Third Eye Roaming: So Over THE Yoga Body
Sep05

Third Eye Roaming: So Over THE Yoga Body

Google yoga images and you’ll find a sea of thin, white women who look as if the road rises to greet them. Their bodies are ideologically perfect. Their yoga attire and accessories are meticulous. They are serene and smiling. Gee — if they’re so perfect, then do they even need yoga? Of course. Even those who ascribe to society’s view of perfection need yoga. Everybody does for better mind and body health. That’s a philosophy that most...

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Third Eye Roaming: Weed and Yoga
Jul31

Third Eye Roaming: Weed and Yoga

Yoga may free you from your suffering, but sometimes you’re suffering too much to do yoga. That’s where the marijuana comes in. Knee aching too much for warrior pose? There’s a THC-infused lotion that works well. Stress of the day weighing you down too much for yogic liftoff? Try a strain high in cannabinoids. In a nation increasingly open to lifting laws against marijuana, we’re entering a new age of exploration for yogis. For the...

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Third Eye Roaming: Passing Gas In Yoga Class
Jul03

Third Eye Roaming: Passing Gas In Yoga Class

Ah, farts. Can’t live with ’em and can’t live without passing ’em. When I started this column nearly two years ago, I knew that at some point I would have to broach the issue of passing gas in yoga class. It’s an endless point of fascination for folks who don’t do yoga in a class setting, and even some who do. “What if I fart?” is a question I get all the time when I’m encouraging someone to try a yoga class for the first time. Or:...

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Easthampton ‘Acroyoga’: A Fun, Interactive Path To Inner Peace
May30

Easthampton ‘Acroyoga’: A Fun, Interactive Path To Inner Peace

My shoulders and arms stretched backward like wings, I couldn’t help feeling like Rose from Titanic, and a grin spread across my face as I said: “I’m flying!” On a recent Friday I gave acroyoga a shot and it was the most fun I’ve had in while. Live music played beside the acroyoga group of about 10 people at Mill 180 Park in Easthampton, joined by a Facebook group and a Meetup page. The phenomenon is taking hold internationally with...

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Third Eye Roaming: Yoga for cancer survivors: Calming the battle within
Mar20

Third Eye Roaming: Yoga for cancer survivors: Calming the battle within

Mary Kennedy of Northfield says she could barely move her neck before she began taking yoga with Pam Roberts at the YMCA in Greenfield about six years ago. Kennedy, a breast cancer survivor living with torticollis, a painfully twisted neck, says yoga has at times saved her, making her “stronger and stronger. Now, I can actually move my head to the right again. I have a quality of life I didn’t have before yoga.” Cancer is among the...

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Cold Fingers at the Iron Horse: Vanessa Carlton Calls for Boycott of Northampton Venue
Mar13

Cold Fingers at the Iron Horse: Vanessa Carlton Calls for Boycott of Northampton Venue

Vanessa Carlton may be best known for playing piano on the back of a truck while singing her hit song “A Thousand Miles,” but that doesn’t mean she’ll play just anywhere. The artist has standards — and they’re apparently higher than at least what one Northampton venue offered. Carlton was quick to voice what those standards were during her performance last week at the Iron Horse in Northampton, tweeting out her grievances with the...

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Third Eye-Roaming: Self-help and Farts, Local yogi and author writes ‘108 Prompts’ to improve your practice
Jan30

Third Eye-Roaming: Self-help and Farts, Local yogi and author writes ‘108 Prompts’ to improve your practice

Brian Leaf wants you to pass gas, audibly, in yoga class at least once. Why, you might ask? He says the practice reacquaints you with your humanity. The barrier-breaking suggestion is one of many in a new book written by local author Leaf, The Teacher Appears: 108 Prompts to Power Your Yoga Practice. He calls it a “self-help book on intuition.” “I don’t want to turn people off with the semantics,” he says. “I don’t want to be like,...

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Third Eye Roaming: Cogs in the Wheel
Jan03

Third Eye Roaming: Cogs in the Wheel

While everyone stands to benefit from yoga, barriers to entry remain. The practice is meant to end suffering, yet ironically those who suffer the most — poor people, people of color, and those with limited mobility among them — often find yoga inaccessible. That’s a problem leaders of the Adhikara Yoga School in Greenfield seek to address. “I’m just seeing a trend of yoga being expensive, exclusive and something reiterating...

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Third Eye Roaming: Only the Yoga Should be Hot
Nov28

Third Eye Roaming: Only the Yoga Should be Hot

Studio owner Audrey Blaisdell says she fell for the yoga behind Bikram, not the “cultish belief system.” It became necessary to draw the line, she says, about a year ago. Prospective students came to fear the authoritarian reputation and mistrust the brand increasingly associated with sexual assault. So, she relaunched, tossing Bikram aside and renaming her Northampton studio at 375 South St., Valley Hot Yoga. In doing so Blaisdell...

