“…insight, vision, moments of revelation. During those rare moments something overtakes the man and he becomes the tool of a greater Force; the servant of, willing or unwilling depending on his degree of awakeness. The photograph, then, is a message more than a mirror, and the mans a messenger who happens to be a photographer.”
Minor White

Yoga Asana Practice Sequences meet WordPress & HTML

n

I’ve been gradually looking for better ways to display and communicate asana and practice sequences:

  1. It started with some basic hand drawings which were clumsy because I had to use a marker instead of a fine pen to get a result that would scan and display properly on screen.
  2. I’ve described some asana in depth with photographs and animation.
  3. At one point I started drawing some stick figures.
  4. I then began aggregating stick figures into practice sequences.
  5. Until a few days ago, as I was working on documenting another sequence and I began to think “there has to be a better way to do this”.

Well I’m happy to say that now there is. I’ve used a semantic (predefined) structure of HTML together with some CSS and Javascript that arange and transform the HTML text into a visual practice sequence. It uses a set of images (which can be enriched and modified regardless of the script) which are inserted instead of the posture names (which are actually the file names). You would need a basic understanding of HTML tags to use it.

It’s not as user-friendly as it could be and I have some ideas on how to enhance it and make it easier to use – but implementing that goes beyond my programming skills. So if you’re a WordPress plugin author with experience in Javascript – please do contact me – I’d love to work with you on this.

Here’s an example of how it works. Following is an image of a practice sequence – it is one large JPG file:

Next is a semantic HTML representation of that practice. If you understand Yoga and basic HTML structuring then you should be able to quickly see the underlying structure – I’ve kept it fairly simple:

<div class="asana-practice-sequence">
<ol>
	<li class="sequence-container">
		<div class="sequence">
			<div class="asana">samasthiti</div>
			<div class="breath">breath-inex</div>
			<div class="asana">tadasana</div>
		</div>
		<div class="instructions">
			<div class="breath">r3</div>
		</div>
	</li>
	<li class="sequence-container">
		<div class="sequence">
			<div class="asana">samasthiti</div>
			<div class="breath">breath-inex</div>
			<div class="asana">tadasana_v-backbend</div>
		</div>
		<div class="instructions">
			<div class="breath">r3</div>
		</div>
	</li>
	<li class="sequence-container">
		<div class="sequence">
			<div class="asana">samasthiti</div>
			<div class="breath">breath-inex</div>
			<div class="asana">tadasana</div>
			<div class="breath">breath-exin</div>
			<div class="subsequence">
				<div class="sequence">
					<div class="asana">uttanasana</div>
					<div class="breath">breath-inex</div>
					<div class="asana">ardha-uttanasana</div>
					<div class="breath">breath-exin</div>
					<div class="asana">ardha-uttanasana</div>
				</div>
				<div class="instructions">
					<div class="guide">midrange-micromovement-static</div>
				</div>
			</div>
		</div>
		<div class="instructions">
			<div class="breath">r3</div>
		</div>
	</li>
</ol>
</div>

And here’s how that code is rendered with CSS and a Javascript:

If images are not showing – refreshing the page may correct it!

  1. samasthiti
    breath-inex
    tadasana
    r3
  2. samasthiti
    breath-inex
    tadasana_v-backbend
    r3
  3. samasthiti
    breath-inex
    tadasana
    breath-exin
    uttanasana
    breath-inex
    ardha-uttanasana
    midrange-micromovement-static
    r3

The benefits:

  • Easy: very easy and quick authoring of practice sequences.
  • Green: each posture is a very small file (as opposed to larger images with whole practice sequences) – resulting in a small and lightweight page.
  • Adapatable: alternate image sets could be used for different representations of the same practice: stick figures, photos, body illustrations, male, female, etc.
  • Scalable: the script can be configured for automatic scaling/resizing of images.
  • Printable?: I haven’t tested this yet – but I have created high (print resolution) graphics which are scaled down by the script. Zooming in reveals that the images are indeed on high resolution and so I have a feeling they may print well too.

There are still a few issues to tweak and finalize – but is does work 🙂

Thanks: To create this I had to use Javascript which I haven’t used in quite some time – I hate it as a programming language and I love what it can do. I was motivated to use it again (a disturbing and aggravating learning curve) by the inspiration I experienced in helping my teacher move into WordPress. Thank you Paul, again and again, for your inspiring presence.

Note: I haven’t and probably won’t test or maintain this script for Internet Explorer (any version – old or new). It was developed with and works with Mozilla Firefox. If you are a Yoga practitioner and can relate to Svatantra then I recommend you stop using Internet Explorer and start using an open-source browser like Firefox and other open-source applications.

