Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Asanas for introductory class

Good picture of asanas for introductory class at Yoga Circle.

Books on death and dying

"When the student is ready the teacher appears."

Last week I was hired to write a series of articles on death and dying. Within days the following books appeared in my life.

Light on Life, BKS Iyenagar (Superb!)
Is There Life After Death, Elizabeth Kubler Ross (Superb!)
Aging as a Spiritual Practice by Lewis Richmond
Never say die: The myth and marketing of the new old age by Susan Jacoby (Superb!)
Questions and answers on Death and Dying by Elizabeth Kubler Ross
Still Here: Embracing Aging, Changing and Dying by Ram Dass (Superb!)

Still Here is a personal, long-time favorite. I am re-reading it for the fifth time. I already owned this book, but I hadn't seen it for a while. It disappeared when I boxed up a couple dozen books for a move. Somehow, within days of getting the job, Still Here appeared on my desk... Reading it again reminds me of my long time desire to go to Hawaii and visit Ram Dass's ashram.

Restorative yoga: A series for compromised immunity

Stress compromises your immune system. Here is a series to do when your immune system is compromised, or you are stressed out.

I use it successfully to cope with minor stress. Things like: I can’t go to yoga class because I have a cold. Or, the family visits over the holidays. Or the car dies on the way home and needs a $100 tow and a $500 repair.

Caution: (Yes, this is a real caution. I learned this the hard way by doing the poses without proper instruction and injuring myself.)
- First: find a local Iyengar teacher and learn how to do these moves properly. 
- Second: take a list of these moves to your doctor (along with copies of pictures from this book) and get your docs OK before you do these moves.

Yes, you can injure yourself doing yoga if you don't know what you are doing, or if you over-do it. A good teacher will show you how to do each move safely, and what props to use, given your physical condition and your age. If you can't find a good yoga teacher (a surprisingly common problem), the next best resource is the book, B.K.S Iyengar: Guide to Holistic Health. It explains each move with detailed pictures and text, and shows how to use props like bolsters, blankets and straps.

Here is the sequence. I found this sequence to be very effective when I was dealing with a recurring flu infection. I have not included links or photos deliberately. If you don't know how to do these already, find a teacher and show him or her the list. A qualified teacher will show you how to do the moves safely, and may tell you to skip some of them.
1.     Viparaita Karani
Legs up the wall with two blankets under sacrum. (This is the most important asana of the twelve.)
2.     Supta baddha Konsana
Two long blankets with one in thirds.
Reclining, soles of feet together, back supported. 
3.     Supta virasana
Legs in virasana, lying back on a support.
Reclining hero pose.
4.     Supta padmasana
SI stretch. 3-5 minutes each side. Use support behind your back. neck and/or under your legs as necessary. If full padmasana position is not possible, put your legs in a half-lotus.
5.     Supta Padangusthasana
Legs long, spine long, arms long
6.     Supported shoulder stand with a chair
Do NOT do this one until you find a qualified teacher to show you how to do it properly, and you get clearance from your doctor.
7.     Supported plough
Do NOT do this one until you find a qualified teacher to show you how to do it properly, and you get clearance from your doctor.
8.     Setubandha Sarvangasana
Block under sacrum
9.     Supported purvottanasana
10.  Prasarita padottanasana
11.  Adho Mukha paschimottanasana
(seated on chair)
Seated forward fold while sitting on a chair
12.  Adho mukha marichyasna 1
(as twist from front of chair)
Twist while sitting on a chair

Friday, February 8, 2013

Are you earning trust or burning trust?

The other day I connected two online friends who want to discuss a potential business deal. Before I connected them, each knew nothing of the other.

If their meeting goes sour, I will have burned trust that I spent years building.

I think this is a risk that everyone takes in a connection economy. Although it can takes years to build trust, it only takes one bad exchange to burn it.

But everything we do online carries a risk. Every action either earns or burns trust.  The alternative is to do nothing, which is the biggest risk of all. All we can do is to take the risk, be as transparent and generous as possible and work for the long term.

