I read the Wall Street Journal on the plane enroute to Austin, Al Gore's article on "Sustainable Capitalism" also made a lot of sense. May these enlightened ones inspire us all to take ownership of all our actions -
This clip from Mad Tv cracks me up as I had practiced with the actual vdo (Rodney Y., heh heh ) this was parodying in room @ the Hotel Palomar Dallas. It's a witty but SO SATYA reminder to all yoga instructors to WALK the WALK. Yes, you are also human, but you guys have chosen to do this 24-7, so fundamental yogic principles like EQUANIMITY , APARIGRAHA & BRAMACHARYA do apply to you. Yup, as Yogi STING put it so well , " I'll be watching you" -
Just back from spending the better part of the week in Dallas , Texas. Our team stayed @ the Hotel Palomar ,which is part of the Kimpton Hotels boutique group. It was not only well situated, adjacent to our meetings in the Highland Park & Preston Hollow enclaves , but was also very calm and spacious.
After a couple of days immersed in my present world of "material lifestyle " , i.e. discussing $ 10- $30 MM residential projects of oil & tech fortunes , the Kimpton in-house " MIND-BODY-SPA" experience for business travelers took me back on track to my personal focus. The Palomar is not only the location of the Dallas branch of Exhale ( group classes) , but has a dedicated cable channel with Rodney Yee , Guided Meditation , Pilates & more available 24-7. One can request a yoga mat& props from the Concierge. So I did practice with Rodney Y. in the AM and did guided meditation Thursday evening before dinner.
Central 214, the in-house resto @ the Palomar has great vegetarian options for breakfast & dinner :Egg white omelets with asparagus, Portobello mushroom ravioli, great baguette & hummus ( mais oui, my French associates approved ). The airiness of the public spaces felt great to decompress in after the end of the workday ; the absence of a frenetic lobby "scene" like a W or 60 Thompson Hotel was an added bonus.
This should be proof enough that Yoga is going mainstream in Asia. I leave it up to the viewer to figure out what product is being pitched. Best comment via YouTube : "i never liked this commercial .. when somebody is meditating, we shouldn't bother them " Yogic test ?