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  • Gimme Fiction

    • 10 out of 10
    • Spoon
    • Gimme Fiction by Spoon is a terrific album by an Austin band that I was lucky enough to catch on an Austin radio station during a Christmas visit.

  • King James Version

    • 4 out of 10
    • Harvey Danger
    • The sophomore effort from Harvey Danger, I was really looking forward to this followup to "Where Have All the Merrymakers Gone?" Unfortunately, "King James Version" failed to deliver any of the bri

  • War of the Worlds

    • 10 out of 10
    • Jeff Wayne
    • With the new movie adaptation of H.G Wells' classic Sci Fi invasion tale, War of the Worlds, currently on theater screens everywhere, there's new interest in Jeff Wayne's rock opera version, and it is
  • Plans

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    • Death Cab for Cutie
    • With the introduction of Plans, Death Cab for Cutie became a new addition to many user's Artist list after the single "Soul Meets Body" became a hit on iTunes. Offering a fresh alternativ

  • Supermodified

    • 10 out of 10
    • Amon Tobin
    • The genius is in the beats. Amon Tobin creates fantastic, groovy beats behind beats. "Supermodified" rolls through your expectations of breakbeat music, and turns them up a bit. It's a mellow album, p

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Yoga, Yoga, Yoga! and More

Well, the year is starting to wind down, Fall is giving way to Winter, and pretty soon your Summer beach physique will give way to Holiday flab.

I can understand why many folks just say, "Screw it!" and let the flab win.

I feel ya. I think that too many of us buy into the notion that bulging pecs, defined calves, and butt cheeks that can crush walnuts is the way our bodies should be. I don’t believe it. In fact, this is what I believe:

We are never going to (or likely shouldn’t try to) get back into our senior prom dress or tux jacket, in the attempt we may injure ourselves or those standing nearby, so why even try? Instead, we should come to terms with our pudge and realize that a little roundness is OK as long as we don’t let it get away from us.

The problem is, in this Holiday Season, when faced with a perfectly glazed ham, Aunt Mable’s award winning mushroom stuffing, sweet potatoes, sweet breads, and German Chocolate Cake (with French vanilla ice cream!!) it’s nearly impossible not to pack on a pound or ten.

What happens then is that we start stressing about the whole situation: We stress because we put on weight, then stress about the prospect of what we need to do to take that weight off again.

Stress, as some of us already know, can induce poor eating habits, thus increasing our girth, which, in turn, stresses us out more.

It’s a vicious cycle and before you know it airlines are asking us to pay for an extra seat, our tailor is asking us if we want to super-size our order, and concerned nature lovers keep trying to push us back into the water whenever we sunbath at the beach.

What we need is to break the cycle, learn not to stress, accept that Demi Moore’s and Vin Diesel’s abs are not only unnatural, but really a freakish aberration.

We also need to exercise more. While Ms. Moore and Mr. Diesel are the exception, not the rule, we should at least take a cue from them and try to be less round and more fit.

So, less stress, less round, more fit..., that sounds like a formula for yoga, and as luck would have it, yoga is the focus of this week’s Free on iTunes.

Now, fellas, before you sigh, roll your eyes, and dismiss this as a "chick thing" you should know that yoga can not only help you relax, tone muscles, and keep joints loose, it can make you a sexual dynamo and help you with that problem. Also, what red-blooded male wouldn’t want to see lean young women wearing skin tight outfits move and pose in all manner of vaguely seductive ways? (Knew that would get your attention)

OK, now that everyone’s onboard, lets get to it.

My Online Yoga has been around for about three years and it offers a wealth of information on both the physical and spiritual nature of yoga. If you go to the website ( you’ll find beginner yoga classes, Pilates classes, instruction on meditation and more, most of which can be easily found on the iTunes Store.

My Online Yoga

These videos are really well done and they focus exclusively on a particular move or position. I like that because I don’t feel rushed, I can watch the women workout I want without a lot of superfluous jibber-jabber.

There are only 6 episodes of My Online Yoga at the iTunes Store, but you can find much more at the My Online Yoga website.

Next up is Cal Yoga.

Like My Online Yoga, Cal Yoga has been around for a while, but Cal Yoga is different because it is taught by Byron Miller, a world-class instructor in Yoga and many other forms of Eastern-centric exercise, including Tai Chi and Qigong.

Cal Yoga

Ok, there are no women in these videos, but what you may notice is that Mr. Miller, while limber as overcooked spaghetti, is not freakishly muscled. This should prove to you that good health does not mean that you need to bulk up like Ahh-nold use to be. You just need to find that happy balance where pudge and stress is at a minimum and the occasional pizza is not off the menu.

There at least 40 episodes of Cal Yoga at the iTunes Store, each in nice bite-size pieces so you can really get into that particular pose.

What I like about Cal Yoga is that Mr. Miller uses the Indian along with the English names for the positions, so you can at least make a feeble attempt at pronouncing them.

I found that the videos were a little underexposed, making them looked washed out, but Mr. Miller wears black and you can see enough to attempt the moves.

So grab a bunch of Cal Yoga and get ready for a pose-down.

Last this week, but certainly not least we have Yoga Today.

Doing the stretching and posing is cool and all, but what does it all mean at the end of the day? Do certain poses help relieve stress while at work? Are there yoga exercises that can help me sleep better? Does anybody really give a damn about Heroes anymore?

Yoga Today

Answers to the last question may vary, but there seems to be definitive answer to the other two, and you can find them in Yoga Today.

Part instruction, part information, Yoga Today designed their episodes around particular interests and situations.

For instance, there’s a episode that offers stretches before you go biking and hiking. There’s even an episode that gives you a routine for quick exercising while at work.

And yes, there are women teaching these classes. Their relative hotness depends on your tastes. I like them, but then, I’m not here for the scenery.

Of the three I think I’m a fan of Yoga Today. I don’t want to learn the names of the moves, I just want to keep limber and healthy, and Yoga Today offers that. On the other hand, the instructors at Yoga Today can be a bit talky. Ah well.

There are 11 episodes of Yoga Today at the iTunes Store and they cover a lot a ground, so grab them all.

That’s a wrap for this week.

By the way, you iPhone users who are tired of trying to reply to email while holding your iPhone in portrait mode will be pleased to know that EasyWriter, a new AND FREE iPhone app, will let you create and reply to emails using the wider keyboard in landscape mode. Works great and it’s free.

Free is good.

More free stuff at the iTunes Store found below (with direct links):

Vern Seward is a writer who currently lives in Orlando, FL. He’s been a Mac fan since Atari Computers folded, but has worked with computers of nearly every type for 20 years.

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