As Seth Godin says:
(This is) ...the analysis that informs the connection economy--is it worth interrupting this person? Is my next action going to build a relationship or take from it? Am I earning trust or burning trust?
In the connection economy, we reward art and innovation and things worth talking about. We seek out transparency and generosity and the long-term. Sure, there are still people who will profit in the short-run by burning the assets they've got, but as we get ever more connected, that's just not going to scale.  read more...

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

How writers can use vine

GalleyCat just published a good article on the ways authors might profitably use Vine.

Twitter introduced Vine last week, a way to quickly shoot, save and share six-second videos with your friends on Twitter.
Washington Post Book World fiction editor Ron Charles used Vine to create six-second book reviews, by far my favorite use of Twitter’s new tool.
Below, we’ve embedded vines that show how editors, authors and readers used the new tool. The official Vine blog also shares other innovative uses of the service... Read more

H/T Jason Boog

How to use Vine

Vine is brand new, but here's what I've been able to figure out so far.

1. Vine only works on the Apple iPhone and iPod touch.
2. You need a twitter account, so if you don't have one sign up here:
3. If you are new to Twitter, poke around the Twitter site and go through a few tutorials.  Find a few people who have similar interests. Follow them. Spend a couple days doing this to get an idea what a tweet looks like. Retweet things that interest you. Make a couple tweets of your own.
4. When you are ready, download the Vine app from the Apple store to your iphone or touch.
5. Open the app.
6. click the camera icon on the app's homepage.
7. record your video. (I am not sure how to attach a pre-recorded video)
8. add a caption
9. publish

PS: I'm an Android user (I heard that!) so I haven't done this myself. Maybe someone who is Apple fluent will help out here, and correct my mistakes. The Android version is supposed to be coming soon.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Twitter's Vine--6 second videos

This looks BIG!

Twitter introduced Vine last week, a way to quickly shoot, save and share six-second videos with your friends on Twitter. read more  H/T Jason Boog

The link below takes you to a 6 second video of firetrucks arriving at a fire in San Francisco's Noe Valley. (I only have a link for you, because I don't know how to embed a VINE video in this blog yet.)

Fire on 24th st noe valley just started. Fire trucks arriving.

Monday, February 4, 2013

website building tool -- Squarespace

I am experimenting with Squarespace as a tool to build a quick website. One of the realities of writing in the Internet Age is that I occasionally need a quick website or blog as part of a writing project. (More on the reasons why, in a later post.)

So far, Squarespace looks like a great tool. The design templates are graceful, and good looking. The user interface is excellent.  It's easy to link the website to social media sites like Facebook, and to collect and display statistics. Well worth the $6 a month for a full site.

Squarespace is here.
A test site I built in about 2 hours is here.

Moving Mom and Dad -- Abroad

On the average, I probably spend about half the year abroad (outside the US), but I am not sure I could move abroad permanently. As people age I think there is a tendency to become more inflexible and cautious. I'm nearly 70, and I notice this tendency in myself. This makes me wonder how easy it would be for most people to 'move mom and dad abroad.'

Moving Mom & Dad — Abroad

by Fran Johns

Scotney Castle, Lamberhurst,  Kent
Image by Lincolnian (Brian) via Flickr

Retirement village? Assisted living? Co-housing? Age-restricted or aging-in-place communities? Inter-generational cooperative? ...when the time comes to downsize, rightsize, clear out or economize. Here’s a new one that’s making the news: think global.

Even with (and sometimes because of) today’s grim economy, increasing numbers of Americans are choosing senior housing overseas... read more

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Freshbooks for billing

Preoccupied with a series of family crises. Everyone is fine, but I won't be blogging much for a while.

Until then, a recommendation:

Freshbooks is a life-saver for a creative person's billing, time tracking and invoicing. I started using on a writing gig, and it is great. You can try it for free, here.