I spoke with my brother yesterday who said he could use some help with his sciatica. Sciatica occurs when there is pressure or damage to the sciatic nerve. This nerve starts in the spine and runs down the back of each leg. It controls the muscles of the back of the knee and lower leg and provides sensation to the back of the thigh, part of the lower leg, and the sole of the foot. Sciatica pain can vary widely. It may feel like a mild tingling, dull ache, or a burning sensation. In some cases, the pain is severe enough to make a person unable to move. So what can one do to help? A simple, yet rather uncomfortable yoga asana called Lizard Pose. I cover Lizard in Lesson #30 of my Yoga Survival Guide, aptly named Zoo Yoga. So if you could use a little relief, as I encouraged my brother to do, spend 4 minutes a day in Lizard (2 per side), then roll over on your back and come into Happy Baby for another minute – which is also covered in the same lesson. Remember to slow your breath and try not to wiggle around in the pose, however uncomfortable it may be. And enjoy your time at the LA Zoo!
I just got off the phone with my sister who’s been doing my fat burning workouts for past two weeks. She says she loves them and after every workout she feels the burning which she eloquently calls “a good hurt”. She especially favors Thursday’s core and abdominal workout – which she usually does in addition to whatever day she’s on. Something I highly recommend, as you can certainly tell, since I’m quite the fan of working your abs every single day! And today she made it a family affair by having my niece (age 11) and my nephew (age 10) join her for Sunday’s workout. They loved it too! So if you’re looking for something the whole family can do on a rainy Sunday afternoon, well there you have it – 15 minute fat burning workouts for anyone of any size, weight, age or gender. And I’ll see you tomorrow – R
So what’s your excuse for not making fitness a daily part of your life? Here are the top 10 excuses I’ve heard this year:
1. It’s too expensive. Well, if you can’t afford the $13.93 to download my 15 Minute Fat Burning Workouts – only $1.99 per workout – or the $14.99 to download my Yoga Survival Guide, then go for a free 15 minute walk or just lay on your back and stretch and work your core & abs – for any amount of time.
2. I don’t have the time. Who doesn’t have 15 minutes a day to respect themselves? And if 1% a day is too much time for you, then make it 5 minutes.
3. I don’t know what to do. Educate yourself for free on the Internet, or better yet, purchase any fitness or yoga video that resonates with you – hopefully mine.
4. I’m injured. Speak with your doctor about what you can do to avoid that area of your body – and mindfully and cautiously workout around your injury.
5. I’m afraid of getting hurt. Before you begin any fitness program, check with your doctor about what you can and cannot do, and really listen to your body at all times.
6. I’m too old. Nonsense! Everyday – including this morning – I exchange hellos with this eighty-something year old man in the gym. Plus, my oldest yoga student was an 88 year-old woman who could barely walk. Need I say more?
7. I don’t have the desire. Who does? I mean, what’s desire got to do with strengthening and preserving your body and your mind for the long term. It’s a necessity.
8. I don’t like working out. Same as above. Plus, try working out everyday for 30 years then tell me if you really like doing it.
9. It’s too cold outside where I live. Who says you have to go outside to workout?
10. I’m going to start in the New Year. Great. Now download my 15 Minute Fat Burning Workouts or my Yoga Survival Guide, and I’ll see you tomorrow!
All the best in 2011 – R
This morning I spoke with this twenty-something year old Ethiopian guy who moved here to pursue the American dream. You know the one: money, kids, cars, a big house – am I forgetting anything? Well, he explained to me how his family is considered wealthy by Ethiopian standards, with a nice house and a live-in servant for $20/month (yes, $20), and how he’s basically had to “start from scratch” since arriving two years ago. Because regardless of his perceived wealthy past, he’s had to start from square one here in the United States. Just like many people and their fitness programs. If you haven’t worked out in a really long time, well, you’ll just have to start from scratch. But that’s not a bad thing. In fact, why not make it a good thing! Like with my Ethiopian friend – who has his own apartment, works a full time job and goes to technical college – starting over doesn’t have to be feared. Keep it simple and keep it short, as in 1% of your day. Embrace the challenge and have fun with your new beginning. Because who doesn’t have 15 minutes a day to respect themselves? R
When you’re a base-runner it’s always best to get a good lead so you’re in a better position to advance. And just like in any sport, and in life, it’s always best to be well-conditioned and well-prepared to achieve whatever advantage you can over the opposition. So let’s consider Mother Nature and Father Time the pitcher and the catcher, and let’s say you’re on base. Why not get a good lead by starting your new daily fitness program today, if you haven’t started one already? Because with all the punishing weather out there it’s easy to just curl up in a ball and chill out on the couch for 12 hours. Well, that sounds relaxing, but don’t forget to get your workout in, even if you stretch out and work your abs for 15 minutes. Hint: “Thursday’s 15 Minute Fat Burning Workout”. Plus, you’ll get a head start on your New Year’s resolution to lose weight or get in shape or start sculpting that bikini body for next summer. So take advantage of Mother Nature and Father Time and get started today. And don’t forget the sugar-free hot chocolate! R
I spoke with my sister yesterday after I received her beautiful pictures of my nieces and nephews, including my brother’s children. This holiday season my family is 3,000 miles away, but for sure I’m there in spirit. And keeping with that holiday spirit, my sister told me she just started my fat burning workouts and intends to lose 12 pounds. The key word here – intends – as opposed to hopes. Because with anything you do that requires action, it’s better to set your intentions and make it happen than to hope for something good to happen. She also told me the first two days her legs were so tired she couldn’t go for her 2 mile walk – which she also just started. I told her after a week or so that muscle fatigue will get better and she’ll be jogging those miles in no time. This Ode’s for you sis…
Burn Fat Burn
Sometimes the path seems filled with pain,
but the only thing that hurts is your ego in vain.
