Jaimal Yogis is giving a brand new meaning to the phrase "arriving in style."
Braving frigid temperatures, Yogis plans to swim 2.4 miles through the San Francisco Bay to the release party for his second book, "The Fear Project: What Our Most Primal Emotion Taught Me About Survival, Success, Surfing…And Love." Adventure swimmer Jamie Patrick will freestyle alongside Yogis on the route from Yerba Buena Island to the San Francisco Ferry Building.
Inspiration for "The Fear Project" came while Yogis was promoting his first book, "Saltwater Buddha," in 2009. Throughout the publicity tour, Yogis overcame an aversion to public speaking. He set out to understand the psychological processes behind fear and the best ways to overcome it.
"I really felt that society was experiencing a huge amount of unnecessary fear," Yogis told The Huffington Post. "We live in the safest, wealthiest, longest living society in history, and yet, anxiety disorders are through the roof."
"The Fear Project" combines scientific research from top neuroscientists with Yogis' personal encounters with danger (he swam with white sharks and surfed a deadly break all in the name of research). Yogis hopes his book will help others harness their fears.
The swim through the Bay, which takes place Tuesday, marks the second time Patrick and Yogis have tackled an adventure together. The duo attempted an Alcatraz swim several years ago, but dangerous currents prevented them from finishing. This time, Yogis took extra measures like alerting the coast guard to ensure his safety. He says a night swim through the Bay represents the core message of his book.
"Those are the kinds of fears I'm encouraging people to take: fears you can train for, that can be [achieved] safely, but can empower you in other ways in your life," Yogis said to HuffPost.
Spectators can follow the swim online and catch Yogis' grand entrance at the Ferry Building Pier near the silver rocket statue or online. The swim will kick off a talk and signing beginning at 6:30 p.m. at the Book Passage.
Yogis will also give away 50 free copies of his book Tuesday. For a chance to win, readers can tweet about their personal fear projects with the hashtag #fearproject or post to Facebook with the tag "Jaimal Yogis."
Also on HuffPost:
The No Wieners Club
Since the moment sometime in the mid-1960s when San Francisco suddenly became "San Francisco," the city has been synonymous with using the body as a form of personal expression. But when a group of guys started both literally and figuratively hanging out in the Castro's single most visible public space on a near daily basis, many of neighborhood's residents called for a <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/11/20/san-francisco-bans-public-nudity_n_2165847.html">citywide ban on public nudity</a>. The question, both ludicrously inane and deathly serious, ran right to the heart of the city's very identity: where do the rights of the individual nudist end and the public's collective wish not to see old-man testicles begin? Ultimately, the forces of what some labeled "conservatism" won out. Now, if someone wants to go out in public, they better be sure their genitals are covered. (Excepting, of course, situations where it's officially "appropriate" to go sans underwear, like festivals and street fairs. This is still San Francisco, after all.) <em>- Aaron Sankin</em>
Frothing Orange And Black
Oh, San Francisco Giants. Oh, you. While the team's 2012 World Series sweep wasn't <em>quite</em> as exciting as its 2010 first-time-in-56-years win, that didn’t stop this city from descending into screaming, cheering, <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/10/29/san-francisco-riots-giants-world-series_n_2036551.html" target="_hplink">Muni-bus destroying</a>, frothing black-and-orange madness. And in true Giants torture-style, the boys delivered plenty of excitement. First there was the historic NL Division Series, <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/10/11/buster-posey-grand-slam-giants-reds-nlds-game-5_n_1959199.html" target="_hplink">starring a Buster Posey grand slam</a>. Then there was the NL Championship series, <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/10/25/barry-zito-world-series-san-francisco-giants_n_2015529.html" target="_hplink">with an unexpected save by Barry Zito</a>. And finally, adding insult to injury, there was <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/10/28/giants-world-series-2012-tigers-matt-cain_n_2036443.html" target="_hplink">the World Series</a>: an epic, embarrassing, Motor City soul-crushing sweep. Next came the (seemingly inevitable) street riot that quickly got out of hand, followed by a family-friendly parade, to which Sergio Romo donned a shirt that read "<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/10/31/sergio-romo-sports-illegal_n_2052086.html" target="_hplink">I just look illegal</a>." As if that wasn't enough, <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/11/15/buster-posey-mvp-2012-nl-giants-san-francisco_n_2140504.html" target="_hplink">Buster Posey won the National League MVP</a> weeks later, cementing a nod from Grantland dubbing San Francisco "<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/12/20/san-francisco-best-sports-city_n_2339740.html" target="_hplink">the sports city of the year</a>." <em>- Robin Wilkey</em>
