Sunday, March 20, 2011

A little Moonday weekend report

This Moonday weekend has been a restful and relatively uneventful weekend. I didn't practice yesterday. Sunday being my designated rest day, I didn't practice today either, although I did a few Surya As and Bs (that doesn't count :-))

I went on a big information binge this weekend; I basically took in a lot of information, in the same way in which somebody might binge on sugar or potato chips (oh, I like potato chips too, and I had a number of those this weekend :-)). I guess that's what happens when one doesn't practice; the extra time and energy has to go somewhere.

The interesting thing about my information binges is that I tend to gravitate towards taking in information that is not exactly cheery. Two cases in point:

(1) On Friday night, I watched this German movie, The White Ribbon. I like German movies, because I studied German for a couple of years in school, and although I don't speak it well, I really love the guttural sounds of the language and the gravity of its cadence (I also happen to think that French is overrated, but I'll leave it at that :-)). Watching German movies and listening to people speak German brings back a lot of wonderful memories for me. I hope I can go live in Germany for a little bit someday; maybe I'll get my German back that way. Anyway, the movie is about the repressive experiences a group of children went through in a little German village on the eve of WWI. For example, the pastor of the village is this really staunch disciplinarian who punishes his children for small infractions by making them wear a white ribbon on their arms (hence the movie's title) to remind them of their guilt and of the importance of purity and innocence. The movie is essentially a study in the psychology of childhood repression. Although the director doesn't say this directly, there is a suggestion that a close link exists between this repression and the subsequent atrocities that many Germans went on to commit during the two world wars.

(2) Yesterday evening, I read Howard Zinn's A People's History of the United States. I had been wanting to read it for the longest time. Basically, Zinn tells the history of the United States from the perspective of common people, especially people who have been oppressed or subject to persecution. It's very refreshing yet sobering at the same time. Not an easy read, but it definitely gives an important alternative perspective to the way history is normally written, which is from the perspective of the rich and powerful in society. I think every college kid needs to read this.   

That was a lot of information to take in over a weekend, don't you think? I'm so looking forward to getting back into the swing of my regular practice tomorrow.


  1. First of all, I'm glad to hear that you enjoy speaking German. I've studied it a bit in high school, but, like you, I'm not touting fluency. I even had a German foreign exchange student live with my family (Not the best experience I've had. That's another story though. :P). Some of the most intriguing films I've seen are from German Expressionist Era of Cinema. (Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, Faust, Metropolis, Nosferatu, I love them all!) Sadly, I haven't seen many German films lately, but I'm planning on seeing The White Ribbon.

    Kevin and I were talking about a similar topic covered in Howard Zinn's book (like we always do :)), so it's sort of a convenient coincidence that you brought up the book. ( :O Maybe it was a cosmic suggestion?) Anyway, I think it would probably be a good idea for us to read it, considering that we are college kids.

    P.S. Kino's Ashtanga Primary Series DVD arrived, and I found LIGHT ON YOGA on for only 6$ plus shipping and that should be in the mail. I haven't attempted the DVD yet because, even though she provides beginner options, it's a bit intimidating, again driving in the point that a DVD is really is no substitute for a teacher.

    P.S.S. Just letting you know that we didn't forget! Kevin and I are still trying to find an opportunity to show you our films. We live at our parents' houses, and scheduling around our families is always problematic.

  2. Hello Chris, thanks for sharing your thoughts. It's really cool that you got Light on Yoga. It's probably the next best thing to having an actual yoga teacher :-) Again, if you want to practice together (with or without Kino's DVD), let me know. I'm going to Virginia next weekend (April 1st to 3rd) to study with Kino, and I'm really excited about it.

    I understand that it's difficult to schedule around your families. Take your time. I look forward to seeing your films.

  3. White Ribbon was a masterpiece. Not an easy film to watch but I thought it was very well done. Just came back from watching Biutiful and I'm also reading "The White Tiger" right now which is a black comedy novel portraying the social and economic injustice of modern India so I'm on an information binge too. I definitely need yoga to maintain my calm, otherwise I can get emotionally too overwhelmed by these kinds of dark subjects.