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Improvements at DippingBird and other stuff

We’ve generally been fixing and tweaking things on the site this week, changes made to speed up the site and to adapt more smoothly to changing screen sizes (desktop/smartphone/iPad etc), adding a help desk page and other mods to the design. We’ve recently also been testing an Amdroid app and hope to release it within 1 or 2 weeks. I looks pretty similar to the website, that’s by intention, we’re looking at the apps as a optional way of using the site. Some peoole, myself included, love the ‘ease of access’ of hitting an app icon and getting straight to business, so we’re working on bringing that to you, as an option.

I got a fascinating comment to the post I wrote about the idea of ‘Yoga in Space’. The comment was from Robert McCoy and referenced a piece Robert wrote, about the actual experience of doing Yoga in Space, you can read it here, on Reality Sandwich: //www.realitysandwich.com/yoga_space It presents a very optimistic view of space travel, and given that no doubt the number of people visiting space will mushroom in the coming years, it’s an idea that might be worth hanging onto.

Facebook users who are into current Yoga philosophy should check out Bob Weisenberg’s facebook page ‘The Best of Yoga Philosopy’ at //www.facebook.com/BestOfYogaPhilosophy He manages to find all the best written and inspiring pieces, such as this one, on Barry Gillespie’s essay on ‘equanimity’: //www.elephantjournal.com/2013/11/equanimity-a-spacious-stillness-of-mind-barry-h-gillespie/

For no particular reason, just to pretty-up the post, a beautiful yantra, of the fascinating goddess Dhumavati, below,
Shanti, Peter

Dhumavati Yantra
Dhumavati Yantra

Nisargadatta Maharaj

Something a little different for this post, a quote from Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj, the ‘Sage of Mumbai’. He often refers to Yoga, in a maybe slightly different way we use it at DippingBird. His book, ‘I am that’ is unique, a powerful and modern work on transcendence.

For a Westerner the right procedure is to adhere to the thought that he is the ground of all knowledge, the immutable and perennial awareness of all that happens to the senses and the mind. If he keeps it in mind all the time, aware and alert, he is bound to break the bounds of non-awareness and emerge into pure life, light and love. The idea “I am the witness only” will purify the body and the mind and open the eye of wisdom. Then man goes beyond illusion and his heart is free of all desires.

Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj

Maharaj

Yoga in Space?

I’ve been continuing the anatomy studies in respect of Yoga and some fascinating things have been uncovered, the latest being the challenges of doing Yoga in space, and in fact the challenges of just moving in space. Googling around I’m surprised I can’t find much material on the subject of how the body adapts to moving its muscles in space.

First a simple exercise – hold your arm straight out at 90 degrees. Now slowly bend at the elbow and bring your hand up until it is pointing upwards. During that move the main muscle doing the work should have been the biceps, contracting to bring the hand and lower arm upwards. Now bring the hand to the shoulder (while keeping the upper arm straight out). The muscle doing that work should have been the triceps – the muscle lengthening while ‘contracting’ i.e. ‘pulling’ against the force of gravity to slow and control the hand’s descent (the scientific/medical term for that is ‘eccentric contraction’ (ref: //muscle.ucsd.edu/musintro/contractions.shtml).

So what happens if you do that movement in space? Everything is different, that’s what! It looks like there would certainly be no switch-over from the biceps to the triceps at the point where the hand is pointing straight upward. I imagine that the biceps would continue it’s ‘normal’ concentric contraction unti the hand was near the shoulder and then maybe the triceps steps in with eccentric contraction against the momentum of the upper arm coming in towards the shoulder to slow it down.

The whole practice of Yoga would have to be different in zero-G. Some asasas e.g. the shoulder stand (salamba sarvangasana) would lose their meaning without gravity to work against, but I’m sure dedicated Yogis would come up with a host of zero-G friendly alternatives – what do you think?

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