As winter settles in, finding the motivation and enthusiasm to maintain a regular movement routine can be challenging. Even if your practice is something you love and look forward to, sometimes the shorter days, busy social calendars, and general desire to curl up into a ball and read a book instead of move can be overwhelming. One way to combat this is to re-commit to a teacher or coach. Over the summer, I found myself in a yoga rut, so I purchased a bundle from CodyApp. Briohny Smyth's handstand course was just what I needed to feel excited about sun salutations again. This fall, I decided to commit to mastering basic groundwork moves, which led me to GMB's Elements program. Again, this was just what I needed to find the extra enthusiasm that was waning in my personal practice. Neither of these programs replaced my personal yoga or movement practice; rather, they behaved as an adjunct, or a way to focus my attention (and both brought attention to things I was avoiding). An outside program or an outside set of eyes can be invaluable to moving forward and attaining a higher degree of mastery, in any hobby or craft.*
Also, for those interested in anatomy textbooks (because, you know, what else does someone read for fun?), I am just finishing up the best anatomy text I have read in years, Functional Atlas of the Human Fascial System by Carla Stecco. Dr. Stecco explains things clearly and included live dissection pictures, illustrating the connectivity of the musculoskeletal system in a way most text don't. Her background as a medical doctor makes the random medical facts interspersed throughout the book quite interesting. I highly recommend it.
I also recently finished The Rise of Superman by Steve Kotler, which gives an interesting peak into the psychology of flow in extreme athletes. It is well written, and an enjoyable read.
I will be teaching a sun salutation workshop at Om Oasis in Carmel Saturday, December 12, for those of you that are local and practice yoga. We will explore Surya Namaskar A in a variety of ways. More information can be found at www.omoasis.com.
I will be running the Move Better class series again in February. I am also hoping to clean up the videos, so if anyone would like to participate from afar, shoot me an e-mail and I will let you know when the series is available online.
Workshop dates for 2016 will be up on the website soon. Again, if this is something you are interested in, let me know and you will be e-mailed when information is available.
I love receiving books as a gift. The following are books I read this year that might make good gifts for those interested in creativity and/or movement:
Books for the creative type:
Steal like an Artist, by Austin Kleon
The Creative Habit, by Twyla Tharp
The Art of Learning, by Josh Waitzkin
A Whole New Mind, by Daniel H. Pink
Books for the athlete:
The Rise of Superman, by Steven Kotler
The Sports Gene, by David Epstein
Natural Born Heroes, by Christopher McDougall
Running with the Kenyans, by Adharanand Finn
Books for the mindful type (or those looking for mindfulness):
10% Happier, by Dan Harris
Better Than Before, by Gretchen Rubin
The Mindful Athlete, by George Mumford
The Upside of Stress, by Kelly McGonigal
Wishing everyone a happy, healthy holiday season,
*This assists with the concept of deliberate practice and focused attention, both of which begin to fade when something begins routine, or un"fresh." Lou Schuler, a long time personal trainer, offered a nice perspective on this topic that can be applied to any movement discipline. That particular blog can be found here: http://www.theptdc.com/2015/11/four-reasons-every-trainer-needs-a-trainer/