Ninie Ahmad: Off her yoga mat.

Her affirmations of staying optimistic especially when she's (upside) down.

‘Gravity release me, and never hold me down. Now my feet won’t touch the ground’ (LIFE IN TECHNICOLOR II)

with 5 comments

Those close to me will know that my car and iTunes only rotate Coldplay (and occasional Radiohead / Padi ) CDs and those who have visited BE Yoga‘s website would have noticed I intentionally used Coldplay’s lyrics to introduce my beloved yoga teachers.

With MTV World Stage (Astro Channel 713) premiering Coldplay’s VIVA LA VIDA: Tokyo tour this week, it refreshes me of my day trip to Singapore in March this year solely to attend VIVA LA VIDA: Singapore.

During VIVA LA VIDA: Singapore, my jaw dropped when I witnessed Chris Martin dropped back to Urdhva Dhanurasana (Upward Bow pose) from standing! Only if you practice yoga, you will understand how preposterous this stunt can be unless you have perfect balance of lowest two chakras (feet and hips) strength, open back flexibility and of course, balance.

So I was looking forward to see the same pose from him as I immensely enjoyed MTV World Stage – Coldplay: Tokyo. To my surprise, he didn’t drop back in Tokyo (or I could have missed it / maybe he did but the clip was just for an hour) but – to my very eyes, I caught him rolling back to Chakrasana (Rolling Wheel posture) in between the finishing of Viva La Vida and to start Lost! Only if you practice yoga Ashtanga, you will have an idea how almost impossible it is to perform this Chakrasana vinyasa gracefully let alone onstage with concert costume and in front of twenty thousand people.

I know Gywneth practices yoga since she used to be bestie with Third Series Ashtanga practitioner, Madonna so I googled Chris Martin and yoga. And found out, Chris Martin not only does practice yoga (I have had enough of “I do yoga but the my last class was three years ago and I was doing it like once a month for a couple of months”, right..) but he practices Ashtanga at least an hour everyday for the past five years, a vegetarian (and vegansexual!) and for the world’s biggest if not coolest rockstar, HE DOES NOT DRINK ALCOHOL AND COFFEE EITHER!

Among my favourite online findings of Chris Martin and yoga is this article whose first paragraph ends with “.. but Coldplay’s Chris Martin is too nice.

(FIONA) APPLE Hi, Chris. God, I’m depressed. I’m at the top of all these critics’ best-of-2005 lists. If only those old creeps bought records.

(CHRIS) MARTIN I wish I could be so fucking depressed! Maybe my lyrics would improve. Just turn that frown upside down, Fiona. Don’t you know Apples are my favorite fruit?

APPLE Hey, you stepped on my granny-apple-doll wood-carvings!

MARTIN Have you ever tried piyoga for that bad attitude?

APPLE I hate you.

I stand by my review of X/Y last year: The trouble with Coldplay is that, despite the calming, balanced, almost Enya-esque beauty of their music, they’re so denuded of danger, risk, grit, rebellion, and sexuality (apart from Martin’s ADD-style hip-thrusts behind his piano) that they threaten to become the musical equivalent of St. John’s wort.

So what is at play with Coldplay? What drives the music, the vision, and, oh, those much-maligned words?

I believe it’s yoga, and Martin’s ashtanga teacher Anthony Carlisi can confirm. Shortly after Coldplay’s Shoreline date, I tracked down Carlisi via e-mail and asked him if he believed the practice leads to good music and, really, decent rock ‘n’ roll — which most would probably associate with unhealthy and downright antisocial antics like rolling around in broken glass and doing lines of coke off speaker cabinets.

He replied: “Absolutely !!!!!!!!!!! (sic) In fact I just saw Chris in Phoenix before the concert there. He has been practicing now for several years. I visit and teach him and Gwyneth when I am in London. He was telling me that he loves how it has enhanced everything he does. His energy was electric at the concert…………….Great Show!!!!!!!!!!!!”

See? It’s not rock, after all, but yoga. All of which probably explains Martin’s greatest feat at the Oakland appearance: bending over backward while playing keyboards and touching the ground with the top of his noggin. Brings a whole new meaning to the lyric ‘rush of blood to the head.’

I don’t need to look elsewhere for a yoga rockstar inspiration when I can find one in form of Brit rockGod with yoga master’s mind and words (it doesn’t hurt that he definitely has a yoga body too).

I am praying with my fingers and lotus feet crossed to be able to live long enough to witness Coldplay live in more concerts, continue seeing lights / hearing enlightenments in their future albums (“Lights will guide you home, and ignite your bones, I will try to fix you”) and hopefully practice with Chris Martin in Mysore (the Mecca for aspiring Ashtangis) in the future if not in my nearest yoga nidra.

See You Soon.


Written by Ninie Ahmad

October 21, 2009 at 2:02 AM

5 Responses

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  1. WOW! He did those? COOL! I wish I can do the drop back and a less awkward chakrasana. I NEED more practice! So want to do Ashtanga NOW!

    Wish Saturday would come faster.


    October 21, 2009 at 10:17 AM

  2. Hi Ninie,
    I pon suka Coldplay.


    October 21, 2009 at 8:16 PM

  3. […] hottest, fittest and most inspiring Brits that are rocking the field and stage have found their path to yoga – I hope ours will […]

  4. […] most yoga instructors, today’s biggest rockstars and Hollywood actors that are vegetarians: Chris Martin (Coldplay), Thom Yorke (Radiohead), Brandon Boyd (Incubus), Jack Johnson, Brad Pitt, Johnny Depp, […]

  5. […] MARCH: Attended Coldplay’s VIVA LA VIDA concert […]

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