This blog, like my life, is an eclectic goulash of randomness. I will share information about life in India, about my studies of body and mind improvement, about books I’ve read recently, poems and other short works, and — occasionally– a rant for my own amusement and mental health.
I’m an American living Bangalore, India. I write, read, practice yoga, teach yoga, practice martial arts, exercise, travel, take pictures, meditate, but not necessarily in that order. I’m an introvert, and it’s only been in recent years that I’ve learned to stop bemoaning that fact and begun to learn to play to my strengths.
I’m also a bit of a nerd and an oddball of a yoga practitioner. I’m fascinated by the science of the mind and body. In the old school terms, I’m a jnana yogi. I study. First, foremost, and most importantly, that study is directed inward to what goes on in my brain and body. Beyond that I rely heavily on science because I’m no good at taking things on faith, and I see the many of the limits of sensory perception, memory, as well as internal biases that can lead people astray.
A desk life and workday stressors once made me doughy and left me with an accumulation of minor health problems. As a result, since I’ve been in India, I’ve begun an intense practice of yoga, begun teaching yoga, learned the basics of Thai yoga bodywork (TYB), and on occasion continue to practice martial arts. It’s my goal to learn as much as I can about producing a healthy mind & body while combating unhealthy approaches to stress. Having been trained as a social scientist, I was moved by the statement of a yogi who criticized scholars who attempt the grandiose task of understanding society as a whole when they understood so little of themselves. I realized that I was among those who knew far too little about myself at a physical and mental level to construct solutions to society’s problems.
I have my 500 hour yoga teacher certification (RYT500) and Children’s Yoga Teacher certification (RCYT) from the Yoga Alliance through a1000 Yoga and Amrutha Bindu in Bangalore, and I am continuing to pursue yogic studies. I’ve learned a little Thai Yoga Bodywork (a.k.a. Thai Massage or Nuad Bo Rarn) through the Inner Mountain School of Healing Arts and the Wat Pho Thai Traditional Massage School. My personal education as of late has centered on what modern science can teach us about these ancient systems, and how the benefits of such systems are explained in terms of modern science. I’m also studying how yoga and TYB can be used to help prevent some of the systematic injuries that plague martial artists from Western countries.
My formal educational background is in the social sciences. I have two Master of Science degrees, one in International Affairs and the other in Economics. The former is from Georgia Tech and the latter is from Georgia State University. My studies were focused at the intersection of the strategic (e.g. game theory) and the international.
From 2004 to 2012, I worked at Georgia Tech’s Center for International Strategy, Technology, and Policy on various grant programs dealing with issues at the nexus of science, technology, and international security. My primary responsibilities involved the Sam Nunn Security Program (SNSP) that educated engineers and scientists about the policy world so as to prepare them to lend advice on technical issues. I also worked on the Program on Strategic Stability Evaluation (POSSE), which considered the question of whether strategic stability can be maintained under a draw down of nuclear weapons, and–if so–how.
I practiced a traditional Japanese martial art for over 25 years. In the process, I earned third degree black belts in the Bujinkan and Jinenkan organizations, and a first degree black belt in the Gi Yu Dojo. I’ve learned the basics of Muay Thai (Thai-boxing) from the Muay Thai Institute and Tiger MT. I also practiced the Indian martial art of Kalaripayattu at the Kalari Academy of Performing Arts in Bangalore for about three years.
I’m a traveler, and have visited 30-some countries on 5 continents. I’ve been to Machu Picchu, Angkor Wat, Chichen Itza, Tikal, the Great Wall of China, Stonehenge, Victoria Falls, the Taj Mahal, Hampi, the caves at Ajanta and Ellora, and many other sites.
Feel free to drop me a line at: email@example.com