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From 58 Pounds to Thriving: My Story

15-year-olds aren’t supposed to have strokes. At least that’s what I thought. I try not to think about it too much. Even now, I only have bits and pieces; shards of memories that somehow remained intact even through the trauma my brain endured that day.

*****

When I arrived at Children’s Medical […]

Beyond the Walls: Stories of the Refugee Crisis

More than 60 million people around the globe are displaced from their homes due to war, conflict, and persecution. That’s the highest number ever on record— one in every 122 humans on this planet. Many refugees board overcrowded dinghies to cross the Mediterranean and reach Europe. If they make it safely […]

Kumaré Review: Why Americans Fall in Love with Indian Gurus

What do you get when you cross a young religious skeptic from New Jersey with a titular Indian spiritual leader? Well, apparently this guy:

Meet Kumaré.

Part Borat-style prankumentary and part cultural analysis of Americans’ relationship with Eastern religion, Vikram Gandhi’s Kumaré provoked laughter as well as a lively dialogue at our in-house YogaBrains screening of the […]

When Women Used Lysol as Birth Control

A new study reported on in the journal Pediatrics reveals that even though it’s legal for 17-year-olds to get the so-called morning-after pill, many pharmacy employees often tell teens they’re not allowed to have the drug anyway.

Whether she is under the age of 18 or not, all women should have agency over their own bodies. […]

Metaphors Matter: The Mind-Body Lingua Franca

The conversations that really affect us — the ones that erode marriages, instigate wars, change the reality we know indefinitely and irrevocably — do not happen in the realm of the concrete, the explicit. They take place beneath and between our words.

Most, I imagine, would agree that tone of voice, […]

Are Kulas Just Cults in Disguise?

John Friend has been called a celebriyogi. Recently I had an opportunity to interview him at the Wanderlust Festival in Vermont. Ever since our conversation, I’ve been thinking about the tenuous boundary between cults,  kulas, and communities in the yoga world.

I spent a lot of time studying social psychology in university. But if […]

Do You Speak Yoga?

God, Allah, Krishna, Universe… I’ve long been fascinated by the many  words we use to describe that oh-so-elusive category of our experience many refer to as “spiritual”. Ask a priest, he’ll call it Christ. Ask a scientist, she’ll call it nature. Ask a yogi… well, you tell me. Our names […]

What Does a Yoga Body Look Like? (Part 3)

As physically embodied creatures, our minds and bodies are intricately interdependent. Thoughts give way to actions, actions meld into habits, and over time our mental activities literally sculpt the bodies we inhabit.

Sometimes I wonder if the body, in many ways, is our deepest form of creative expression– a stage upon […]

What Does a Yoga Body Look Like? (Part 2)

Part 2: Seeking Balance in a World Without

I’ve been thinking, talking, and writing quite a lot about bodies these days. Apparently, I’m not the only one– yogis responded en masse to our recent question to the yoga community, What Does a Yoga Body Look Like? I’ve been so inspired thecomments– […]

What Does a Yoga Body Look Like? (Part 1)

The church says the body is a sin.

Science says the body is a machine.

Advertising says the body is a business.

My yoga practice says the body is ____________.

There’s been an explosion of commentary in the yoga blogosphere as of late about yoga bodies— Slim, Calm, Sexy Yoga, A Plea from Curvy Yogis, Judith Laster’s Shellacking of Naked […]

Two Things Everyone Should Know About Neuroscience

Continued from Part 1, here are 2 more things all yogis should know about science:

4. Brain imaging doesn’t measure your thoughts.

Contrary to popular opinion, brain imaging technologies are not a direct measure of your thoughts or feelings. You know those pretty pictures of brains “lighting up” all kinds of pretty […]

5 Quotes on the Power of Storytelling

Has someone ever said to you, “Oh, you just need to let go of that story,” or something to that effect?

Often times, stories are dismissed by the new-age, self-help movement as negative. They are referred to as webs of untruth, excuses, or meaningless narratives that prevent us from experiencing true happiness […]

5 Reasons Science Does NOT Prove Yoga Works

The findings of modern brain science utterly enthrall most people. And today’s journalists have gotten quite adept at trumpeting scientific findings in ways that captivate and simultaneously mislead the masses. Search the word “yoga” and “neuroscience” on Google and you’ll find an amalgam of sexy-sounding articles… everything from “Researchers find […]

A Call (and Commitment) to Radical Honesty

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote what became a very hotly-debated article about what it means to be of service. Funny howthe writing that challenges us most personally seems to strike the strongest chord with others, because I can’t tell you how emotionally  tinged that piece was for me […]

How I Went From 58 Pounds & Nearly Dead to Healthy, Happy and Loving Life

“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside of you.” — Maya Angelou 

15-year-olds aren’t supposed to have strokes. At least that’s what I thought. I try not to think about it too much. Even now, I only have bits and pieces; shards of memories that somehow remained […]

Are Detoxes Just Diets in Disguise?

In California, detoxes are all the rage. I should know — I just moved to the sunny city of Santa Monica, California a few weeks ago — and it’s been a bit of a culture shock to say the least. It seems like everyone I meet is on a five-day […]

Evolution, Creation, and the Faux Middle Path

Originally posted on Huffington Post

Earlier this week, my friend and fellow YogaBrains contributor Derek Beres shared a shocking statistic on my Facebook wall: Over half of Americans do not believe in evolution. According to a recent Gallup Poll, approximately 46 percent of Americans believe in creationism, 32 percent in “theistic evolution” and only 15 percent […]

Losing a Parent… and How Empty Spiritual Teachings Make It Worse

Losing a Parent… and How Empty Spiritual Teachings Make It Worse

There is a ghost where my mother used to be. She looks like my mother, sounds like my mother… but she is not my mother.

She calls everyday. Every. Single. Day. Sometimes five – but more often ten, eleven, twelve times. […]

Yoga & Addictions Recovery: Coming Home

“Esalen is a state of consciousness as much as it is a physical place. It is a pagan monastery, a school of the mysteries, where seekers of every description come to find light. Breaking out of the crumbling structures of their past, they come to find themselves…For many, Esalen is […]