Who says you’ll find success by pushing yourself daily,
when the results seem as far as the comet Halley.
But wait, you say, there’s a simple solution,
because reasons and excuses are just an illusion.
So keep on trucking with that positive attitude,
with fat burning workouts there’s no room for platitude.
Always set your intentions and just let’em fly,
no judgment, no worries, to your old ways goodbye!
Merry Christmas Everyone – R
This morning I met this fifty-something gal in the gym with a great body who’s always there. The first thing I asked her was if she worked out everyday. She said yes. Then I said, 5 days as week, and she gave me this look like are you crazy, and emphatically says, “No, 7 days”. Then along comes her fifty-something guy friend who meekly says, “ahhhhh, I won’t be here tomorrow so Merry Christmas”. She then gives him the exact look she gave me and asks why not. The man hesitates and says he won’t be there because he has to baby-sit his grandkids. So she proclaims, “At 5 o’clock in the morning, oh come on Johnny, you better be here!” Now what are friends for, right? Just that. To care about you, to support you, to motivate you, and to make you accountable when things get hard – like working out everyday at 5am. I totally understand why some people have more success with a fitness or weight loss program when they have a partner, or network of like-minded, mutually supportive individuals to help them through the tough times. So if you’re that type of person who benefits from the extra push from your friends, then embrace it and find your workout partner today! And get started with your daily fitness program – whatever it may be. Because who doesn’t have 15 minutes a day to respect themselves? R
In my opinion, this is the most important lifestyle and yoga principle that everyone should embrace. And I truly dislike that word should because it implies that one is projecting their personal standards and opinions upon another. But in this case it applies. Because whether or not you did or didn’t do something, like shirking a responsibility, or not working out, or partying too much, or being mean to your parents or your dog, well, forget about it and don’t judge yourself for doing it. It’s in the past and every new moment gives you a new beginning. No reason to waste energy, effort and feelings on something you can’t change. Especially when it comes to other people. Because for sure we can’t change what others do or say. And why should we or even want to? That’s what makes life interesting. The uniqueness of people we meet who impact our lives and help us evolve in whatever subtle or major way. All this coming from a guy who was once the life of the party who also judged. Believe me, anyone can change at any given moment, if you really want to. Or like my father used to say to me in baseball, “you gotta wanna bunt”. So let go of any judgment you may have for anything you did today or this holiday season. And I’ll see you tomorrow. R
I was speaking with a friend today about how most people are sick and tired of the same old thing. That is to say, the state of our economy, the 12.5% unemployment rate in California, the depressed real estate markets throughout the country, how it’s more difficult to make the same amount of money for the same amount of work (or more), how going to a gym or yoga studio has become so expensive that it’s prohibitive for most of his twenty-something peers – $15 for a gym workout and $25 for a drop-in yoga class in his neighborhood, and finally, how bad overindulging with food and alcohol at holiday parties – or anytime for that matter – and not working out can make you feel. But really, who isn’t sick and tired of being sick and tired? There’s a new year coming, it’s time to reflect, refuel and re-focus, and it’s time to get your mind and your body in the best possible condition via the simplest and most affordable way. So forget about being sick and tired and get with a 15 minute fat burning daily fitness program today! It’ll make that same old same old seem much much better. And I’ll see you tomorrow. R
Everyone knows the feeling when the weather’s got you down and you’re ‘a little under the weather’ right? Well how about turning the tables on today’s bad weather and telling yourself exactly the opposite – that you’re a little above the weather! Because that weather malaise is just a temporary mindset you can enthusiastically change. I know for most of you Mother Nature has been rather frigid and snowy and all around nasty, but for those of us in LA it feels like we should be boarding Noah’s Arc right about now. And since we’re relatively spoiled with our clear blue sunny skies – well, who says you can’t move to LA – it’s especially easy to feel under the weather and fall off your daily routine. Don’t do it. Or if you do, just make it one day only, not two or three in a row. Because while everyone else around you feels a bit more weather-like with each passing day, you’ll be the bright a cheerful one who got your workout in. For sure you’ll feel better and for sure your positive energy will radiantly affect everyone around you. And maybe you’ll even motivate your loved ones to do the same, so they can bask in the sunshine of their own positive energy. So get your 15 Minute Fat Burning Workout in today. And I’ll see you tomorrow. R