January 12, 2017

Exercise! Frozen bikes, illegal yoga, and sturdy stolen statues

Exercise! Frozen bikes, illegal yoga, and sturdy stolen statues

Sport can be hazardous to your health

1. Dreaming of a bike Christmas: what better way to celebrate -27 degrees (-17 F) temperatures than a brisk bike ride through the capital? That’s what about 500 bicyclists did in Moscow on Sunday. They had two goals: first, prove that bicycles are workable transportation all year long. Second: not get hypothermia. At least false beards, fur coats, and heated handlebars could help out with the latter.


2. How much do you love your honey pie? Enough to swipe a statue from a public park for a New Year’s present? That was one Moscow man’s idea of a gift for his girlfriend, but he was caught red-handed while trying to make away with a gilded statue from Sokolniki Park. The statue – which depicts a “Chief Accountant Fairy” (you know, one of those) – cost about 3 million rubles. Any chief accountant would bewail its disappearance, so it’s lucky a good fairy ensured its return.

3. Do a downward dog...all the way to the jailhouse. A yoga teacher is on trial for suspected illegal missionary work after a lecture on yogic philosophy. The man who filed a complaint against the yogi is a Russian Orthodox activist whose wife left him to join a cult – presumably linked to yoga. The trial is controversial, with the yogi claiming his lecture was purely academic and one of the police officers involved doubting his own signature on the police report. Sounds like everyone involved needs a good meditate.

In Odder News

  • What did 2017 look like in 1967? National Geographic shows you exactly how the Soviet past imagined the future.
  • Russia’s got plenty of nature, but there’s plenty left unexplored. Take a peek at some new natural wonders.
  • Learning the names of Russia’s oblasts? Now you can do it through song, at last! Really, that’s a line in it. With 85 federal subjects of Russia, it only gets better.

Quote of the Week

“In a sense, we can say that yoga merges with religion. And in fact it’s been that way since the beginning, because the root of ‘yoga,’ which means ‘connection,’ carries the same meaning as the Latin words ‘religare’ or ‘religion,’ that is, a person who goes the way of yoga communicates with God.”
—The words that allegedly triggered the police to arrest Dmitry Ugai while he was giving a lecture on the history and philosophy of yoga.

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