Weekend Activities

Saturday I did a home practice with a Dave Farmar podcast. He’s good. I ate a really magnificent eggs florentine, and then went to the MoMA and watched a woman dance in sand for 15 minutes while listening to the people around me complain about it.

Sunday I did the same Dave Farmar practice except this time I was super cranky about it. I went to the Museum of Natural History with friends and Journeyed to the Stars with Whoopi Goldberg, and then enjoyed taxidermy while constantly finding the gift shop and nothing else. I came home and watched Enlighten Up!, which I liked but didn’t love. And I wrote an email to my dad. Love that guy. Oh, and I also made wasabi chick peas using this recipe, which I remembered to halve. They’re really addictive; I think it’s the salt.

Black Swan Beautiful – or Dangerous?

[image via]

I’m having a hard time reading this article in Vogue about Natalie Portman’s training regimen and transformation for her role in Black Swan.

I don’t disagree with core strength, awareness, beauty and elegance. Mary Helen Bowers, the woman Portman trained with and the creator of the Ballet Beautiful program talks about the physique to which her students aspire:

“The body type is strong. It’s muscular, but the muscles are very long and lean and there is something that’s very elegant about the body, and also very powerful,” she says.

But isn’t there also something dangerous? Mila Kunis talks about how her training and weight loss for the film left her feeling, well, gross. She lost 20 lbs for the role, dwindling to a mere 95 lbs.

“In real life, I looked disgusting, but in photographs and on film, it looked amazing.” [via]

Yikes. I’m glad Kunis says this out loud because even though the pain of training is apparent in the film, and is being discussed in the press, I still feel like there’s this underlying tide of: but don’t they look beautiful?

And that’s what this Ballet Beautiful article talks about too. Train hard, intensely, unforgivably and you, too, can look beautiful. The tagline on the site reads: Artistic. Athletic. Attainable.

Yoga is not ballet. We are not taught to train or restrict for the sake of achieving a certain body type. And, to be honest, I don’t mean to suggest that ballet is a particularly vain pursuit. I simply don’t know enough about it to say that. It is an art, but one that has the surface-workings of painful ego-addiction.

In yoga, we are encouraged to let go of ego all together. But all the tools for vain self-destruction are there: rigorous dedication, cleanses, diets, austerities. The superficial practices – when coupled with the beautiful bodies we see bending and twisting on the pages of magazines – can serve to feed the ego, too.

I don’t have a final word on all of this. I’m not saying that this film is doing women a disservice, or that Yoga Journal is twisting our minds. I’m just aware of my own feelings when I read this article.

Ostensibly, the press coverage is not congratulatory about the rigors of training and weight loss these women undertook for the roles they play in this film. And yet, somehow, I still feel an undercurrent of it. Is it because I can feel the push and pull, the attraction and repulsion of this kind of physique myself?

Is the suggestion there – that this is an acceptable ideal for women – or is it just my sensitivity? Is anyone else feeling it?

Party Girl + Yoga = Dream Movie

According to Yogadork, who knows these things, our favorite partying librarian (aka indie darling) is filming an upcoming yoga movie. Posey doesn’t seem like the Eat, Pray, Love type, so I’m keeping my fingers crossed for some wry wit and yoga comedy love.

Who wants to go with me? Do they make vegan popcorn butter?

Read more from the Yogadork: New Indie Comedy Stars Parker Posey, Yoga and a Chicken Farm.


image via getty

I never had an iconic Lennon poster on my wall, round glasses and NYC T-shirt. I didn’t watch St. Peppers until relatively recently, and I didn’t relate to the Walrus (or was that Paul?), but how can you not be fascinated by John Lennon. From Beatle to activist to icon, and legend.

Last night in Central Park I sat with a friend, and hundreds of strangers, to watch the documentary LENNONYC, the story of his last decade of life lived here in New York City.

It’s so strange to think of John Lennon as just a man, which is, more than anything, what this documentary showed. A man just like any other person – lost sometimes, emotional, flailing, happy, contented, growing. He just happens to be incredibly talented. But behind the superhuman aspects, he was just a person, too.

The part of his story I’m most drawn to is the love story with Yoko Ono. Maybe it’s because of the path I’m on in life, or that I’m closer to the age when Lennon himself finally settled down, but their love seems like a fable to me, even with its flaws. Of course, what this says about his first marriage and child seems much more complicated. But the things he and Ono went through – the press attacks, the deportation attempts, the time apart, and eventual reconciliation. It’s clear that despite whatever turmoil they had, that they were deeply in love.

I’m sure they wouldn’t have had a fairy-tale flawless marriage for the next thirty years. It would probably be just as messy and complicated as real life is. But there was a depth to that love that seems to me like the most superhuman part of all.