July 7th, 2006

Reading to Dragon

#58 - Grave Sight

by Charlaine Harris

The first book in what I assume is meant to be a new series, by the author of the most excellent Southern Vampire books. I enjoyed this book – it was a page turner – but found it disappointing in comparison to the other series; I didn’t like these characters anywhere NEAR as much as I love Sookie, and so many other great Southern Vampire characters.

After being struck by lightning as a teenager, our heroine, Harper, has the unusual ability to “sense” the location of dead bodies, and can also intuit the cause of death. When she and her brother are called in to a small southern town to try and find a missing woman, they get caught up in a big mystery.

The mystery was interesting enough, but I just didn’t warm up to either of the main characters. Tolliver (the brother) seemed a bit too aloof, and Harper is too angsty – as she goes about her business (which is, admittedly, an unusual one), just about everyone is overtly rude and suspicious to/of her (and not just the criminals who are trying to stop her finding out their secrets). As soon as someone found out who she is and what she does, they treated her like crap. Over and over again. It got a bit much for me after a while. Sure, Sookie has her problems (and this is one of the things I most love about her character), but I think Harris took it too far with Harper, who is barely functional, what with one thing and another. I found it depressing.

Even though I enjoyed this in some ways, I don’t think I’ll be in a hurry to read any more in this series. 7/10

Yoga

#59 - Children's Book of Yoga

by Thia Luby

I recently checked out several books on this subject from my local library, and this is the first of the bunch I’m ready to review.

I wasn’t particularly impressed. I’m looking for a book (or books) which will give me some creative ideas for sequencing yoga classes for children, and also more specific things about safely doing certain poses, and really helping children progress in their yoga practice. This book didn’t cover either of those things to my satisfaction.

Also, (and this is just a personal preference which I’m aware not everyone shares), but I get annoyed when people start making up new names for poses willy-nilly. Sure, I get that kids (and some adults) would rather do “Tree” than Vrksasana – that’s not the problem. But some authors have decided to just make up new names for poses that already have perfectly serviceable English names. For example, this author decided to call Bhujangasana “Rattlesnake,” which I found really stupid, since the pose is already commonly called “Cobra.” Why confuse things by adding unnecessary new terminology? Plus, when I teach kids, I might use a common name if I think it makes it easier for them to “get” the pose, but I make sure they hear the Sanskrit, too – kids aren’t dumb, and they’re more than capable of learning these things, when adults make an effort to expose them to the information. /mini-rant. :D

This would probably be a decent first book for a parent or teacher, who just wants to expose the children in their life to a bit of yoga, but I didn’t find it particularly helpful in planning out classes on an ongoing basis. 6/10

Om

DailyOM: Evolving Generations

Evolving Generations
Breaking Family Cycles

It is easy to believe that in leaving our childhood homes and embarking upon the journey of adulthood, we have effectively removed ourselves from harmful and self-perpetuating familial patterns. In looking closely at ourselves, however, we may discover that our behaviors and beliefs are still those that were impressed upon us during our youth by our parents, grandparents, and the generations that preceded them. We may find ourselves unconsciously perpetuating cycles of the previous generations, such as fear of having enough, not showing affection, and secrecy patterns. Yet the transmission of negative patterns from one generation to the next is not inevitable. It is possible to become the endpoint at which negative family cycles that have thrived for generations are exhausted and can exert their influence no longer. Breaking the pattern is a matter of overcoming those values imprinted upon us long ago in order to replace them with pure love, tolerance, and conscious awarenes! s.

Even if you have struggled with the cumulative effects of family cycles that were an expression of established modes of living and a reflection of the strife your ancestors were forced to endure, you can still liberate yourself from the effects of your family history. The will to divest yourself of old, dark forms of familial energy and carry forth a new loving energy may come in the form of an epiphany. You may one day simply realize that certain aspects of your early life have negatively affected your health, happiness, and ability to evolve as an individual. Or you may find that in order to transcend long-standing patterns of limiting beliefs, irrational behavior, and emotional stiltedness, you have to question your values and earnestly examine how your family has impacted your personality. Only when you understand how family cycles have influenced you can you gain freedom from those cycles.

In order to truly change, you must give yourself permission to change. Breaking family patterns is in no way an act of defiance or betrayal. It is important that you trust yourself implicitly when determining the behaviors and beliefs that will help you overwrite the generation-based cyclical value system that limited your individual potential. Many people are on the earth at this time to break family cycles, for all of you are true pioneers. In breaking negative family cycles, you will discover that your ability to express your feelings and needs grows exponentially and that you will embark upon a journey toward greater well-being that can positively impact generations to come.