Saturday, October 1, 2011

I have been named a Versatile Blogger (yay!)

Many thanks to Bindy for bestowing this honor onto me! I would have liked to thank her personally in her comments column; unfortunately, I have neither (a) a Wordpress account, nor (b) a Twitter account, nor (c) a Facebook account. So I have to thank her here on my blog publicly. Isn't this better, anyway?

But anyway, now you know: I'm probably one of like five people in the entire industrialized world who doesn't have a Facebook account. My only connection to social media is this blog (and my email, I suppose, but that doesn't qualify as social media, does it?). Why don't you get a freaking Facebook account? You may ask. Many people have asked this question of me. I don't have a really good answer, except to say that I really don't see what's in it for me. If I have a Facebook account, then a million people (okay, I'm flattering myself, but you get the idea) would ask me to friend them. And really, do I really want so many friends? And besides, I much prefer blogging, where I can just get on my blog/soapbox and say whatever I want at great length and engage in discussions with people about yoga, life, and whatever life has to throw at us puny human creatures.

But enough of all this ranting already. So during my, ahem, tenure as a Versatile Blog Award recipient, I have to agree to three conditions:

1) Thank the person who gave me this award and link them back to their post.

2) Share 7 things about myself.

3) Pass this award along to 15 recently discovered blogs and let them know about it!

I've already done (1). So, hmm.... 7 things about myself, eh? Well, let's see:

(1) I was born and grew up on this tropical island called Singapore. I haven't been back there in 10 years. I'll be happy to tell you why, but the story is too long.

(2) I have a black belt in Tae Kwon Do. In fact, I was drawn to yoga in the first place because I felt that yoga is very much like martial arts, minus kicking other people's asses (at the time, of course, I did not know that I would one day be kicking my own ass six days a week with this thing called Ashtanga :-)).

(3) I used to sing in a choir. I'm a bass, if you must know :-)

(4) I tried Tai Chi for a semester during my undergrad freshman year. The instructor kept complaining that I was "too stiff." So I decided to show him once and for all what a stiff man like me can do. During a demonstration of the self-defense applications of Tai Chi pushing hands, I launched what I thought was a very well-placed kick to his groin, which he just barely managed to parry and deflect. After that, I totally fell out of favor with the man, and never went back to Tai Chi. Sidenote: I can't stand these martial arts demonstrations. They're so... staged. Hmm... I guess if it wasn't for that episode, I could have been a Tai Chi master today :-) Like you care, right?

(5) I'm double-jointed.

(6) I never learnt to drive until I was 25 (which was when I came to this country, and realized that unless you live in, say, NYC or Chicago or San Francisco, it is really pretty difficult to get around in most places if you don't drive).

(7) My biggest dream in life is to do nothing but yoga all day (and maybe blog about it), and get paid at least one hundred grand a year doing this. In other words, I aspire to be a yoga bum. If you are (a) wealthy, and (b) interested in becoming a patron of yoga bums, please get in touch with me right away.

As for 15 recently discovered blogs which I would like to pass this award along to... well, this is a bit tricky. I read so many blogs that I have this feeling that every blog owner whose blog I do not list under this 15 would probably get really mad at me for not listing his or her blog here. And then what do I do? (So, really, is this Versatile Blogger Award thing really a poisoned chalice? But well, if it is a poisoned chalice, I am willingly drinking from it :-)).

Anyway, I don't know if I can come up with 15 blogs right off the top of my head, but I'll try. So here goes, in no order of merit or coolness or whatever:

1. Claudia's blog: Her blog is truly, truly versatile. She writes about practically everything under the yogic sun. Besides, she was the one who got me into blogging, and I would not have got this award if it weren't for her blog. Gosh... is this starting to sound like the freaking Academy Awards already? :-)

2. Sereneflavor's blog: I really admire her ability to keep all her blog posts to just one insightful and wisdom-filled paragraph. As you can tell from reading my blog posts, I can't seem to write a short post no matter how hard I try :-)

3.Grimmly's blog: Grimmly is a veritable storehouse of asana wisdom, with all his videos, pictures and tips on asana practice, both from an (ex)-Ashtangi and a Vinyasa Krama perspective. Unlike me, Grimmly is also a very serious and earnest scholar of the yogic texts. Like me, he is also a fan of Heidegger.

4. Arturo's blog: I love the wonderful pictures of all the places he's been to, and all the buildings he's seen. He also has the talent for brevity in his posts, which I sorely lack.

5. James' blog: I almost don't have to explain why his blog is so cool. All you have to do is to go read one of his posts, and you'll see why. Suffice to say that he has this uncanny ability to express yogic insights in non-yogic terms.

6. Patrick's blog: I like his flowing, no-BS way of just talking about whatever he is thinking and feeling about his life, practice and this thing called Seventh Series.

7. Yyogini's blog: Being a scientist, she brings an inquiring mind to bear on things in yoga and the holistic movement in general. Very refreshing perspective.

8. Pakistani Ashtangi: I really enjoy reading about her experiences of practicing Ashtanga by herself in the Middle East/South Asia.

9. Carol's blog: I love reading Carol's critical yet inspiring analyses of trends and events in the yoga world.

10. Kino's blog/website: Kino is a great teacher who is totally generous in sharing her knowledge of the practice and her insights with all around her.

11. David Garrigues' blog: Valuable information and insights on asana and the other seven limbs of yoga from a great teacher.

12. Christine's blog: Being a former resident of Gainesville, Florida myself (I received my PhD from the University of Florida, which is in Gainesville), I have the utmost respect and admiration for her unceasing passion for the practice and her tireless efforts to keep the flame of Mysore practice burning in this wonderful town.

13. Ellie's blog: A fellow Minnesota resident (well, she's a native Minnesotan, I'm a transplant, but whatever) who is keeping the flame of Ashtanga burning in the Twin Cities.

14. Bindy's blog: I love Bindy's insightfully honest, shoot-from-the-hip writings about yoga, life and everything that life throws at us. A person of great strength and character this is.

15. Prescribing Yoga: I love the way Christina Palmer brings her insights and training as a medical doctor to bear on the yoga practice.

If you are not on this list of 15, do not be offended... or if you are, well, then you are. There's nothing I can do about it. But hey, life's really too short to get mad at some crazy Chinese Ashtangi in the upper midwest just because he didn't list your blog on his blog, don't you think? So read this post, if you will, and then go out into the world, and be merry. And as always, may the Force be with you.