Our beloved bridge turned 75 this year, and though crowds didn't rush the Golden Gate as they did on the 50th (nearly causing the span to flatten it in the process), the celebration was no less spectacular. Events included special exhibits, performances by local bands and dance troupes, a vintage boat parade and an 18-minute firework spectacular that humbled every other firework show in the history of fireworks. (<a href="http://goldengatebridge75.org/celebrate/golden-gate-festival.html" target="_hplink">Watch it here!</a>) We can only imagine what 2037 will look like... <em>- Robin Wilkey</em>
Obama's aggressive crackdown on California's medical marijuana industry continued to slaughter jobs and small businesses across the state. The most notable casualty occurred in April, when federal agents raided Oaksterdam University, Oakland's legendary cannabis training school (and ground zero for the city's pro-pot movement). But there might be hope on the horizon -- with voters legalizing recreational use of the plant in Washington and Colorado, California appears poised to follow suit. And politicians are voicing support. Last week, California Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/12/21/gavin-newsom-marijuana_n_2348096.html">told the New York Times</a> that current anti-marijuana laws "just don't make sense anymore." <em>- Carly Schwartz</em>
A Light Shines On Market
For decades, every time San Francisco's economy has started to heat up, the "g-word" has come up: Will gentrification wash over the blighted section of mid-Market Street, reviving the city's grand promenade once and for all? Each and every time, that wave has always rolled back before true revitalization could ever occur. But now, during Dot Com Boom 2.0: Social Media Edition, things have been different, damnit. Commercial real estate in SoMa has become a scarce commodity. City leaders are luring arts organizations and restaurants into the neighborhood and giving tech companies like Twitter, Zendesk and Dolby hearty tax breaks to take over spaces that previously housed strip clubs, head shops, or most often, nothing at all. While some have worried the gentrification of mid-Market could cut off homeless and SRO hotel residents from the area's concentration of services, others are excited about a vibrant commercial corridor finally connecting the Civic Center and the Financial District. BART's construction may have killed much of Market Street's once-lively culture, but smartphone apps that give people something to do while waiting for BART may ironically be the thing that brings it back to life. <em>- Aaron Sankin</em>
The Sheriff And His Wife
It's been almost exactly one year since an argument between newly elected San Francisco Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi and his wife, former Venezuelan telenovela star Eliana Lopez, ended with a bruise on a her arm, a teary cell phone video and, ultimately, a <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/10/11/ross-mirkarimi-vote_n_1958288.html">three-ring circus</a> from which no one emerged without some degree of egg on their face. While Mirkarimi managed to retain his job over the objections of Mayor Ed Lee, thanks to a handful of San Francisco's most forgiving supervisors, the real question remains: who should play billionaire investor/local political power player Ron Conway, who funded all the attack ads? Our money is on Richard Richard Dreyfuss. Or Ted Danson. Or Nicolas Cage. Yeah, Nicolas Cage. <em>- Aaron Sankin</em>
Need A Lyft?
They may have started as a minor amusement/eyeroll in the background of your commute home, but those pink mustache cars have quickly transformed San Francisco's entire transportation economy. 2012 was the year of the rideshare app, with more and more everyday citizens turning their cars into cabs for a markedly cheaper (or <a href="https://www.uber.com/">more expensive</a>) price than a traditional taxi. While companies like Sidecar and Lyft have <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/10/09/ride-sharing-apps-come-un_n_1948660.html">come under fire</a> for disrupting an entire industry and dodging state regulations, their unprecedented popularity -- coupled with Mayor Lee's support for the city's "sharing economy" -- makes us believe they're here to stay. <em>- Carly Schwartz</em>
Sail Away, Sail Away, Sail Away
Love it or hate it, the America's Cup is coming to San Francisco next year, and 2012 was the start of the action with a warm-up race in the bay. With significant backing from Larry Ellison, San Francisco's waterfront was transformed into an America's Cup village fully equipped to handle the biggest yachting race in the world. The excitement was not without a few anxious moments, including <a href="http://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/America-s-Cup-prospects-fading-in-S-F-3759001.php" target="_hplink">team dropouts</a>, <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/10/17/americas-cup-capsize_n_1972553.html" target="_hplink">a capsized catamaran</a>, <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/08/25/americas-cup-crash-video_n_1830400.html" target="_hplink">an on-camera crash</a> and a loose boat that was wrangled by a local sailor <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/10/10/todd-tholke_n_1955871.html" target="_hplink">who later demanded a $200,000 reward</a>. And come December, the America's Cup king was even accused of espionage. (<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/12/06/larry-ellisons-oracle-racing_n_2252315.html" target="_hplink">No, seriously</a>.) But the spectators came and the race went on, helping to make a few days in October San Francisco's <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/10/08/san-francisco-fleet-week-_n_1948732.html" target="_hplink">best weekend ever</a>. <em>- Robin Wilkey</em>