Posted in Asana, Open Source, outside, Practice Sequences, Tech Stuff, Wordpress, Yoga, Yoga & I | You are welcome to add your comment

More Free Internet

n

Snap an image, send it online, share it with your friends on Twitter with a great free service … including the “Hot Russian Girls who can be your Perfect Wife” adertisement you wanted to send out to all of your friends … all free … step right up folks …

and this is just one example …

Posted in AltEco, Business, outside | You are welcome to add your comment

Alvin Toffler on Education

n

Excellent video on the roots of education complements of Ken Robinson:

“We cannot reform our education system, we must replace it”

Posted in AltEco, outside | You are welcome to read 3 comments and to add yours

Twitter Weekly Updates for 2010-07-25

n
  • if you don't write jQuery/Javascript consistently then every small task is like a fucking riddle – though rewarding when you solve it 🙂 #
  • Yoga may help u improve flexibility or increase strength – but more then anything it can teach u how to better use what u already have #
  • after weeks of reading, writing of "the money" post has commenced! #
  • I am old-fashioned, I still use two characters 🙂 to indicate a smile J #
  • some business cards are destined for greatness … scratching, digging out keyboard-dust … #
  • cryptic messages appearing in my consciousness over the last 24 hours #
  • Counter-postures are unsung heroes of Yoga asana practices: http://bit.ly/bIRWIm #
  • "According2 Yoga psychology, 1st awareness is the realisation after the action that we have not acted skilfully enough" http://bit.ly/8XH74v #
  • "When our perceptual systems jump to unfounded conclusions, we see illusions" Galen Rowell http://bit.ly/asfzbb #
  • Arjuna was a warrior. Do you know your dharma? http://bit.ly/d4Uawp #

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Arjuna and Me

n

I’ve been thinking of Arjuna again these past few days. I’ve been thinking of him from a perspective I’ve been locked into from my first introduction to Arjuna (not very original). I’ve written before about the settings of the the Bhagvad Gita and Arjuna, but this time I would like to call upon a great summary by Leonard Cohen:

“There is a beautiful moment in the Bhagavad Gita Arjuna. The general. The great general. He’s standing in his chariot. And all the chariots are readied for war. And across the valley, he sees his opponents. And there he sees not just uncles and aunts and cousins, he sees gurus, he sees teachers that have taught him; and you know how the Indians revere that relationship. He sees them. And Krishna, one of the expressions of the deity, says to him, “you’ll never untangle the circumstances that brought you to this moment. You’re a warrior. Arise now, mighty warrior.” With the full understanding, that they’ve already been killed, and so have you. “This is just a play. This is my will. You’re caught up in the circumstances that I determine for you. That you did not determine for yourself. So, arise, you’re a noble warrior. Embrace your destiny, your fate, and stand up and do your duty.”

When I was introduced to Arjuna’s story I felt lost – so in a way I was envious of Arjuna. Sure he had a difficult situation to resolve – but the resolution was right under his nose. Arjuna had a duty, a clear dharma – he was a warrior – all he had to do was follow that track wherever it took him.

2.31: Seeing your righteous duty you should not tremble, for there is nothing better for a warrior than a righteous battle.
2.32: Happy are the warriors who find such a battle that has come of it’s own momentum.

(Translation by Swami Rama)

What was my duty? What path was I supposed to follow? What was my purpose? This was some years ago and though I feel I’ve come a long way since then these questions resurface.

  • It comes up mostly when I experience a volatile combination of free time and shortage of money.
  • I am more vulnerable to it when I go from being engaged with others to being alone again.
  • It has strong vibrations of “survival” thinking that was ingrained into me.
  • I am not trying to answer it anymore.
  • It disturbs me.
  • Thinking about it raises self-doubt.
  • Living with it keeps me vigilant.
  • It reminds me to revisit my actions and the vibrations they have left in their wake inside me.
  • It doesn’t immobilize me (well at least not for long :).
  • It does keep me in the dark about what I should do next (but not for long :).
  • It reminds me to appreciate the space in between and to practice surrender.
  • It reminds me to stay in tune and open to what may come next.
  • If I wait patiently it usually fades away on its own.

Today, right now, there’s a part of me that wishes for a clear and specific understanding, one that would enable to create more engagement with the world. One that I could both carry with me close to my heart and communicate to others. It’s there, but it’s elusive.

I couldn’t find (though it’s out there somewhere) a video with the above quote from Leonard Cohen. I did come across this one:

Posted in Yoga, Yoga & I, Yoga & Life | You are welcome to read 1 comment and to add yours