Tag Archives: Humor

Let’s Take a Moment to Laugh At the Ridiculous Competitive Yoga Chick Phenomenon

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A few months ago, one of my oldest friends, Alex (we’ve been friends since age 13), set me up on a friend date with Toni Nagy, the bold and bright voice behind the Toni Balogna blog.

We met for tea and a hot yoga class at my old stomping grounds of the Baptiste Power Yoga Institute. Ten-minutes underway, I realized Toni mentioned she wasn’t accustomed to heated yoga and was likely melting on the mat next to me. It was absurdly hot, even for me, someone who previously spent upwards of 6-hours a day teaching and practicing in the same soupy environment (sort of like the weather in Boston today). I was bombing on our first date. Toni probably hates me, I thought.

That’s my version. Here’s hers, for the she said/she said perspective.

To make matters worse, I had returned from Asia the day before, so life during this period of jet lag (and for the following near two weeks it took to recover) is a bit foggy. From what I can recall, Toni and I hit it off at tea. I’d even say there were friend fireworks. She made it through yoga, possibly enjoying it– at least the part when it was over, and she was still alive. We parted ways with the familiarity of two people who gainfully assume: I love our friend Alex. You love our friend Alex. We shall love each other as friends!

And what do you do with people you love? You make crazy Internet videos with them.  

For our first blog buddy collaboration, I sharpened my acting chops as– wait for it– a yoga teacher! The subject matter hits close to home, too. It’s called Competitive Yoga Chick, referencing a familiar breed of yogi that Toni brings to light in a very funny way. We all know this yogi or have behaved like this yogi (in our less enlightened days, naturally…), and I think the video does a great job of parodying the temptation to develop a “more than you” mentality through yoga.

Take a peek, and please share your laughable or lovable competitive yogi moments, especially if you have an all out I-AM-SO-MUCH-MORE-SPIRITUAL-THAN-YOU tirade like the talented Bridget Barkan, who plays our over-the-top Competitive Yoga Chick. Alex also makes an appearance. She’s the blonde with nice alignment in Warrior I.

To close, I’d just like to reiterate that I was acting, and if anyone tried this crap in a real class, I’d have to regulate. Check out Toni’s blog for Elephant Journal on being a recovering competitive yoga chick. It’s so good, you’ll want to go on a friend date with her, too. But, remember, I was friends with her first.


Originally published on my blog, Om Gal

25 Ways to Feed Your Soul

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Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. ~ Albert Einstein

Instead of obsessing about food, fat, your weight and your multiple failures to lose ‘it,’ imagine what your life could look like, the shape it might take, if you shifted your focus to bringing joy to your heart, giving fresh energy to your day, to feeding your soul.

Envision what will happen when your thoughts no longer pull you astray, but rather connect your mind, body,sp and spirit.

Each and every day find at least one way to feed your soul.  Here are 25 ways to get you started.  Feel free to add your ways to the list!

25 Ways to Feed Your Soul

1.   Dream with your feet, bust a move, get your groove on, and … dance to the music!

2.  Dissolve your inhibitions in a smokin’ hot bubble bath!

3.  Become a fan of the funny. Go “Sky High” with cartoonist Tommy Rudmose.

4.   Light a candle, and then light another, and notice … nothing is lost when one candle lights the next.

5.   Be the fountain of gladness and make everything and everyone near to you freshen with smiles.

6.   Look beneath the iceberg; investigate what lies below as only one-seventh of ‘you’ is above water.

7.   Breathe into the moment for this very moment is the only one you have for sure.

8.   Pray with the rocks, the pebbles, the sand, as they are still and silent.

9.   Read, read, read, lest you yield yourself to ignorance.

10.   Play feverishly! Experience the world and the universe as the playground that it sure is; one for exploration and discovery. Explore, discover, have fun!

11.   Whip up a bowl of bliss. Combine one cup of the poetic with one cup of the mysterious. The perfect complement to any meal; filling, delicious goodness.

12.   Connect the dots from the past straight into your future, one to the next, and behold … the big picture revealed.

13.   Send the dark cloud on its way as it is but an illusion; a billow upon billow upon a billow.

14.   Open your eyes to the sweetness of the day.

15.   Make a mistake. It is, after all, one way of doing something and better than doing nothing.

16.   Remove the stops – one at a time until there is no … stopping … you.

17.   Love in general … round people, skinny people, tall people, short people, all people.

18.   Look for the bright spot. It is right there, to your right. (No, your other right).

19.   Sigh a deep sigh and start anew.

20.  Arrange flowers in good cheer, with a smile on your face and listen for the earth to joyously laugh with you.

21.   Sing with the birds after the storm.

22.  Begin your day in delight; end it in wisdom.

23.  Do not “think fun.” Feel your way straight into having fun.

24.  Do not worry about your worries. Worry is neither preparation nor a magic pill that wards off bad happenings.

25.  Smile at the messiness of life and then straighten your desk, toss the old magazines.

I hope that whets your appetite for ‘soul food!’

