BEST FITNESS TREND - Yoga - Two years ago, the winners in this category were Tae Bo, kickboxing and walking. So how do we account for the "new-found" popularity of yoga, a discipline that stretches back 2,200 years? Certainly practitioners point to stress relief as one advantage. But another benefit centers upon how yoga ministers to the mind and spirit, not just to the body. In the hatha yoga tradition (which emphasizes physical control and postures and is widely practiced in the West), regulated breathing (pranayama) controls the mind, while the mind controls the body. Calm breathing reflects a tranquil mind; if we store bothersome experiences in our minds, our bodies will manifest that psychic turbulence in the form of tension. Basically, yoga holds the promise of wiping away your tension headaches and softening your body into so much wet spaghetti. Caffeine-guzzling, Type A personalities need not apply.
Michael Bowen is a senior writer for The Inlander and a
respected local theater critic. He also covers literature, jazz and classical music, and art, among other things. Since 2005, he has authored Stage Thrust, a local theater blog.
BEST PLACE TO SKI OR SNOWBOARD - Schweitzer - For the fifth consecutive year, the resort on the north side of Sandpoint, Idaho, has topped the voting in the Alpine and Nordic Combined event. With more than 2,000 acres, 59 trails and 300 i
BEST ESPRESSO DRINKS - Starbucks - Like it or not, the world is becoming a smaller place due to globalization, and the coffee world is no exception. Starbucks, the mother ship of espresso huts, once again reigns supreme in this category. T
BEST CHARITY EVENT OF THE YEAR - Wampum - To the Algonquins of pre-colonial New England, wampum was a medium of both exchange and jewelry. Disks and tubes, painstakingly carved out of coastal mollusks, were traded for goods and prized as ad