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YOGA ADVOCATE JUDIT TOROK

Written by  |  Published in Yoga Lifestyle

A regular visitor to Tokyo, New York City-based Yoga Instructor and Interculturalist Judit Torok shares her techniques for alleviating big city stress.

Yoga for Everyone

I recently read an article about parents of elementary school children in California who were outraged about their children practicing Ashtangastyle yoga at school as part of their physical education program. They claimed that yoga is inappropriate and dangerous for kids because they believe their children are being indoctrinated into the Hindu religion in a public school. I couldn’t disagree with them more. These parents, and unfortunately many other people, hold inaccurate notions of this ancient practice.

YOGA ADVOCATE JUDIT TOROK

Written by  |  Published in Yoga Lifestyle

A regular visitor to Tokyo, New York City- based Yoga Instructor and Interculturalist Judit Torok shares her techniques for alleviating big city stress.

Yoga on the Go

Traveling can take a lot out of us, physically and mentally. Running from trains to taxis, carrying and lifting heavy bags, standing and waiting in long lines and being jammed into tight and uncomfortable spaces – these are common for travelers. And through all of this we often forget to take care of ourselves and instead accumulate anxiety and strain on our bodies that can have serious long-term consequences for our well-being.

Yoga & Wellness Advocate

Written by  |  Published in Yoga Lifestyle

JUDIT TOROK

A regular visitor to Tokyo, New York City-based Yoga Instructor and Interculturalist Judit Torok shares her techniques for alleviating big city stress.

Bad Excuses

Obviously, these are bad and almost humorous excuses for not joining a beginner’s Spanish class. After all, not speaking a language is precisely the right reason to start learning a foreign language. Taking an introductory class is a safe and fun way to begin a journey toward understanding other cultures as well as learning about ourselves. A determined language learner also develops qualities such as persistence, willingness to make mistakes and overcoming self-consciousness.

Passionate Journey

Written by  |  Published in Lifestyles

I HAVE a vivid memory of how excited I was the first time I was going to fly. I can’t remember my exact age or even where we were going. But that feeling of joy, amazement and thrill remains so very vivid. My body seemed to have a life of its own back then. I could hardly stand still. For days I told people of my pending flight high up in the sky. I would even point up to make sure they got the point, so that they could see the shiny little plane way up there. I planned to make one of those cool white stripes behind the plane. I just didn’t know how. I didn’t ever get round to asking my dad, mom or the pilot about that. Nor about how they shrink the plane so that it gets so small in the sky.

Then the travel day came and it seemed so loud and busy. There was no time for my endless stream of questions and bursts of joy. At the airport, tons of people rushed back and forth with big bags and suitcases. They looked like ants running with their stuff back and forth. They seemed so focused, not at all approachable. And then there were the lines, the papers to check and those small books called passports. A lady put our luggage on a black belt so it would go on a journey of its own, or so I thought. Mom said we would get it back later.

HAITIAN EXPERT MARCEL DURET

Written by  |  Published in Haitian Culture & Politics

Former Ambassador to Japan from Haiti (1991-2003) Marcel Duret provides political and social commentary from Haiti expressing his unique perspective on Caribbean culture and politics.

A Haitian Perspective


Congratulations President Chavez

THE destiny of Venezuela’s many underprivileged people was on the line during the October 2012 presidential election, and they were able to influence the outcome by voting for incumbent Hugo Chavez. In Haiti, the ever increasing percentage of people living under the poverty level were unaware that things could have got worse for them if Chavez had lost. Haitian people may take to the street to celebrate when the Brazilian national soccer team wins, but there was not even as much as a sigh of relief from the general population when the news came that Chavez had won the election. Is it because they do not know of the invaluable contribution Chavez has been making to Haiti’s state budget? Or is it because so far the money has not reached them or spurred major changes to better their livelihoods? Thanks to the clairvoyance of Rene Preval, Haiti’s former two-term president, Haiti dared to forge a relationship with Chavez.

Yoga & Wellness Advocate

 |  Published in Yoga Lifestyle

Yoga & Wellness Advocate

JUDIT TOROK

A regular visitor to Tokyo, New York City- based yoga instructor and interculturalist Judit Torok shares her techniques for alleviating big city stress.

Fight Off Stress with Your Breath

Imagine you have an acquaintance, a person you've known for a long time - perhaps as long as you can remember. He comes to you house any time, uninvited, and stays for as long as he wants. Rude and inconsiderate, he imposes his presence on your life, makes a mess and doesn’t leave. You try to be nice at first and reason with him, but he only gets more annoying with time. You try to ignore him or even pick a fight, but he comes right back again and again. This unwelcome and annoying acquaintance is called stress.