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For the best life, wellness and weight loss wisdom, visit Janice:
Our Lady of Weight Loss

Join the Kick in the Tush Club

Originally published May 2012

Amazing Flashmob Recreates Rembrandt’s “Night Watch” in a Shopping Mall

This is by far the coolest way to promote the opening of a new museum exhibit. Rijksmuseum, the Museum of the Netherlands, reopened on April 13, and to get the word out they joined with their main sponsor, ING, to orchestrate this elaborate flashmob. We’ve seen operas, random acts of kindness, protest songs, and wedding proposals – but recreating a famous classical painting definitely takes the flashmob art to a whole new level. Check it out!

Have you ever participated in a flashmob? What song/painting/play/etc would you recreate for a flashmob and where? Let us know in the comments section below!

Do You Embrace Contradictions? Why Paradox is Necessary for Happiness

contradictionnopetsI love Secrets of Adulthood, fables, teaching stories, koans, and paradoxes–or anything that smacks of paradox. For instance, I get a big kick out of the page of my bank statement that reads, “This page intentionally left blank.” No, it’s not blank. It has that notice printed on it!

As I’ve worked on my happiness project, I’ve been struck by the contradictions I kept confronting. The opposite of a profound truth is also true, and I often find myself trying to embrace both sides of an idea:

1. Accept myself, and expect more of myself.

2. Use my time efficiently, yet make time to play, to wander, to read at whim, to fail.

3. Take myself less seriously—and take myself more seriously.

4.  Someplace, keep an empty shelf, and someplace, keep a junk drawer. If you want to see my empty shelf with your own eyes, watch here at minute 6:41–some people are dubious about whether I actually have one.

5. Think about myself so I can forget myself.

6. Paying close attention to something sometimes helps me to ignore it. (Like cravings.)

7. Often it takes discipline to take pleasure.

8. If I want to keep going, I must allow myself to stop.

9. The days are long, but the years are short. Of everything I’ve ever written, I think this one-minute video resonates most with people.

Often, the search for happiness means embracing both sides of the contradiction.

Take, for example, Item #1 above–certainly one of the central challenges of life. W. H. Auden articulates beautifully this tension:

Between the ages of twenty and forty we are engaged in the process of discovering who we are, which involves learning the difference between accidental limitations which it is our duty to outgrow and the necessary limitations of our nature beyond which we cannot trespass with impunity.

Which ones particularly resonate with you? What am I leaving out?

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Would you like a free, personalized, signed bookplate for your copy of The Happiness Project or Happier at Home? Or, if you have the e-book or the audio-book, a signature card? Or would you like these for a friend? Request them here. Ask for as many as you’d like, but alas, because of mailing costs, I can now mail only to the U.S. and Canada. So sorry about that.

Rescuing Amanda Berry: 3 Versions of Charles Ramsey’s Amazing Interview

Every now and then, miracles happen. People recover from debilitating illnesses; communities rebuild after disasters; relationships repair after huge rifts. This week, the country witnessed another kind of miracle, one few would dare to dream of. Amanda Berry and two other women who went missing almost a decade ago were rescued and safely returned to their families. Berry was just 17 when she was kidnapped and held captive, allegedly by three brothers in the Cleveland area. Now a 27-year-old woman, Berry returned to her family this morning along with her 6-year-old daughter, born in captivity.

As if that weren’t enough for today’s dose of inspiration, another intriguing facet of this story is the unlikely hero who reportedly discovered the women. Charles Ramsey is a neighbor of the men who are believed to have kept Berry and the other women captive for nearly 10 years, and he said he never would have suspected that such a crime was being committed so close by. On top of that, another neighbor, Angel Cordero, claims that he was the real savior, and that Ramsey only appeared on the scene later. Either way, this is a remarkable story and one that, regardless of the details, certainly has a happy ending.

Charles Ramsey’s interview with Cleveland’s local ABC news outlet has gone viral on YouTube, and out of this has blossomed an entire series of spinoff videos. These should in no way make light of the amazing power behind the original, but we can’t help but celebrate the amazing creativity people never cease to display on YouTube and elsewhere. Here are three versions of Ramsey’s interview: the original and two re-makes. Let us know which one you like best!

Here’s to Amanda Berry, the other women released from captivity, and their rescuers, whomever they may be!

6 Hilarious Reactions to Westboro Baptist Church’s Protest Against Jason Collins

NBA star Jason Collins rocked the sports world this week when he publicly announced his homosexuality, making him the first active athlete in the four US professional sports to “come out.” Many have voiced support for Collins on Twitter and other social media sites, including Kobe Bryant:

Proud of @jasoncollins34. Don’t suffocate who u r because of the ignorance of others.

Michelle Obama:

So proud of you, Jason Collins! This is a huge step forward for our country. We’ve got your back! —mo

Steve Nash:

The time has come. Maximum respect. RT @Baron_Davis: I am so proud of my bro @jasoncollins34 for being real. …

Bill Clinton:

I’m proud to call Jason Collins a friend.

