Yoga With a Capital Y

Clever Manka, · Categories: Manka's Posts · Tags: , ,

I thought I would let people know that in my search for images to use for the top of this article I came across this pic which is borderline NSFW (barely-not-naked man doing lotus pose) but you totally need to see because wow that’s fucking impressive.

Gopi was my first and best yoga teacher. It was an unlikely thing, when I was first looking at yoga, to choose her out of all the teachers in the Lawrence area. For one, her studio was in a different town, about half an hour south of Lawrence (that’s a long drive when there’s probably two yoga teachers for every square mile of this burg). I could probably have found a class close enough to walk to, but I picked the one whose route included not only a two-lane, unlit country highway but a quarter mile of gravel road and, finally, a one-lane dirt driveway that curved and turned around several buildings (as well as cows, cats, and peacocks). In addition to the drive, there was serious dedication to chanting at the open and close each class—not just your basic “om.” While we were in a pose, Gopi often read scripture, passages from Light On Yoga, or stories about the divine creatures, sages, and objects that gave their names to poses. This was Yoga with a capital-fucking-Y. Read full post

The Goal Post

Clever Manka, · Categories: Manka's Posts · Tags: , ,

Bet you didn’t think you’d see a sports metaphor on this site, did you? Neither did I.

I’ve never been a person who much liked (or comprehended) goals, and most of the goals I have entertained have been food/weight related. Not always optimal or encouraging for positive growth, and I acknowledge the absurdity of never setting anything other than body-related goals. I don’t think I’m alone, but I also think most people are more familiar with goal-setting (whether that familiarity is healthy or not is another matter). I can’t even tell you why I never set goals. I simply continuously failed to do so. Instead, various options fell in front of me, and I chose whether to pursue the new path or not (or had the choice made for me). Read full post

Being a Weirdo on the Internet

Clever Manka, · Categories: Manka's Posts · Tags: , ,

This is pretty much what powered my campus internet connection in 1989. As far as I know, this could actually be my university’s VAX 9000. Even the vented floor is the same.

I got my first email account in 1989, working as a student employee for my university’s IT department. It gave me my first experience on the internet via access to Usenet News—a beautiful, terrifying, engaging world that was literally at my fingertips 24 hours a day. It was love at first sight, and I was hardly alone among my co-workers in my affection for it.

Our supervisors taped notes to the student staff monitors: “No NEWS until Checklist is done!” meaning we had to complete all items on the shift-change list before reading what had popped up on our groups. A wily move on their part, making NEWS access contingent on finishing a task instead of just disallowing it. I wonder if they simply didn’t want to fight that battle or if they understood the importance of access to a crew of mostly (let’s face it) socially awkward nerds. Read full post

A Few Words from an Anthropomorphised Crisis

Guest Post, · Categories: Guest Posts · Tags: ,

Hi everyone, and thanks for coming out today. I’m Lauren’s Existential Crisis – call me LEC! – and she is pretty strongly in my grip at the moment, so I’ll be speaking on her behalf. I’m going to give a statement first and then I’ll take questions, so please contain yourselves until I am done. Read full post

Fuck you, I’m a Super-villain

Guest Post, · Categories: Guest Posts · Tags: , ,


The worst thing about being ill isn’t the physical or mental health aspects. The worst part is how easily my agency and my sense of personal power can be taken away from me. Read full post

Changing for the Best

Clever Manka, · Categories: Manka's Posts · Tags: ,
The dust cloud from McCollum Hall's implosion, November 2015. Also an accurate representation of how I feel about starting a website.

Your host in the middle of a dust cloud from the McCollum Residence Hall implosion, November 2015. Also an accurate representation of how she feels about starting a website.

It’s important to start from a place of honesty.

I am not a go-getter. I don’t like the phrase and even if I did, it wouldn’t apply to me. I am well aware of my strengths and weaknesses. Motivation and ambition are not in my repertoire. I’m all for routines and comfortable, established patterns. I am a fixed person and I don’t care for spontaneity. I understand and appreciate the importance of comfort. When the mattress starts sagging, though, and your pillow threatens to smother you, it’s time to get out of that bed. Read full post