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Third Eye Roaming: Yoga for Election-Related Insanity
Oct31

Third Eye Roaming: Yoga for Election-Related Insanity

Turn off the news. Put away your phone and shut the newspaper. That heart rate spike that came with the latest election-related news — while appropriate — is not healthy. It’s important to stay informed, especially as America stands at the precipice of an unprecedented election, but it’s also important to know your limits. The election-related anxiety is palpable, so much so that psychologists and therapists are concerned about the...

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Third Eye Roaming: Amherst yoga leader aims to move minds
Oct03

Third Eye Roaming: Amherst yoga leader aims to move minds

Whether he’s working with homeless veterans, prison inmates or queer and trans people in his yoga classes and buddhist teachings, Jacoby Ballard emphasizes the struggle is “part of the journey.” “There’s actually beauty that you have to offer because of that path,” he says. Ballard, co-founder of both Third Root Community Health Center in Brooklyn and Bending Towards Justice — which trains U.S. yoga teachers in diversity and social...

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Third Eye Roaming: Body on the Brain, Path to Peace Begins with Yoga at Pioneer Valley Shambalah
Aug29

Third Eye Roaming: Body on the Brain, Path to Peace Begins with Yoga at Pioneer Valley Shambalah

Mindfulness, or the practice of being completely aware of everything happening in the present moment, can serve as the path to a peaceful world. That person in your life attacking you? Perhaps it is because they are threatened by you. That man who sexually harasses you? Maybe it’s because he lives in a misogynist culture in which women are continually objectified and testosterone rarely kept in check. To be consumed by anger or...

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Nightmare on Pearl Street: 100-plus Temperatures and Lack of Water at Northampton Club Draw Hundreds of Complaints
Aug22

Nightmare on Pearl Street: 100-plus Temperatures and Lack of Water at Northampton Club Draw Hundreds of Complaints

It was so hot and humid inside Pearl Street Nightclub during a metal show earlier this month that the ceiling was beading up with condensation and raining sweat onto the crowd. The sweltering experience spurred nearly 200 people to voice outrage on social media, and many turned to state and local officials to complain about Iron Horse Entertainment Group. NORTHAMPTON, MA. Thank@uou guys for sticking it out through one of the most...

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Summer Yoga with Emily Dickinson
Aug01

Summer Yoga with Emily Dickinson

“The truth is stirless,” our yoga teacher recites during a moment of closed-eye silence. Seconds later, a boisterous squirrel in an overhead tree knocks loose something heavy. A cone-like fruit lands with a thud between my face and my neighbor’s, and we jump reflexively. But this is yoga. We shake off extraneously plant matter, breathe in deeply, and once again close our eyes. Other force —  may be presumed to move — This —  then — is...

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Third Eye Roaming: Twelve-Step Yoga, moving through addiction and its effects
Jul05

Third Eye Roaming: Twelve-Step Yoga, moving through addiction and its effects

While I was growing up, my dad was addicted to alcohol and crack cocaine. He still is, he’d say, although he’s been sober for more than six years. At times it wasn’t easy having a good relationship with my dad, but the thing that always got us through rough patches is that we’re both talkers — no subject was ever off-limits. There’s a certain release that comes with saying things out loud in front of other people who understand what...

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Scene Here: Gorilla Fingers in the Mist
May03

Scene Here: Gorilla Fingers in the Mist

At Extravaganja 2016 at Northampton’s Three County Fairgrounds, the crowd is as high as the marijuana-leaf balloon floating overhead. About 24,000 red eyes look on as local musicians blast out funky jams and marijuana-tinged tunes. Police officers meander in pairs around the perimeter. Though there’s no shortage of customers at donut carts and french fry vendors, grape is the flavor of the day. “It’s dope,” remarks Devon Turner, 19, a...

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In the Clouds: Vape industry billows as science and regulation struggle to keep up
Mar14

In the Clouds: Vape industry billows as science and regulation struggle to keep up

Stephen Bilia’s Gorilla Vapess is like a candy shop for adults. Vapers smoke at the bar, ordering from a list of two hundred-plus flavors displayed in multi-colored chalk. Squirt bottles full of food-grade flavor concentrates wait to be ordered and mixed with propylene glycol, vegetable oil, and nicotine. “We’re closer to candy than tobacco,” Bilia says. For me it’s a big hand to mouth addiction, says Chris Wetherell, who I find...

