Please, just stop with the -Yoga is Anti-Christian- posts.

I’ll admit I can only take so many rants, discussion, posts and all the other forms of communication before my patience is worn to the born. When that I happens I have to step in say something or my head will explode.

Now before I begin, I’m going to make a few assumption about you the reader. If you do not meet these requirements, please do not proceed with reading this post. And no, “a good friend told me…” is not acceptable as a replacement for anything.

1. You understand we are talking about Yoga the action and not the religion associated with it.

2. You have studied yoga for yourself. Meaning you have actually looked into it, have talked with multiple instructors and most importantly have actually taken a course or observed one in person.

3. You have performed research in the health benefits of yoga. For example, here is a recent study by some folks in Germany Yoga and Low Back Pain , covered by Runner’s World. And when I say research I mean from all areas. Not just from Christian sites but places like the AMA and health and fitness areas.

If you meet those requirements, lets knock down the ultimate issue most Christians have with Yoga and it goes something like this:

If you are performing Yoga moves you MUST also be participating in Hindu religious beliefs.

Buzzzzz!!!!! Thanks for playing but you are Wrong! Wrong! And Wrong!!!

Yoga can and has been separated from it’s belief systems. Don’t believe me? Fine, then maybe you’ll believe “Scholar Georg Feuerstein” [sic] and how he “worries that yoga is losing its way”. Heck he even wrote a book about it. “Georg Feuerstein, author of “Yoga Morality: Ancient Teachings at a Time of Global Crisis,” is worried that, in the process of becoming so many things to so many people, yoga has lost its ethical, philosophical and spiritual roots.”

The article goes on to explain:

most of today’s yoga practitioners don’t care about, or don’t understand, the tradition’s moral teachings, which could offer guidance on sexuality, war, corporate greed, racism, politeness, gluttony, financial debt and pollution.

When tens of millions of North Americans find their identities in saying they “do yoga,” Feuerstein says, widespread ignorance about yoga’s ethical traditions represents a tragic lost opportunity.

For most of those who try yoga, the ancient practice is more about physical fitness than spiritual discipline,

So here we have one of the big names in yoga basically saying people are performing the “motions” but little else. That last sentence nails it, “more about physical fitness than spiritual discipline. Need more evidence? Fine.

During high school I developed some arch issues and as a result saw some fitness folks who game me some exercises to help strengthen and improve flexibility in the area.  Do you want to guess what some of those “moves” were based upon? Yup, yoga. So for around 4-5 yrs I was doing yoga moves and didn’t even know it. It wasn’t until I saw some book that explained some of the same moves I was doing that I even realized. Sorry Mr. Feuerstein I am part of the problem you are facing.

So I hope that dispels all myths regarding yoga being separated from it’s spirituality.  With that wall knocked down, lets go for another. With yoga now being treated as two parts could you in fact combine the physical with another religion? Why of course you can. I know for a fact there are Catholic Yoga classes being offered in my area. Instead of Hindu practices they say Our Fathers, the Hail Mary and sometimes the Rosary.  This is why I am growing rather tired with all the pounding of chest by so many “Christians”.  What really makes me crazy sometimes is the same people who will get in your face about this whole subject have no issue with Nancy Pelosi and John Kerry being labeled as Catholics.
They are doing the same thing Mr. Feuerstein talks about. Both Pelosi and Kerry are against some of the most sacred Catholics tenets yet no one has thrown them out saying they do not represent what Catholics believe or stand for.


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My plan for 2014

Well it’s that time of year when tons of people look back on their previous year and create a plan for the up and coming one. I tend to avoid the word “resolution” and stick more to the “looking to improve” mentality. So without wasting any more time, lets jump in.

I’m looking to Improve my family, my faith, and my fitness. 

I’m sure some of you are going, “That’s it? Nothing else?” Well for me, these pretty much cover everything.

When I say improve my family that covers many areas. It can mean spend more time, having more patience, being more helpful, providing better food, etc, etc.

When I say faith I again mean as an individual, as a parent who encourages, and as a person in his community.

When I say fitness I’m talking about my own fitness but also to encourage my family to remain just as active as we are but also to look for areas where everyone can improve.

Still sounding a bit vague? Let me give you an example. By spending more time in the garden instead of say, the internet, I will do many things. I will provide better food for my family. Present learning opportunities for my kids, while also sending a good message that being outside is a healthy choice. There are other things that can be done to improve my big three like not taking on to many tasks. Obviously things need to get done around the house but these tasks need to be weighed against the above three. If I am spending all my time working and not spending time with family I need to ask “is this project worth it?” If the project only lasts one day then that should be fine but if it’s going to last 2 months, I really need to take a step back and re-asses if it’s worth it. Gardening is an excellent example of finding the right balance. Spending an hour a day in the morning while leaving the rest of the day for family and fitness time works. Spending 4hrs at the expense of family and working out, needs to be avoided.

