Rebecca Pachecco is sometimes known as Om Gal, a blogger who writes about health and fitness and all that jazz. She is also a 500-hour E-RYT yoga teacher and writer, “has appeared in national ad campaigns for Reebok, Ryka, Ibex, and New Balance,” and is also one of these “ambassador” things for lululemon.
As Om Gal, Pachecco has started taking some Q&A. It looks and sounds like this:
We weren’t really satisfied with this, so we thought we’d offer an alternate take on these questions seeing as they deserve more than just a nod. Here’s what we came up with:
1. What yoga poses can I do to control knee pain after running?
First, learn the above diagram inside and out. Second, without taking a moment to understand the condition of the questioner’s knees (What the hell is causing the knee pain?) Om Gal suggests sitting in virasana for Ms. Sore Knees. Now, we’re more of the opinion that before prescribing a remedy, a person should figure out what’s actually causing the pain. That way, rather than using yoga asana as a band-aid to mask the body’s natural alarm system, you can actually address the cause of the issue, and then use yoga as a supplement to maintain the body’s natural inclination to remain balanced and healthy. So, yeah, maybe virasana, but maybe not. See a body-work specialist first.
2. If you were to meet the Dalai Lama face-to-face, what would you say to him?
According to the Dalai Lama’s website, here’s what his daily schedule looks like:
“When His Holiness is at home in Dharamsala, he wakes up at 3.30 a.m. After his morning shower, His Holiness begins the day with prayers, meditations and prostrations until 5.00 a.m. From 5.00 a.m. His Holiness takes a short morning walk around the residential premises. If it is raining outside, His Holiness has a treadmill to use for his walk. Breakfast is served at 5.30 a.m. For breakfast, His Holiness typically has hot porridge, tsampa (barley powder), bread with preserves, and tea. Regularly during breakfast, His Holiness tunes his radio to the BBC World News in English. From 6 a.m. to 8.30 a.m. His Holiness continues his morning meditation and prayers. From around 9.00 a.m. until 11.30 a.m. he studies various Buddhist texts written by the great Buddhist masters. Lunch is served from 11.30 a.m. until 12.30 p.m. His Holiness’s kitchen in Dharamsala is vegetarian. However, during visits outside of Dharamsala, His Holiness is not necessarily vegetarian. As an ordained Buddhist monk, His Holiness does not have dinner. Should there be a need to discuss some work with his staff or hold some audiences and interviews, His Holiness will visit his office from 12.30 p.m. until around 4.30 p.m. Typically, during an afternoon at the office one interview is scheduled along with several audiences, both Tibetan and non-Tibetan. Upon his return to his residence, His Holiness has evening tea at 6 p.m. He then has time for his evening prayers and meditation from 6.30 p.m. until 8.30 p.m. Finally, after a long 17-hour day His Holiness retires for bed at 8.30 p.m.”
Judging from HH’s insane daily schedule, our guess is that the world’s most recognizable Buddhist exile doesn’t need to hear our two cents on how great he is or how awesome it is that he can be so “cool in chaos.” Also, it’s my personal belief that telling a real Buddhist that s/he “is great,” really just puts them in a situation where they have to combat their own ego yet again. Personally, I’d rather not add to that. They’ve got enough on their plate.
3. In your opinion, what is a balanced weekly fitness regiment?
Here we have to agree with Om Gal. Basically, whatever you feel like doing is what you end up doing, so just do that. Of course, there’s a twist! Getting at what you truly “feel” like doing will take some time once you unpack all that social lazy garbage, so you better get to work figuring out that “feeling” of what your body really needs. You also have to remember that “fitness” has no meaning when detached from a simple and sensible “healthy” lifestyle. Of course, what constitutes “health,” opens yet another can of worms, so really, you’re up Shit’s Creek on this one.
4. Is it enough for people to simply “be?”
Really? First, figure out what “to be” means. Then, when you do, let us know if this remains an important question.
5. What do you do when yoga gets monotonous?
Unfortunately, Om Gal misses a glaring opportunity to get to some real root issue stuff with this one. Why suggest to a bored yogini that she look for a new teacher or studio every time yoga gets a little tedious? That’s down right bad advice. Why not invite Ms. Boredom to investigate why she considers monotony to be such a burden, and perhaps help her find ways to unpack that? Boredom is one of the great benefits to spiritual growth (in my/our humble opinion) [See: The Myth of Freedom]. Rather than looking for yet another “spiritual practice” to latch onto, why not start digging a little?
And, to all you new (-minded) yoga teachers out there: Please try and take this stuff seriously. Yes, it’s crazy that anyone listens to you, but some people do. If you don’t know the answer to a question, don’t pretend. Just say you’ll look into it, and than, do that.