Thursday, 26 September 2013

Yoga for prisoners, and commuters

"We're really responding to a need the prisoners are expressing for something to help them with the tremendous amount of mental strain and mental pressure that they're under," says Sam Settle, the charity's director.

Well if it cuts the strain and mental pressure of prison life then yoga has something to say to the millions of people who are put under stress and strain by their daily commute! Yoga is time to empty out the stress and just sense your body. Time away from all that other crap. It's great to stretch and to feel your sinews, your bones, your blood flowing.

Plus it can have added benefits as ex-con 'Nick', says:
"Nick, who spent six years in Villa Devoto, has no scientific evidence to offer. But he's convinced that yoga saved his life."

If a scumbag drugs-baron can turn his life around with yoga, there's hope for us all!

Wednesday, 11 September 2013

German 'Mensur' fencing profile: a student's tale.

I first read about 'Mensur' as a sport in a book about sword fencing: 'By the Sword' by Richard Cohen. I found it a strange practice in that there was no footwork, no body displacement, no closing distances or strategy. To me it seemed just like a whacking match! Two opponents stand almost toe to toe and whack each other with live swords. Nils Hempel explains in the BBC article that it is much more about self-discipline and honour. Here he talks intelligently and openly about why he studies Mensur, although he doesn't mention anything about unprotected sword fighting and the pride of a Mensur scar...

An older video showing a Mensur duel