You Can't Afford To Live Here
In October, San Francisco's median home sale price was $522,600--the <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/10/22/most-expensive-city_n_2002532.html">most expensive of any metropolitan area</a> in the country. The city also has the <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/03/14/san-francisco-rents-the-highest-in-nation_n_1345275.html">most expensive average monthly rent</a> of anywhere in the United States. Earlier this month, one of the most expensive homes in the history of San Francisco <a href="http://sf.curbed.com/archives/2012/12/10/san_franciscos_most_expensive_home_sells_for_28250000.php">sold for $28 million</a>. Across the Bay Area, rental prices are rising faster than <a href="http://www.sfexaminer.com/local/2012/01/bay-area-leads-nation-rental-price-increases">anywhere else in the country</a>. Long story short, San Francisco is crazy expensive. The reasons behind this are myriad: rent control artificially constricts the supply of available apartments, a booming economy increasingly favors high-income knowledge workers, a mind-bogglingly small number of new housing units come onto the market, the new developments that do come onto the market are heavily favored toward the luxury sector, both state and federal funding for public housing programs has decreased. And, most of all, San Francisco is pretty much the most awesome place to live in the history of awesome places to live. <em>- Aaron Sankin</em>
Movin' On Up
San Francisco wasn't going to allow a major sports team to get away without getting a new one in return. When the Niners announced they were moving from Candlestick Park to a shiny new arena down in Santa Clara, the mayor became a born-again basketball fan. City leaders <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/05/22/golden-state-warriors-san-francisco_n_1536111.html">coaxed the Golden State Warriors to relocate</a> to a state-of-the-art complex across the Bay, encompassing two waterfront piers and offering a decidedly more scenic view than the Oakland outskirts. The $500 million NBA palace is slated to open in time for the 2017 season, officially transforming the area east of China Basin into San Francisco's sporting kingdom (AT&T park is spitting distance). That is, if the city's usual cast of NIMBYs aren't strong enough to stop it. <em>- Carly Schwartz</em>
One evening in August, Richmond residents sheltered in place, taped up their windows and prayed as the nearby Chevron refinery--one of California's largest refineries and a top polluter in the state--<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/08/08/chevron-fire-richmond_n_1757571.html" target="_hplink">burst into flames after a malfunction</a>. A massive plume of smoke darkened the sky, visible all the way across the bay. Though the fire was extinguished within hours, the damage was done: gas prices skyrocketed, hundreds rushed to emergency rooms reporting breathing problems and the public screamed for environmental impact reports and accountability. "Events like this most recent fire are a trigger for a longstanding mistrust of Chevron," <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/08/08/chevron-fire-richmond_n_1757571.html" target="_hplink">said Jason Corburn, a University of California, Berkeley public health and urban planning professor</a>, about the oil giant, which is based in the Bay Area. Indeed, the fire stoked not only mistrust in Chevron, but also deep-seeded tensions stemming from the socioeconomic inequalities existing on opposite sides of the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge. ("The wind never blows that smoke to Marin County, now does it?" <a href="http://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/Big-fire-at-Chevron-refinery-in-Richmond-3767221.php" target="_hplink">said one Richmond resident to the San Francisco Chronicle</a>.) Months later, <a href="http://www.sfgate.com/crime/article/Thousands-join-Chevron-refinery-fire-suit-4071649.php" target="_hplink">thousands joined together in a lawsuit</a> against the company. <em>- Robin Wilkey</em>
The world's most metropolitan movie director <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/08/07/woody-allen-in-san-francisco_n_1754061.html">finally decided to find inspiration</a> in the City by the Bay, and Find Woody Allen quickly became everyone's favorite summer pastime. The iconic filmmaker was spotted all over town while filming scenes for his newest flick, which is rumored to star Cate Blanchett and tells the tale of a rich New Yorker who moves in with her San Francisco-based sister after losing everything. Channeling his (naturally) hipster heritage, Allen appeared to spend most of his time in the Mission, enjoying a sandwich at Wise Sons deli, tapas at Eserpento and a stroll down 22nd Street. <em>- Carly Schwartz</em>