Tag Archives: philosophy

An Interesting View on Nationality

told you anything could happen on the weekends here on Hungry and Fit! My brother introduced me to this site, Quora, awhile ago and it always has fascinating topics and discussions I enjoy reading. A month or so ago, I got a Quora digest including the Question/Answer of the question, “Are Germans proud to be German?” Here’s what a German answered…

“Nobody in Germany (except Neo-Nazis) will say “I am proud to be German”. That is a big no-no and has cost several public figures their jobs. 

Many Germans will also argue that it is illogical to be proud of the accident of birth that could have just as easily placed you in Rwanda, or to be proud of your nation’s achievements when you haven’t done anything to create them.

That being said, you can sometimes find people who are paradoxically “proud of not being proud”. They (and I myself am tending more and more towards that view) are proud of Germany for being basically the only nation that has identified patriotism as the root of much evil and done away with it. Read more about this kind of pride in Navid Kermani’s recent speech on the occasion of the 65th anniversary of the German constitution:http://understandinggermany.de/p… (3rd section)” -Judith Meyer, find the link to entire discussion here.

I simply thought this was an interesting and thought-evoking answer that we are all due to think about. I suppose, as a Philosophy major, I believe it’s always important to think about everything and not ignore painful questions (#thoughtfulsunday). I hope you all have a lovely Sunday and Labor Day if you’re in USA! And as always, stay hungry and fit!

*Question of the Day: What do you think about the above answer to the question?


A Thought on Modern Yoga Teachers

Disclaimer: This is by no means a “hating” post, simply an observation on modern yoga teachers from my few years of experience. I think everyone has a right to teach how they would like to and I impart no ill will to anyone.

This post was inspired by a recent experience waiting for a Yoga class at a local YMCA (not the one I work at). I walked a nice 15-minute sunny walk from home to arrive roughly ten minutes before class opened up. As I was sitting, taking my shoes off and waiting, there were two people having a conversation very close. I assumed that at least one was taking the Yoga class, too, because he had a yoga mat tucked underneath his arm. The woman he was speaking to had a Louis Vuitton bag tucked under her arm. Long story short, as we all shuffled into the Yoga room, I realized that this woman was the instructor. I was baffled. That, among other things, left me distracted the entire class.

You may think I am being judgmental. And you’re probably right. It’s just that these instances bother me as they take away from what I truly believe Yoga to be. Another yoga class I attended a few months back had me counting down the minutes as well. Although the instructor had a fun, bubbly personality, everything was for the wrong reason. She reminded us to get some “cardio” after class as Yoga was not sufficient for that. I left shaking my head, wondering What?! 

I know it’s obvious that Americanized yoga pulls toward getting a workout in nowadays. That instructors of almost every class I attend want to push you into that head or handstand even if you’re new. That yoga teachers are churned out like personal trainers (don’t get me started on that one, either). “Yoga” means balance and there is a lot to that meaning that I don’t believe instructors are teaching to. Of course they teach the physical balance, but it surpasses that by far. I took a course on Yoga in college that was very instrumental to my understanding of it. My professor didn’t have us jumping into handstands right away (much to our naive disappointment), but instead we started with the philosophy of it, to truly understand it. She is the reason I practice meditation every day. I feel like most yoga instructors have lost that foundation of Yoga or at least it isn’t translated in their classes.

My exceedingly high expectations for Yoga instructors could probably be blamed on Jasmine Lieb, who played the role of a second mother from my birth. She is a Yoga Master, studying with the teacher who basically introduced yoga to America. Just read this and this on her to get an idea of how she leads her classes. Without even realizing it, I was surrounded by true-to-the-roots yoga instruction growing up. I distinctly remember playing with my action figures on a yoga mat while Jas taught a class, looking after me.