And many others. One group that isn’t pleased with the news is, surprise surprise, Westboro Baptist Church. Always eager for an opportunity to make some anti-gay noise, congregation members took to the streets with signs and shouts of eternal damnation. But no demonstration is complete without a witty and irreverent counter-protest! Here are 6 of the best scenes captured from these twin protests:


Photo credit: Christian Petersen / Getty Images


Photo credit: Twitter


Photo credit: Twitter

Houston Rockets v Oklahoma City Thunder - Game Five

Photo credit: Getty Images


Photo credit: Instagram


Photo credit: BustedCoverage

Deepak Chopra Eats a Mouse! (And Discusses Space Time)

Okay, so Deepak isn’t actually going to eat a mouse, but his owl avatar is! Ladies and gentlemen, meet the new, slightly smaller, much more feathery Deepak Chopra and his friend, physicist Menas Kafatos!

Perched atop a telephone wire overlooking the city below, Deepak and Menas tackle some of the biggest questions in modern science: what is the relationship between space and time? And what does it tell us about reality? Don’t be alarmed when Deepak takes a quick break for a mouse snack – an owl gets hungry now and then, after all…

We hope you enjoyed this rich and engaging discussion with a light-hearted twist. For the original, non-animated version, click here.

Don’t forget to subscribe to The Chopra Well and stay tuned for more delightful episodes with Deepak & Friends!

Sex, Cosmo, and Karl Marx (5 Hilarious Mash-ups)

Kim-Kardashian-Cosmopolitan-Magazine-August-2011-IssueYou may know the magazine Cosmopolitan as a titillating and dare-we-say trashy indulgence – a women’s magazine dedicating to sex, beauty, and celebrity fashion. Because that’s all women care about, right? Regardless of how enthusiastic or critical you may feel for the publication, there are some aspects of its history that might surprise you:

1. It was first published in 1886.

2. It began as a family magazine, with articles on household concerns, childcare, and recipes.

3. After some time it transitioned into more of a literary magazine, publishing works by writers like Upton Sinclair, Kurt Vonnegut, Willa Cather, and H. G. Wells.

4. In the 1960’s, Helen Gurley Brown took over as editor and began running covers and articles that reflected the sexual liberation movement of the time.

5. Cosmopolitan is published in over 30 languages and is distributed in more than 100 countries, which (perhaps surprisingly) includes places like Armenia, Azerbaijan, Indonesia, Taiwan, Mongolia, Latvia, Turkey, Serbia, Colombia, India, and more.

To feature some of Cosmo‘s diverse influences and past lives, one clever Tumblr user created the mash-up Cosmarxpolitan (in reference to the philosopher and cultural theorist, Karl Marx.) These fake magazine covers display famous philosophers’ faces superimposed on studly male bodies, with article titles like, “Sex Tips so divine, he’ll call you the opiate of his masses,” “The Asiatic mode of production and your butt,” and “How to Smash Capitalism (while you work out!)”

These intelligent, light-hearted mash-ups are meant to be humorous, but they also call into question the ways in which we consume popular culture. Is sex all that sells? Without disrespecting the sexual revolution and all that our society gained as a result, what if Cosmo reunited with its literary past and gave their audience something to think about beyond the next orgasm? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below!


Images via Tumblr

News Anchors Burst into Laughter After Ryan Lochte Interview – Funny!

It’s nice to see professionals let loose every once in a while – especially news anchors who are usually so measured and contained. After a recent interview with Olympic-athlete-turned-reality-star Ryan Lochte, this Philadelphia news crew broke into uproarious laughter, proving that no amount of discipline can train away a sense of humor.

It may seem a bit cruel to have a laugh at Lochte’s expense, but it’s all in good faith. Between laughs, one of the anchors even says, “He’s so cute!” Take a look and let us know what you think: mean or just fun?

Lochte’s reality show, “What Would Ryan Lochte Do?” will be premiering soon on E! which is why the swimmer has received considerable coverage of late. The show is expected to be fairly bland, even perhaps to flop, but who knows? Maybe Lochte will surprise us! Until then, here are the five best quotes from the pilot episode:

1. “I’ve talked in front of … like… a lot of big business people about stuff I didn’t even know.”

2. “The key to the Lochte haircut is being fresh and looking up-to-date.”

3. “These are my shoes that I designed from top to the very sole to the very top to the bottom. Laces.”

4. “One of my favorite movies: What Women Want.”

5. “The key to the Lochte haircut is being fresh and looking up-to-date.”

Not a fan of Ryan Lochte? What celebrity would you like to see with their very own reality t.v. show?

“Dove” Parody: Men Think They’re Better Looking Than They Really Are

There has been an outpouring of supportive messages surrounding Dove’s recent body-positivity ad. When it comes to body image and beauty, our community readily comes together to band behind women and promote self-love. Men, on the other hand, often get left out of these discussions, though they are by no means free of self-esteem issues and body dysmorphia.

Perhaps to ironically point out a lack of men in Dove’s messaging, or perhaps just as a lighthearted jab at men, New Feelings Time released a parody to the original ad. In this video it’s clear that there’s a whole other issue, which has been overlooked: Men apparently think they’re better looking than they are! Oh, the irony of self-esteem. Can you have too much of it?Take a look and tell us what you think:

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