It’s that time again! Roguish Musings is inspired by Tim Ferriss’s five-bullet Friday emails. In these short blog posts, I share what has been on my mind, what has been on my reading list, or what I have been doing for physical training. I try to offer a wide range of interests and suggestions, as I am an avid reader of many different subjects. I don’t just read yoga books!
- Moon Sequence: Matthew Sweeney, my Ashtanga teacher in Bali, designed several vinyasa sequences that are meant to bring balance to your daily practice and to offer alternatives to the traditional Ashtanga sequencing. His first sequence, the Moon Sequence, is a therapeutic sequence with the same physical focus as the Primary Series (forward bending, core strength and hip opening), while taking pressure off the shoulders, wrists and lower back. If you are interested in learning this sequence, it is best learned in the Mysore format I teach at Yoga District.
- Morning pages: This idea is taken from Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way: Morning Pages Journal, as featured in Tim Ferriss’s new book, Tools of Titans (by the way, if you want a compendium of tactics, tools and techniques to turn your life around, pick up a copy of Tim’s book. I bought the hardback AND the e-book, it is that good). So what are morning pages? You just take three pages of blank paper and start to write whatever is on your mind (I use a softcover Moleskine lined journal). Don’t edit, don’t try to be perfect, don’t try to control the process. Just write, for yourself. It’s not going to be Hemingway, but it will be you.
- Godfrey Devereux: I consider Godfrey to be the “Richard Freeman of Europe.” I first became aware of him when I started practicing Ashtanga in the late ’90s. Like Richard (who also has a new book, The Art of Vinyasa, available this month), Godfrey focuses on the marriage of alignment and fluidity of movement, drawing from his extensive practices in Iyengar Yoga and Ashtanga Vinyasa. I recommend Godfrey’s book, Dynamic Yoga, for those new to his work. He also has some new e-books available from his website.
- “Grease the groove”: This is a technique to build strength endurance, where you do half the reps you are capable of for any particular exercises (Tim Ferriss includes this information in Tools of Titans on page 90 in his interview with Pavel Tsatsouline). For instance, I am a big fan of pull-ups because most yoga postures do not work the body in these rowing movements. So I can do 14 pull-ups in a row when testing. For “grease the groove,” I do only 5 to 7 pull-ups. When I am writing from home, I will do them every 90 minutes as a way to break away from my desk and get some movement in. If you want to try this out, pick a simple exercise (pull-ups, push-ups, squats) and do half the number of reps you normally do in a row. Give yourself at least 15 minutes between sets. The idea is not to go to failure, but rather to build new pathways for these movements to become more efficient, without building up lactic acid or soreness.
- Quote I’ve been pondering: “This is the mark of perfection of character – to spend each day as if it were your last, without frenzy, laziness, or any pretending.” -Marcus Aurelius, Meditations, 7.69