you ain’t got no job and you ain’t got no girlfriend
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. It’s Friday. And I’ve got three things to say.
This piece about the dangers of mixing yoga and the weight loss industry is interesting (hat tip Mel Klein). Yoga can change the way you look by toning muscle. Moves that involve spinal twists may increase your metabolism. Hot yoga can help you lose a lot of water and thereby temporarily change your waistline. Yoga can also do wonders for your heart, your nerves, and your spirit. But the only way to lose weight is to burn more calories than you consume, and yoga is not a big calorie burner (not even the hot kind, not even the fast kind). So if you need to lose weight for your health, you’ll need to combine yoga with a more aerobic – and therefore higher calorie-burning – exercise. Yoga can, however, substitute for other parts of a more Western workout regime: flexibility and strength training. Practiced at a high enough level (in other words using difficult enough poses), yoga can yield similar strength results to light weight training. It can also be used as a great warm up or cool down (in place of the more common static stretches) for an aerobic activity.
(On a personal note, you may notice this is the first time I’ve blogged about health in a while, and yes, it is because my physical and mental health are on the upswing! Four workouts and counting this week – two of them on uneven ground.)
In other news, I’ve been thinking about whether the fact that Colin Farrell is one-third the size of Arnold Schwarzenegger and Jeremy Renner is one-half the size of Matt Damon indicates a change in cultural standards of masculinity. From what I can tell from the commercials (oh so poor am I that I have to write about movies I haven’t even seen), in both Total Recall and The Bourne Legacy, the central characters are still basically human weapons, but the emphasis is on agility and speed as opposed to size. This doesn’t like explode our society’s construct of masculinity or anything, but just as with representations of women’s bodies, it’s important to recognize that standards for what beauty and power in men looks like changes over time. This is how we know that these standards are not part of some “natural” or “divine law,” but are rather a construction and reflection of contemporary values and concerns.
From what I’ve heard and read, I’m a little nervous about this Caitlin Moran book that’s very popular in England and predicted to do well here. It seems she believes that all women are feminists because if asked, “Do you have a vagina? Do you want to be in charge of it?” we would all say yes. The problem is that many of the women who want to be in charge of their own vaginas don’t necessarily think other women should be in charge of theirs. Just look at how many women who’ve had abortions think abortion should be illegal. Feminism should not just be about whether I have equal rights, it should be about whether everyone does.
Finally, I’m thinking about developing a late-in-life interest in comic books. Where should I start?