30 October 2009

Remember Mr. Natural?

The artist, Robert Crumb, recently visited Richmond's Carpenter Theater and allowed us to experience a true blast from the past. He was interviewed by Francoise Mouly, the art editor at the New Yorker (she is married to Art Spiegelman of Maus fame). Crumb entered with a pratfall and rolled rather elegantly to his feet, picked up his cap and curled himself into a chair. This was a great chance to see an artist who, while controversial, has contributed much to the history of illustration and our culture. He currently lives in the south of France and sounds like he's pretty happy there. Thanks to the Modlin Center! And Happy Birthday Ariel!

18 October 2009

Yogaville. . . it has its own zipcode!

If you need to feel some love, catch some rest, take a hike, do a little yoga and eat healthy food, this is the place! Swami Satchidananda (1914-2002) is often remembered as the opening speaker at Woodstock and the founder of Integral Yoga. His loving presence still infuses the ashram - he is quoted as saying, "If you want to see heaven, come to Yogaville."

I just returned from my first visit to Satchidananda Ashram in Buckingham, VA. It's less than 2 hours from Richmond City and an easy drive out Route 60. Yogaville is lovely, traditional, has great vegan food, clean private rooms and the option of dorm or campsite lodging. During my short stay, there was a birthday celebration for a long time resident so I got lucky with pancakes for breakfast, cake at lunch, and a bagel dinner!

There are very nice daily yoga and meditation classes offered in addition to occasional specialty programs and classes (Zumba and Laughing Yoga were on the menu during my stay - I opted out). You can also arrange for various therapies nearby (I had a wonderful massage - thank you Deepika). There is a small but interesting library, beautiful views of the Blue Ridge mountains and James River. This is an all around great place to stop and catch your breath. 

It is perfectly acceptable to make friends or eat in silence, participate in classes or wander aimlessly, get up at dawn to meditate or loll around and read. I'm happy to say I did a bit of everything and headed back to town feeling refreshed and rested. I'll definitely go back to Yogaville!
over my shoulder is the James River
and renowned Lotus Shrine