With the recent release of the new action film Lucy it seems fitting to discuss the controversial topic of superhumans. As a small disclaimer, this subject requires the willingness to go beyond what some might consider to be a “rational” thought process. By all means, I encourage you to exercise your discernment muscles. But I will say that it helps to approach yoga philosophy with an open mind…
There are many different kinds of superhumans which can essentially be divided into two categories-natural and artificial. According to Wikipedia, “A super race is a future race of improved humans that is proposed to be created from present-day human beings by deploying various means such as eugenics, genetic-engineering, yoga, nanotechnology, and/or brain-computer interfacing to accelerate the process of human evolution.”
The branch of superhuman development that involves yogic technologies is part of Sri Aurobindo’s Integral Yoga:
Sri Aurobindo (1872-1950) developed a system of yoga called Integral yoga to transform selected humans into a new super race called the Supermen that would have a fully and permanently awakened kundalini and thus become siddhas with various siddhis (paranormal powers) such as the ability to observe chakras and auras with the third eye, to travel by astral travel at will, to be able to subsist adequately with full bodily functions on small amounts of vegetarian food, to go long periods without sleep, to communicate by telepathy and to levitate. The function of this new super race would not be to dominate others but to lead humanity toward world peace. – Wikipedia
Paranormal powers without the use of drugs, surgery or technology might sound more like fantasy than science fiction. Social conditioning based on the 300-year old system of Western science has made it difficult to comprehend such things. No matter what your belief system may be remember that there is no one-size-fits-all method to learning. I recommend that you use what works and leave the rest. Personally, I don’t believe that vegetarianism is the ultimate superhuman diet.
The science of yoga is designed to assist with paranormal evolution. The siddhis are part of the journey but they are not the end result. It takes a long time and a lot of hard work but ultimately the Slow Path is the best way. While the quick fix of hotwiring our brains and bodies into an artificial state of advanced evolution may seem tempting, it is unlikely that these future technologies will be available to anyone but the super-elite. And if by some slim chance they were available to the general public I wouldn’t trust them. The potentially damaging effects to the subtle body isn’t worth the risk.
What do you think about super-humanism? Feel free to leave a comment in the box below.
Cross-training with yoga is a popular discussion topic these days and people will sometimes ask me if I lift weights or do cardio. There are ways to effectively combine Eastern and Western forms of exercise but there are a few common mistakes to avoid.
To be clear, when I’m using the word yoga in this context I’m talking about the physical practice of asana, not the 5,000+ year old tradition. Asana-based yoga classes are the most recent evolution of the 1980’s aerobics fad and most YMCA’s, gyms and health clubs offer a variety of them. Yet many of these businesses do not educate their clientele on how to safely incorporate yoga into their work outs.
Contractive vs. expansive strength training.
Free weight training is designed to build strength by repeatedly contracting the muscle towards the central axis of the body. Yoga poses such as Warrior 2 build strength by holding the posture and lengthening the muscles away from the central axis of the body. Contractive strength training shortens the muscle whereas expansive strengthening promotes a balance of strength and flexibility.
People who practice routine contractive strength training (such as bodybuilders) may have a tough time holding poses like Warrior 2. If you’ve been weightlifting regularly and want to start practicing yoga it can helpful to switch to lighter weights. There are some corporate yoga studios that offer classes that combine light weight training with yoga.
Asana and Cardio.
Any kind of joint impacting exercise should be done BEFORE practicing yoga. Asana opens the joints so it’s counterintuitive to run on a treadmill after practicing yoga. While there are cardio machines like exercise bikes and ellipticals that don’t impact the joints they do tighten the muscles. It’s a good idea to stretch for five minutes before doing cardio and then do an extended yoga practice afterwards.
A good warm up is key.
It’s worth mentioning another potential safety issue that frequently happens in gym settings. Oftentimes members arrive well after a class has started, sometimes as much as a half hour into the class, or else they might leave early. Many instructors don’t say anything as the success of a class is based on attendance numbers, but this can be quite dangerous.
For your safety you should plan on attending a group yoga class from start to finish. You wouldn’t jump on a treadmill and start out at peak speed, nor would you end a weight lifting session without a little stretching. Just like any other system of exercise there is a formula to a yoga class, and this formula is designed to give you optimal results.
Thinking about cross-training with yoga? I’d love to speak with you. Book a free no-obligation consultation today.
So this week I wanted to share another recipe with you. It’s an adaptation of the very first recipe that I ever learned (I was six years old) so it’s pretty dear to my heart. I have a thing for making chocolate chip cookies. Eating them isn’t so much the goal – it’s really just about the process of making them. It’s a little ritual that I practice whenever I’m in a new living situation. There’s something very soothing about it (maybe you can relate) and it brings a sense of being at home no matter where I am.
While cooking is an art baking is a science, so I stay pretty close to the original Toll House cookbook recipe. But I’ve learned some tricks along the way too, so here’s the most recent evolution of this tried and true classic:
Chocolate Chip Cookies
- 2 and 1/4 cups whole wheat flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup (2 sticks) butter
- 3/4 cup cane sugar
- 2/3 cup packed brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 large eggs
- 10 oz. dark chocolate chips
- 1 cup chopped nuts
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- In a small pan over low heat, melt butter, cane sugar and brown sugar. Stir to combine and remove from heat. Cool for at least 10 minutes.
- Combine flour, baking soda and salt in small bowl.
- Transfer butter-sugar mixture to a medium bowl. Add vanilla extract. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
- Gradually stir in flour mixture.
- Stir in morsels and nuts and CHILL the dough completely-at least 4 hours.
- Drop rounded tablespoons of dough onto ungreased baking sheets.
- Bake for 8-10 minutes – halfway through the baking time turn the pan 180 degrees.
- Allow cookies to cool before transferring.
- COOL the pans completely before baking another batch (option: run cold water over the pans).
Another trick is to use parchment paper to help reduce clean up. I like to store the cookies in the freezer in small ziplock bags and share them with as many people as possible.
*** For high altitude baking increase flour by 1/4 cup ***