Big Ten BMWs

This season BMW and the Big Ten Conference announced a partnership to make the BMW the “official luxury automobile”  of the Big Ten.

I suppose we all just have to accept the fact that college athletics is awash in cash and that conferences like the Big Ten want to maximize their generation of money by selling the naming rights of championship games and entering into “partnerships” with corporations that then can use the affiliation to market their products during TV broadcasts.

Still, it seems odd for the Big Ten to enter into this kind of deal at the same time that Ohio State — one of the Big Ten’s flagship schools — is wrestling with NCAA sanctions because some of its football players traded athletic gear for tattoos and allegedly were paid a bit more than they should have been on odd jobs.  I’m not excusing their conduct, but the money involved in their activities was chump change compared to the cost of a BMW automobile.  Isn’t it flat-out hypocritical for an amateur athletic conference to have an “official luxury car”?

Killer Yoga And New Year’s Resolutions

Most of us tend to think of Yoga as a New Wave, gentle, and physically safe form of exercise.  The New York Times magazine has an article that reminds us that isn’t always the case.  In fact, yoga can cause serious injury.

The article notes that yoga has been associated with lower back, shoulder, knee, and neck injuries and even more serious problems such as stroke, ruptured Achilles tendons, and nerve and brain damage.  It appears that many of the injuries come from overdoing it, by trying to achieve even more contorted positions, or holding poses for extreme lengths of time, or maintaining a neck-based position on a hardwood floor.  Some of the more extreme forms of “yoga” that are offered these days — like the “hot yoga” classes that one of our good friends takes — are an example of how Americans often try to push the envelope with exercise regimens.  Sometimes, unfortunately, we push through the envelope and cause serious injury and long-term physical damage.

The lessons of yoga injuries are especially pertinent now, with New Year’s Day just behind us and many of us having resolved to lose the weight we gained over the holidays and a bit more, besides.  There’s nothing wrong with that, of course, but easy does it is a good rule of thumb — particularly for those of us who are older and have been desk-bound for years.  Rather than trying to immediately run five miles, or to achieve yoga positions that master yogis can only dream of, why not focus instead on eating and drinking less, cutting back on fatty or calorie-laden foods, and lengthening that morning walk and adding a short evening walk, too?