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Review: The Champions
Mar08

Review: The Champions

What happened to Michael Vick’s fighting dogs? (Firefly Filmworks) The Champions — a documentary film that follows the pit bulls rescued from famous quarterback Michael Vick’s dog fighting ring in 2007 — will at once devastate your faith in humanity and restore it. Both ends of the film’s emotional spectrum will leave you hugging your dog a little tighter. The film opens at its darkest point. Federal officers raid Vick’s home. They...

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How to  Terrarium: turning houseplants into tiny works of art
Mar08

How to Terrarium: turning houseplants into tiny works of art

Love gardening but can’t do it outside? Whatever reason you might have for bringing your floriculture indoors, terrariums offer a way to both satisfy a green thumb and fulfill a creative itch. They’re fun to make and, like any other plant added to an enclosed space, they improve air quality in your home. Plus, they’re just pretty to have lying around. Terrariums are contained ecosystems often housed in transparent containers so that...

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Watchdog or Lapdog? The obscure record of Springfield’s police review board
Feb29

Watchdog or Lapdog? The obscure record of Springfield’s police review board

Police brutality in places like Ferguson, Cincinnati, and New York City sparked the Black Lives Matter movement and a national debate about how police use their power to detain, arrest, and deploy potentially deadly force. Citizens — including ones in the Pioneer Valley — sometimes find themselves on the receiving end of that power and raising questions about whether officers have gone too far. Michael Ververis is one of them. As the...

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Third-Eye Roaming: Some Like it Hot — And Cheap, yoga on a budget takes strategy
Feb29

Third-Eye Roaming: Some Like it Hot — And Cheap, yoga on a budget takes strategy

Ahh, yoga, you’re so good for us but you can be so downward-dog-darned expensive. If I had a ten-class card for every time someone’s asked me for tips on how to do yoga on the cheap, I’d be yoga-rich! Let’s face it, yoga classes at $15-$20 a pop can really add up, especially if you’re trying to oblige those doctors, chiropractors, and health practitioners pushing you to start a daily practice. According to a 2015 study conducted by...

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Never Too Late: Jim Eagan garners late-in-life musical success
Feb24

Never Too Late: Jim Eagan garners late-in-life musical success

Jim Eagan of Shelburne Falls may not have started songwriting until his late 60s, but the second song he ever wrote got scooped up by Jorma Kaukonen of Jefferson Airplane. That was last year, and now Kaukonen is touring with Eagan’s song, “Ain’t In No Hurry,” as the title track for his new album. Eagan, 72, says he owes his late-in-life musical success to his son. Eagan says he played guitar for nearly fifty years “without ever taking...

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Q&A with Elizabeth Kolbert, local author of prize-winning book The Sixth Extinction
Feb08

Q&A with Elizabeth Kolbert, local author of prize-winning book The Sixth Extinction

Much of what’s written about climate change tends to be either oversimplified, chock full of bias, or too jargony for most of us to read. Elizabeth Kolbert — staff writer for the New Yorker, Williamstown resident, and professor at Williams College — however, approaches the subject with passion and presents complicated subject matter in a way that is both approachable and terrifying in an objectively scientific way. Kolbert began...

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Still Poised to Pour: Discount liquor licenses in Holyoke haven’t attracted buyers
Feb08

Still Poised to Pour: Discount liquor licenses in Holyoke haven’t attracted buyers

Most restaurants rely on liquor sales for survival, which is why the city of Holyoke acquired 13 additional all-alcohol licenses to sell on the cheap as part of an urban renewal plan. But that was over a year ago and no one’s biting yet. At least one of the former applicants — Vitek Kruta, co-owner of Gateway City Arts — blamed eligibility requirements placed on the licences, which have been on sale for $10,000 apiece since fall 2014,...

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Who Kicked the Dogs Out? New legislation could mean more homes for pit bulls, other commonly “blacklisted” breeds
Feb03

Who Kicked the Dogs Out? New legislation could mean more homes for pit bulls, other commonly “blacklisted” breeds

Rupert the pit bull stands at the feet of his 2-year-old owner, calmly snorting up popcorn while the toddler yanks forcefully at the dog’s collar. Tai Wickline is pulling hard enough to elicit bulldog-like breathing from his 3-year-old canine. “You trying to pull Rupie up the stairs?” coos his mother, Amanda Shippee, from the kitchen. “I think he’s busy with the popcorn.” Despite the dog having never shown signs of aggression, Shippee...

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Between the Lines: Don’t Screw the Pooch
Feb03

Between the Lines: Don’t Screw the Pooch

I have a confession to make, people — I own a pit bull. Phew! I’ve been hemming and hawing over whether or not to outright say that for weeks. Because the consequences are indeed scary. As a disclaimer: if anyone tries to take my dog-son away we’ll go on the run together. I hesitate to tell you this because my dog — my wrinkly-faced baby who lets my nieces and nephews take toys out of his mouth no-problem and looks sadly on as my cat...