Synopsis of Haitian Art

Written by  |  Published in Haitian Culture & Politics

Synopsis of Art by Artists of Haitian Descent in the Diaspora –– Part II

By Marcel Duret and Fred Thomas


One of Haiti’s greatest exports to the world is its beautiful art. To illustrate the four major trends of the Haitian diaspora as outlined in the 2013 Summer Issue of the Tokyo Journal, Haitian art experts Marcel Duret and Fred Thomas cast a closer look on the works of a few selected artists.

THE NAIVE VEIN
When looking at a naive painting a most striking element is the raw quality and directness of the composition and design. Everything is kept simple. What you see is what it is about. Lines and colors are combined to convey a clear image where each element appears necessary for the edification and justification of the whole. As few ornaments as possible are used, making the bluntness of expression look even more evident. The lack of artifice and hid- den meanings maximizes the connection between the picture and observers, many of who lose no time trying to decipher some cryptic iconography or unclear symbols that require initiation rites or specific knowledge. This simplicity can baffle onlookers who try so hard to complicate things based on their own bias or collective pool of references, instead of opening up their minds and let- ting themselves become impregnated by the unique visual and emotional experience that a primitive painting can achieve when it is made by someone genuinely awestricken by an inner vision or a natural phenomenon.

This simplicity sometimes appears in the flatness of shapes. It is as if the artists use some type of magnifying glass that enables them to bring forth every element of a scene as though each one is of equal importance. This way nothing is left behind for the benefit of the observer who can see the relevance of every item as it is conceived in the artist’s mind.The idea is not to judge but rather to take everything indiscriminately at face value.

A Philosophical View of the Economy

Written by  |  Published in Commentary

THE British philosopher A.N. Whitehead had many wise things to say about business and society. One of his wisest observations was his statement that a great society is one in which its busi- ness leaders “think greatly of their functions.” When they fail, Whitehead concludes, the consequences are “orgies of exploitation” followed by “a descending standard of living.”

This philosophical way of thinking about business and society is strikingly different from the dominant view of economists and politicians. They favor a more technical picture of economies operating in accord with impersonal laws. In this view economies are semi-autonomous entities obeying laws that are independent of the norms, mores and characters of the societies in which they are embedded. The moral vision of the nation’s business leaders carries little economic weight.

Synopsis of Haitian Art

Written by  |  Published in Haitian Culture & Politics

Synopsis of Art by Artists of Haitian Descent in the Diaspora –– Part I

By Marcel Duret and Fred Thomas


ON May 15, 2013, Jean-Michel Basquiat’s “Dustheads” sold for a record price of US$48.8 million at a Christie’s auction in New York. This made “Dustheads” one of the most expensive pieces of art on earth today. Basquiat’s impact can be seen globally. An example is an exhibition of his work from May 21 to August 10, 2013 at the Gagosian Gallery in Hong Kong. The exhibition attests to Basquiat’s acute global relevance 25 years after his untimely death. Basquiat is without a doubt the king of all artists of Haitian descent. But while he has gained international stardom, many other artists of Haitian descent living in the United States and Canada haven’t enjoyed the publicity that surrounded Basquiat’s life and death. Nevertheless, they are a group of extremely talented artists who have contributed to the vivacity of the art scene in North America.

On Tour with Bob Gruen

Written by  |  Published in Music Gallery

Go on tour with legendary rock photographer Bob Gruen, who is one of the most well-known and respected photographers in Rock and Roll.

I was 24 years old when I met Ike and Tina Turner, and they were the first well known band I worked with. A friend of mine told me I should go see them and I became an immediate fan. Soon after that I went to see them again at a club called the Honka Monka Club, and brought my camera. I took some good pictures that night and at the end of the show Tina danced off stage with a strobe light flashing. I didn’t know where to set the focus or the exposure, but I thought that maybe if I tried a one second exposure I could catch several images of Tina in the flashes of light. One of the pictures came out really well capturing the energy and excitement that is Tina Turner! A few days later when I went to another Ike & Tina show I brought the pictures to show my friends. After the show one of my friends saw Ike Turner and pushed me in front of him saying ‘Show Ike your pictures!’ Ike looked at the pictures and took me into the dressing room to show Tina. They both liked my pictures a lot and asked me to come and work with them.




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