Some would call this a “Keeping it simple” methodology and I probably wouldn’t argue that point. For me society is now doing it’s best to fill every waking moment of your day. Between work, sleep, eating, school, sports and many other things, free time comes at a premium. By attempting to keep it simple, I hope to improve my family, my faith and my fitness.

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Where is the road less travelled thrill??

Lets begin by saying I understand the need for GPS units. I don’t personally have one yet, but on more then a few occasions someone’s gps unit got us out of the woods quickly and safely. So I totally understand the need for them. But you do have to admit, they sometimes push aside that exploring spirit and create an unnatural dependence for them. The road less traveled spirit in my opinion is being pushed aside in favor of sharing the load. Lets discuss.

Have you ever been out for a ride (bike, car, etc) and wondered where that right turn goes? You know the turn I’m talking about. It’s the turn where you always go left and every time you do, you look right and wonder. Where does that road go? You think back to the day you rode with a friend who showed you this great new course. That was the day you first took the left because you were just following along. It was a great course and you immediately added it to your list. But now you’ve done the course a number of times and you are starting to wonder. Yes, yes, yes, with a GPS unit you could just plug it in and see where it goes. But where is the fun in that? Seriously, you miss that whole, “Oh I didn’t know that road connects to there…cool”.

This may be the point in time where some of you go “oh brother, this guy just hates technology. What a prude.” If you know me you would understand how big of a jokes that is. But I’ll let it go this time. For me technology should always be an aid. A way to improve your life. For example, while mountain biking in a local forest area with a friend, I snapped a spoke on my rear wheel. Before we set off on our ride he set his truck to be a waypoint so when my issue occurred he pulled out the gps and found the easiest way back to our vehicale. Up to this point we were somewhat exploring. We had a general idea of which trails to follow but were still up to a little learning. When my spoke broke, it changed everything. The last thing we wanted was for my wheel to increasingly warp or worse break. So my friend found a route using nothing but fire roads. The result? We got back to his truck in one piece. I was able to ride the whole way, my wheel didn’t get any worse and I only needed to buy 1 spoke to fix the wheel.

Conversely, I’ve been on rides where guys do nothing but constantly check their gps units for fear of missing a turn. (They now have audible indicators so I guess that’s better) Really? In this case technology is a hindrance. So what if we take a wrong turn. What’s the worse that could happen? We’re late, add a few extra miles, or God forbid, find a different route that may just be better then the one we had planned. For me technology in this case is brushing aside our internal curiosity.

Now before someone slams me for what I just said, let me be clear. I am not advocating just taking off into the woods (or anywhere else for the matter) without some form of a game plan. Nor am I suggesting that you should take off without the proper equipment, food, or information. That would be a dumb move and that’s how people end up in survival situations. So to be clear, never, ever, ever head into any area without prior knowledge or without some form of guide who does know the area.  Doing so is just asking for trouble.

For me it’s simple, if you’re rushing your in-labor wife to the hospital and for whatever reason need an alternative route NOW, your GPS unit is the perfect tool. If you are going for a mtb ride alone, being able to leave loved ones/friends an exact route you’ll be taking is smart and safe. Having a GPS unit with you so if something breaks you can find your way out is again smart and safe. But if you’re out riding in some beautiful country side, try taking that right turn instead of the left. You might end up at a dead end or you just might find another great course.

So get out there and explore a bit but please be safe while doing it.

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Since we’re talking about improving baseball, how about…

While surfing around the twitter verse I saw a post that immediately caught my attention. It was titled: “Rule change: Baseball At 16 Games”. To be fair my grabbed attention was not because of some UN-dying love for baseball, in fact it was actually for the opposite reasons. I can’t stand baseball. To this day I marvel at how it ever got so popular and became America’s past time in the first place. For me, nothing has brought greater joy then to seeing it plummet. At this point some of you will probably cry foul and say I have some deep seated issue that needs to be resolved and that I should seek help. That line of thinking isn’t too far off. In fact little league killed any remaining interest I had in the sport. Let me explain.