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Bending Toward Northampton: Jocelyn O’Shea on teaching and yoga for kids
Feb03

Bending Toward Northampton: Jocelyn O’Shea on teaching and yoga for kids

If you had the opportunity to work as a designer for Law & Order and Gossip Girl, would you quit and teach yoga instead? That’s exactly what Jocelyn O’Shea did, and she has no regrets about it. The Cambridge native recently moved back to Massachusetts after spending about 15 years away. After only a few months in Northampton — she moved here in September — she’s quickly vinyasa’d her way into five of the area’s studios, in...

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Madame Barfly: Mixing Beer? Have Fear
Feb03

Madame Barfly: Mixing Beer? Have Fear

Naturally, I was really excited about the whole beer cocktail thing. Beer is good, and cocktails are good, so how can we go wrong, right? As it turns out, some beer cocktails are good and others are downright disgusting. The Beerhunter and I put our booze brains together to see if we could come up with any tasty beer cocktails. It’s more challenging than we’d anticipated — beer has a flavor profile that frequently doesn’t play well...

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Women Rock: sexism and music go together like rock and roll
Jan25

Women Rock: sexism and music go together like rock and roll

Attending a Veruca Salt concert as a teenager in the ’90s, Tanya Pearson never imagined that 20 years later she’d be asking lead vocalist-guitarists Nina Gordon and Louise Post about sexism in the industry. A photo documenting Pearson’s reunion with the two band members last year — she interviewed them for the Women of Rock Oral History Project she started at Smith College — shows her squinty-eyed and beaming with fangirl excitement....

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Medical Marijuana is Coming to Town
Jan18

Medical Marijuana is Coming to Town

Who knows what’ll happen with legalization on the ballot in November, but in the meantime, the state seems to finally have a handle on the whole medical marijuana thing. Previous caps that limited potential dispensaries to one per county, and then 35 statewide, were lifted last June and now the floodgates are officially open. Since then, 159 applications to open new dispensaries were filed through the Massachusetts Medical use of...

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Marching in Time: Football, music, and racism with Willie Hill
Jan18

Marching in Time: Football, music, and racism with Willie Hill

It’s difficult to argue against Beyoncé’s greatness, it is true. But skimming through clips of marching bands past elicits one big question about the Super Bowl halftime shows of today: with all the fireworks and special effects, have we strayed too far away from the music of it all? The drum major charged with the first ever halftime show at the first ever Super Bowl, UMass Fine Arts Center director Willie Hill, humbly says we have....

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Not the One: Northampton’s One Bar to reopen as Midnite Tavern
Jan11

Not the One: Northampton’s One Bar to reopen as Midnite Tavern

One Bar and Grill — formerly Tully O’Reilly’s and The Elevens — is once again reborn after little more than a year in its former incarnation. Following last week’s convening of the Northampton License Commission, the establishment is officially doing business as Midnite Tavern, with the addition of neighboring Niteowl Tattoo shop owner Tim Barnes as the new 50 percent owner at the bar and music venue. In addition to adding Barnes to...

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Los Tres Reyes
Jan11

Los Tres Reyes

DAN LITTLE PHOTO The camels may not be here at this year’s Three King’s Day celebration put on by Springfield’s Women of the Vanguard and various community partners, but the party’s so much fun that no one seems to mind. Arriving around 5:30 at Main Street’s Biergarten International — a half-hour after the party’s official start — I find the large open room has about 35 people in it, sitting and talking and enjoying the overhead music...

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Feelin’ the Burn
Jan11

Feelin’ the Burn

The best part about working out in the comfort of your own home: you can do it in your underwear. Hell, you can even do it naked. Just don’t be like me and forget to close the blinds. I never do yoga on the screen, and I’m sure it’s always best to have a personal trainer or an instructor with you while you’re working out, but online workouts sure are easier to fit in and are much less expensive. These days, I take a three-pronged...

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Not the One: One Bar in Northampton to be reborn as Midnite Tavern
Jan07

Not the One: One Bar in Northampton to be reborn as Midnite Tavern

By Amanda Drane One Bar and Grill — formerly Tully O’Reilly’s and The Elevens — is once again reborn after little more than a year in its former incarnation. Following Wednesday’s convening of the Northampton License Commission, the establishment is officially doing business as Midnite Tavern, with the addition of neighboring Niteowl Tattoo shop owner Tim Barnes as the new 50 percent owner at the bar and music venue. In addition to...

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