In this must watch TED talk, Caroline Heldman talks about the increasing “objectification” of females as sex objects. An “object” by its very nature is inert, depending on the “subject” for its worth and value. “Objectification” is by its very nature disempowering and harmful to the female psyche. In the talk Caroline enumerates the harm and also provides us with steps to take to reverse it.
Yoga is about “de-objectification”. It is the process by which we slowly de-identify ourselves from the mind-body and instead move towards our soul. It is apparent then that yoga can play a big part in reversing this trend towards viewing females as sex objects. Sadly so immersed are we in the prevailing paradigm of sex-objectification that the asana practice of yoga is itself in danger of falling victim to it. Let us take cognizance of this danger and revert the asana practice (practice of yoga postures) to its roots and practice it as something that empowers us and not objectifies us.
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Steve Jobs was very lucky. They detected his pancreatic cancer early. It happened incidentally. He was being screened for something else and this came to light. Pancreatic cancer is a very aggressive form of cancer and it is very important to detect it early. This almost never happens as by the time symptoms appear the cancer has advanced quite a bit. So what did Steve Jobs do? Sadly he decided not to treat it and relied on home remedies.
Just as you never bring a knife to a gunfight, never bring carrot juice to a fight against pancreatic cancer as your sole weapon. Later Steve Jobs was blunt in his assessment of his actions, “I was stupid,” he said.
There is tremendous distrust of medical science. Many second-guess their doctors and go against doctor’s recommendation based on what they find on Google. Sometimes we rely on obscure web sites and blogs rather than trust doctors. This can be very risky as Steve Jobs case illustrates.
But it is also true that there is a risk of being over treated if one relies solely on the advice of some doctors. Doctors find themselves in a difficult situation. They are at the risk of being sued so their entire practice is based on defensive medicine, which sometimes causes them to recommend useless tests and procedures. Doctors are now more inclined to push decisions to their patients, explaining pros and cons of the various choices. Rightly or wrongly lay people find themselves to have research and read medical literature to make sense of their options. This can be confusing and tricky. You may find two different studies reach exactly opposing conclusions. This article seeks to provide some guidance on how to navigate through the maze:
Two birds lived in the same tree. One sat on the higher branch and seemed happy and serene. The bird in the lower branch was a restless one who ate the fruits of the tree. Sometimes he got sour fruits that made him cringe, and sometimes he got sweet ones that made him happy. Every time he got a sour fruit he looked up at the bird above who seemed happy. He began moving towards it by hopping on to the higher branches. One day he reached the uppermost branch where the bird sat. As he moved closer to the other bird he realized that there was only one bird. What had seemed like his former self was an illusion and it was really the self same bird that observed everything from the higher branch.
This is based on ideas in a passage from Mundaka Upanishad and a commentary by Shankara. It illustrates the idea that at the mundane level we are a restless self involved in the day-to-day, but within us is a divine blissful self that is the quiet observer of everything.
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Credits:This has been written by Raj Shah and edited by Ketna Shah.
Emily Herakovich found herself working in an “all men” environment. She found that slowly this was transforming her to become more and more masculine. She found this to be too stressful and one day she quit her job and took to yoga. Now she finds that she can be who she is reverting back to her feminine self.
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A first grade girl handed in the drawing above for her homework assignment.
The teacher graded it and the child brought it home. She returned to school the next day with the following note:
Dear Ms. Davis,
I want to be perfectly clear on my child’s homework illustration.
It is NOT of me on a dance pole on a stage in a strip joint surrounded by male customers with money. I work at Home Depot and had commented to my daughter how much money we made in the recent snowstorm.
This drawing is of me selling a shovel.
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