I remember it like it was yesterday. The team I was on had a no hitter going. For you baseball types this is a good, no make that a great thing. For those of us in the field, center field if I recall correctly, it was beyond boring. The team we were playing was pretty bad and we had our best pitcher on the mound. Nothing had made it out of the infield and my interest in the game was continuing to decay with each retired batter.  Secretly I started to hope our pitcher would mess up and allow the other team to make a come back. Seriously, I was looking for something to do and if it meant rooting for the other team, so be it.

So after another inning of watching our pitcher strike out the opposing side I walked back to the dugout and was greeted by my cheerful coach, “Great job out there! You guys are doing great”. I guess I had reached my end and responded with, “Great job? I haven’t done anything all game. This is boring.” My coaches’ happy disposition changed and my day was done. That’s right, he benched me, he took me out of the game, told me to sit down but more importantly he told me to think about what I had just said. That night I asked my parents to quit but they forced me to finish the season. So yes, I have disliked the game for many, many years and yes I rejoiced when football became king. Now that I have cleared the air, I submit to you how I would change the game of baseball.

Pitch Clock – Stealing one from tennis, football and many others, implement a pitch clock. You have X seconds to deliver that pitch. Don’t get it off, Ball. As for the batters, again stealing from other sports, be ready for the pitch. No you can’t adjust your gloves, get signs, spit, etc etc. When it’s your turn to bat, get in the box, stay there and be ready.

One strike zone – Get a camera/computer hooked up directly over the plate. If the ball touches any part of the plate, then the ump only needs to check when it’s high or low. If the ball if off the plate, the machine beeps for a ball. Holding onto outdated methods is not nostalgic, it’s just plain stubborn. Everyone should have the same strike zone independent of who’s behind the plate umpiring the game. The goal, end zone or service box doesn’t change on who’s calling the game.

No leaving your bench – I’m also looking at you too basketball. If your pitcher hits someone and that player charges the mound, the pitcher is on his own. If the catcher jumps in, he’s the third man in and that will bring ejections and fines. Don’t want to fight, turtle. The aggressor will get kicked out and you’ll stay in.

Cut the season in half – When the boys of summer are still playing in Oct you know something is wrong.

Three times outs per game / No stopping play to exchange players – These two work together. Nothing kills a game then after the manager has made several trips to the mound to “talk” with his failing pitcher, he calls for a replacement. This means you get to watch the guy come out of the bull pen, then he gets to warm up, then there is a commercial…….enough already. You either change players on the fly within the pitch clock, during side changes or spend a time out to do it. Exceptions will obviously be granted for injuries.

Eliminate Phantom outs – How many espn replays do we have to see where the guy is called out even though the person catching the ball didn’t even have his foot on the plate? That it even happens at all is enough reason to rant.

Get rid of base coaches – You are a professional athlete, if you can’t turn around and make a decision on you’re own without some guy telling you what to do, something is seriously wrong.

Only the players get to wear a uniform - This one is more of a personal thing then a suggestion to help improve the game. But seriously, what other sport has someone on the sideline dressed up as a player but doesn’t play? No one, just get rid of it, and move on.

I know I have a few more but that should cause enough people who still love the game to hate me. Just keep in mind, I mostly watch cyclo-cross, F1 and when I can get it online, rally so you won’t find someone here defending any of the major US sports. Yes I grew up with Peter Puck and Hockey, watched the Pats as a kid with Stanley Morgan and Steve Grogan, and enjoyed the Bird vs Magic era of baseball. But I’ve changed and no longer tune in.  If you still love the game, great, each to their own. But when a pre-season game from another sport gets a higher rating then a regular season baseball game, it’s time to change things around.


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Existance of book proves news stations are completely broken

“You don’t watch the news?!?”

I get this statement hurled at me at least once a month and to be perfectly honest, I’m beyond tired of it. Let me explain how it usually plays out. I meet someone, anyone, who is talking about what is going on in local/regional/state wide/national news and I don’t know what he’s talking about. The person gasps and that’s when they hit me with “The Statement”. Which I typically respond with….. “Yeah yeah but which station did you see it on? Did they cover it completely or do they have a slant?” and from there the conversation typically cascades downhill fast as it gets littered with accusations of liberal vs conservative and on and on it goes. Thus solidifying my opinion on not watching in the first place.

So as you can see, for quite some time I’ve felt that all news outlets are slanted. Personally I would love for just one source to be free from bias but I understand that’s asking to much in this time of “Get the news that only you want”. Because if such a news outlet did exist, I could just watch that one and not have to watch all the rest of them to get all the facts on any one subject matter.

This brings us to the reason for my post, someone has actually written a book looking into how polarizing new sources potentially are. Sad but true.

Discuss and review of the book can be found here:

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