Under the Maple Canopy

Singing Union Songs Since 2009


A Monday Yoga Moment

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The “nones” and what that might mean for our collective future

Jason Pitzl-Waters has been doing a fantastic job in the last few months taking a look at the “nones” and considering what that might mean for our culture – particularly for the non-Abrahamic and minority faiths – going forward. Towards the end of the most recent article, Pitzl-Waters writes:

…it’s important to keep in mind the essential “pagan-ness” of our world today, despite the best efforts of Christianity and Islam to replace all beliefs with their forms of exclusive monotheism. Polytheism, pantheism, henotheism, post-theism, and other theological variants outside the Abrahamic conceptions of divinity continue to thrive and make an impact on our world. The growth of the “nones” provides the Hindus, Buddhists, folk-religionists, and “other” faiths a chance to change the narrative of belief in this world, that Christian and Muslim one-size-fits-all salvation are not guaranteed eternal dominance, and that we can find pluralistic alternatives to the status quo.

Definitely something worth considering on the eve of what is considered a universally celebrated holiday by far too many in this country. Things certainly won’t change overnight, but it’s a start.


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On the Horns of a Dilemma

Backstory:  I haven’t gone to a Yoga class in a very long time.  It may have been cold, but in a spring sort of way.  I’ve done Yoga at home since then, but nothing like I used to do back in 2010/2011.  I’m just not in a Yoga-rich community.

The Dilemma:  I ran into one of my favorite local Yoga teachers at the grocery store.  She used to teach at the one big studio that went out of business and then at the smaller one.  Then she had a baby and now she’s teaching again, but at a different studio.  The one that took over the other big studio’s space in an eerily duplicitous way.

I have taken a class or two at the new big studio in the past, but I really don’t care for the studio owner.  She’s…odd.  She’s also a huge MLM kinda gal which means you get more than you intend when you unwittingly sign up for her email list.  She maintains said list herself making it almost impossible to get removed from the list.  I had to set-up a Gmail filter so that all of her emails went straight to the trash after trying multiple times, unsuccessfully, to get her to remove me from the list.

In short, I had given up ever going to Yoga again.  Because I’m not going back there.

But said teacher is teaching there now, because the studio is literally the only gig in town and while there was that one small one a town over, the location was crappy and almost no one showed up.

So, here’s the deal.  I have childcare for tomorrow night (Hi Mom!) and I could go to a class where I like the teacher.  My upper back has been a little sore so Yoga would be nice.  If I just focus on this, it’s pretty exciting.  Also known as the positives.

The negatives?  The studio owner charges $2 less for a class than they do at the fancy places in Madison and more than a great number of other Madison studios.  Yes, some portion of this will go to the teacher, but the other goes to the wackadoodle studio owner.  Who I do not like and would not want to support financially.  Ever.

Did I mention that you have to fill out paperwork when you go to a class that involves giving your personal information and could get me on some random mailing list that I won’t be able to remove myself from?  The more I think about this the less enthused I feel about going tomorrow.

So, go and ignore one’s principled objections to the wackadoodle?  Or skip it because darn it, I have principles and I’m already paying for the YMCA membership?

Herein lies the horns of my dilemma.


Tuesday’s Quick Hits – Choices

From First Draft

Time and treasure are always available. US resources — public and private — are always available. The “no we can’t” spirit so prevalent in government and private industry these days only seems to apply when we feel like it. (emphasis mine)

From The Yoga of Parenting

The question I get asked most often is “how can I find the time to practice pausing so that I can do it in stressful times?” There are as many ways to practice as there are personalities and situations. The key is to find the practice that suits you in your life right now.

Why practice?  It will help

…create the pause necessary for the mind to rewire in the direction of  greater equanimity so that when we encounter stress, and we will, we can remind ourselves of this possible pause and we become stronger in our ability to move from a fight or flight response to greater ease.


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The Newest (and Recently Finished) Read-Aloud

I suspect, since the kid is in school, we won’t be able to meet our goals for the year with our Read-Aloud List this year. There just won’t be enough time to get everything done.  For that reason, it did seem a bit silly to add a book to the list.  On the other hand, after having finished the last read aloud, “The Sea of Monsters” by Rick Riordan, it seemed important to back up a bit and read the myth Riordan’s story is based upon.  Annabeth’s cleverness at referring to herself as “Nobody” when faced with getting her friends away from Polyphemus doesn’t really compute when you don’t know why she would refer to herself as such in the first place.  We’ve already touched a bit on these stories when we talked about the Ancient Greeks in history last school year so there is a background bit of understanding there, but there’s nothing like reading the story for yourself.

I went through many children’s copies of Odysseus before I was able to find one that wasn’t too simplified while also having a good overall presentation.  I agree with Linda and the commenters on her blog when they point out that the graphics and layout of a book is often just as important as the book itself.

I ended up selecting one by Rosemary Sutcliff called “The Wanderings of Odysseus:  The Story of the Odyssey.”  The artwork in the original version is fantastic, though I have to admit I like the cover art on the mass market paperback better.  Sutcliff’s version is written in such a way that it’s just about screams “Read me aloud!”  Her text flows surprisingly easily and had my kids enthralled from the very first page.  If you’re thinking about reading this book with your children, then I’d suggest starting with Sutcliff’s “Black Ships Before Troy:  The Story of the Illiad.”  In hindsight, that’s what I should have done.

Even the husband got in on this one and was as eager for me to finish it as the kids were – what would happen to Odysseus?  Is there a happy ending?

That makes this #9 and finished as of Thursday this week.  The old #9 “The Titan’s Curse” by Rick Riordan is the new #10 and we’re continuing on with that one, albeit a little slower than usual.