Jas (image source)


We go to the Lieb’s for almost every holiday and I will see her at least twice while I am home. At these holiday get-togethers (parties sound too trivial), I will see Jas’ yoga students of years and years who have grown into very close friends. This is because Jasmine teaches yoga as a pathway to open up. Your body, your mind, your heart. It’s not about burning those 300 calories, it’s about understanding your body in a welcoming, comfortable way. It’s about rehabilitation, realization, and balance. One time when I was home, I attended one of Jas’ class that my dad attends every Saturday, expecting a laid-back easy class for older folks (since it focuses on rehabilitation). Boy was I wrong. Even though we never got off the mat, it was one of the hardest classes I’ve ever taken. Especially because Jas knows my body well so she wanted me to realize how my hips were so very off which affected my entire alignment. I felt great afterwards, but it was extremely difficult to try to balance and align my body.

This may have turned into an “I love Jas post” but I’m not surprised. Since a young age, Jas has taught me the meaning of humility, kindness, and unconditional love. She has been a truly positive role model throughout my development. I don’t think I’ve truly realized how amazing Jas is as an instructor until now (I’ve always been lucky enough to be spoiled by her wonderful personality, though). And that comes from experiencing other instructors who I just don’t find the true yogic spirit in.  Maybe it’s because of the attendants who expect a certain thing, who knows. All I know is that Jas lives the principles of Yoga. She doesn’t just show up to teach a class and then switch off into a fashionista or a hard-ass egocentric. And I certainly don’t mean to say that there are no true-to-Yoga teachers left, in fact I recently attended a wonderful class that helped me completely focus on the inner me. It’s just that the majority of instructors nowadays don’t quite hit what I’m looking for. The true meaning of yoga–balance. 


Noke could use some understanding of yogic principles when it comes to food

Noke could use some understanding of yogic principles when it comes to food

It’s Time to Listen to Pocahontas

I think we’ve got our philosophies wrong in the world. And sadly, it is most of the world now. There was a time where beliefs of nature and the world reigned in some parts of the globe, but global expansionism and global economy has changed that. I know it’s Disney. I know. But, I can’t help but think how right Disney’s Pocahontas is, every time I hear “Colors of the Wind.” I  know you’re thinking, “Alana, I can’t believe you’re actually writing about this right now.” Well, probably some of you can believe it and are shaking your heads and sighing.

Yes, it’s Disney, but listen to some of the lyrics. If more of us thought this way, it could change the world into a more beautiful place. I know it’s Disney, but there’s some real truth and grit in it. Just look over the lyrics.

You think I’m an ignorant savage
And you’ve been so many places
I guess it must be so
But still I cannot see
If the savage one is me
How can there be so much that you don’t know?
You don’t know …

You think you own whatever land you land on
The Earth is just a dead thing you can claim
But I know every rock and tree and creature
Has a life, has a spirit, has a name

You think the only people who are people
Are the people who look and think like you
But if you walk the footsteps of a stranger
You’ll learn things you never knew you never knew

Have you ever heard the wolf cry to the blue corn moon
Or asked the grinning bobcat why he grinned?
Can you sing with all the voices of the mountains?
Can you paint with all the colors of the wind?
Can you paint with all the colors of the wind?

Come run the hidden pine trails of the forest
Come taste the sunsweet berries of the Earth
Come roll in all the riches all around you
And for once, never wonder what they’re worth

The rainstorm and the river are my brothers
The heron and the otter are my friends
And we are all connected to each other
In a circle, in a hoop that never ends

How high will the sycamore grow?
If you cut it down, then you’ll never know
And you’ll never hear the wolf cry to the blue corn moon

For whether we are white or copper skinned
We need to sing with all the voices of the mountains
We need to paint with all the colors of the wind

You can own the Earth and still
All you’ll own is Earth until
You can paint with all the colors of the wind

I think we all ought to take a page of Disney’s Pocahontas’ book. Step back to realize the beauty that we all live in and give back to the earth more. Don’t see everything in monetary value or dollar bills. After all, how can we let green pieces of paper rule our lives? Step back and love what’s around you.

Peace, Love, and Pocahontas