Sometimes you just don’t have the time or just don’t feel like changing into workout clothes just to workout, right? Well who says you have to find time or wear something workout-ish? Do one thing for a couple of minutes and you’ll get your workout in – at least part of it. Like when you’re waiting for that email, or that phone call, or your girlfriend to get ready, or that client to show up. Check out me working triceps here on my favorite reading chair (dining room and office chairs are even better). Apply “yoga principles” as you plant your feet slightly apart with knees at right angles pressing together. Keep your chin parallel to the floor, your spine straight and dip slowly until your elbows reach right angles (no need to go further), pointing your elbows toward each other. Do not to jerk your head or neck. Note: always be sensitive to any tweaks or pains in your neck as well as your shoulders, elbows and wrists. Move with slow and deliberate movements. Nothing fancy and make sure the chair is properly weighted to support this exercise. Strengthen your arms and build stamina with these simple dips using whatever’s available to you. Do as many repetitions as you can per set, and as many sets as you can – with short breaks in between until you feel the burn and can’t do any more. It’ll happen quick. And always maintain good posture, close your mouth and breathe slowly and quietly like the sound of the ocean, and pick a point of focus to wipe your mind clear. Enjoy – R
I just visited my thirty-something year old friend who was speaking about her weight when she said, “I know what it’s like to be past the point of no return”. She spoke with such conviction about how everyone struggling with weight loss reaches a specific point of no return. Last week I gave her my 15 Minute Fat Burning Workouts and stopped by today to check in on her and to drop one off for her girlfriend. She hasn’t started the workouts, but said she would today – after much cajoling on my part. When I asked her why not, she said it was “mental”. Actually she’s doing quite well, mentally and physically, considering she weighed 218 lbs. two years ago. She also said her exact “point of no return” was 180 lbs, and that once she reached that point she pretty much gave up hope – and desire – of getting the weight off and skipped right past 200 until her final stop at 218. And can you believe this adorably funny gal started college weighing 106 lbs? The good news is when she finally reached 218 she started with a well-known weight loss program that helped get her down to today’s weight of 180. Hmmm. I suppose now it’s the “point of return”. Next stop 140. So she says. And so I believe – as long as she believes and continues to make good choices. Because with a daily fitness program complemented by a positive mindset and positive lifestyle choices, anything is possible. Enjoy your workout – R
When I refer to exercises being based on yoga principles, I’m referring to the how you do the exercise as compared to what you do and how often you do it. In the gym this morning I overheard this twenty-something guy ask Mr. Adonis (check out my earlier blog “External Motivation”) what he should do for his biceps and how often he should do it. He also said he only read about it on the internet and found many different opinions. That’s correct. When it comes to asking any weightlifter or certified personal trainer their opinions about weightlifting, they all vary. Just like yoga teachers are like snowflakes – they’re all different – so are opinions of what you should do in the gym. But here’s something that I’ve brought into my workouts – and you can too – where you can’t go wrong: think yoga principles in everything you do. Like biceps. Take a look at my posture and balance in the left picture – much like my posture and balance in the right picture. In yoga terms that’s chair pose or Utkatasana (in Sanskrit). Make sure the energy is radiating straight down through the crown like a steel rod going all the way through your spine down to the middle of your heels planted firmly on the ground. Relax your toes and try not to swing or alter your posture when curling. And curl slowly and deliberately for a better burn. This way is more challenging than the usual swinging people do to get the dumbbells or bar up. It’s also much more focused and effective. And for specific lessons on bringing yoga principles into your everyday life – and the weight room – check out my Yoga Survival Guide. There’s expert instruction on 100 key yoga poses filmed throughout the streets of Hollywood, Venice Beach and the LA Zoo! There’s even Baking Yoga, Traffic Yoga and Prison Yoga – made especially for Lindsay Lohan. So think yoga principles and enjoy your workout – R
So how about a little workout challenge to add to your external motivation? If you’re not already a fan of ours on Facebook, become one today and win a complete set of my yoga and fitness videos ($50 value) as we aim for 500 fans – click logo to visit our fan page. Or better yet, workout every day for 30 consecutive days and win a copy of my yoga-inspired film,Boulevard Zen. We certainly hope our competitive external motivation gets you started with a daily fitness program…because who doesn’t have 15 minutes a day to respect themselves? R
My yoga teacher used that phrase today in Savasana at the end of class. For those who’ve never taken a yoga class, Savasana is the final resting pose when you totally let go and experience the sensations from your practice. It’s awesome! It’s also that quiet surrender to your feelings and affects of the physical and mental challenges you just endured. Yoga truly helps you achieve that peaceful pool of water while wringing the body of all sorts of negative things. Even if it’s practicing Warrior II for 5 minutes a day, pushing the body to limits that challenge your focus and your mind. So do some yoga and get a little more peaceful. And staying with that peaceful theme, check out my friend Molly’s Peaceful Offering – she’s amazing! PS – she’s the beautiful blond at the beginning and the end
The topic of my horoscope today was self-discipline and how no one is born with it, but is something that must be fostered. I believe self-discipline is something you can cultivate everyday with conscious thoughts, feelings and actions. And since actions lead to results, than it’s best we take positive and deliberate actions on anything in our lives that will lead to positive and desired results. In the case of physical well being, it’s therefore important to take action that will lead to a healthier, leaner and longer life. By embracing a daily fitness program, whether it be walking, biking, weight-lifting, yoga, or any other preferred form of exercise, you’ll be cultivating self-discipline everyday in the realm of physical well being. Which also helps strengthen your mental well being. So if you’ve already broken that New Year’s resolution to workout every day, don’t despair. Leave those negative thoughts behind and start your new routine today. Because who doesn’t have 15 minutes a day to achieve a strong body and a clear mind? Enjoy your workout! R
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
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!
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