Reading YOGA RISING

Yoga Rising is a collection of yoga stories about authentic practice beyond superficial projections of perfect yoga poses and bodies in media. The stories are compiled by Sociologist and Women’s Studies Professor, Melanie Klein and return us to shared struggles toward authenticity and self-study (svadyaya). I was particularly drawn to Indian-American yoga teacher Lakshmi Nair’s…

Socks and Defiant Fragility

I thought back to med school, when a patient had told me that she always wore her most expensive socks to the doctor’s office, so that when she was in a patient’s gown and shoeless, the doctor would see the socks and know she was a person of substance, to be treated with respect. Kalanithi,…

Happiness as Defiance in Bangladesh

According to the Happy Planet Index, Bangladesh ranks 8th among 140 countries. Just for comparison, the USA, where I live, ranks 108.  How is this possible that a place plagued by a high density of population, poverty, halting traffic, uncertainty and low life expectancy be so….happy? There seems to be no reason to be happy…

Eating at Home in Dhaka

This plate of food was one of the many delicious meals I enjoyed last week.  It has my favorites: tiny fish cooked with onions and peppers, daal/lentil, rice, shrimp with squash curry and mashed pumpkin (bharta). My plate is missing the small fried fish and the fried squash blossoms. None of this would be available…

Small adventures in my kitchen

I have always loved the bright red look of Kashmiri curries and last grocery visit I picked up some mild but vibrant Kashmiri red chili. I looked up a few recipes for Rista, a lamb meatball curry online because I had ground turkey sitting in the fridge waiting for me. Didn’t follow the recipe completely.…

Non-Judgemental Judgement?

The practices of yoga and social work both encourage maintaining an attitude of non-judgemental judgment. This requirement feels like Kant’s demand for an “disinterested interest” in the judgments of beauty. Suffering, care, and beauty all depend on our ability to notice what is happening without forcing theoretical preconceptions. Practicing this attitude of noticing without prejudice…

Food Poem by Jim Daniels

This poem is not directly about food. The imagery of two siblings over a kitchen sink surrounded by leftovers makes me smile. Maybe you will too. Brushing Teeth with My Sister after the Wake at my kitchen sink, the bathroom upstairs clogged with family from out of town spending the night after the wake and…

Cooking With Essential Oils and the Blondeyogi

Thank you, blonde yogi, for cooking with me! We tried Beef Stew with Rose Mary Oil, DoTerra Winter White Chocolate with Cinnamon and Clove oil, and Toast with Wild Orange Butter. Here is what I learned from the experience: Oils are easiest to incorporate in beverages, hot or cold. The Winter White Hot Chocolate was…

Meditative Monday: Lessons from a Labyrinth

At first glance, this patch of grass looks like a creative mowing project. Like anything, how you approach it makes it either a frustrating walk in circles going nowhere or a transformative inner journey of self-awareness. For most of us, it may be both. I crossed paths with this labyrinth courtesy of a recent Community…