Showing posts from January, 2012

2012 Fun with Yoga

Here’s some of the yoga poses I’m working on this month....

In this video, I show some warm-up, preparatory poses before I start getting into the more challenging stuff.

At 1:40 I make an attempt at my Scorpion.  I held it for a few seconds, but that’s all I need, because I’m not solid on the pose. My right shoulder is just finally getting to the place where it can do its part to support me in the right position. It’s been just about three full years, now, since I shredded it.  So, it’s been a long, slow healing process, but its encouraging to be able to support headstands and scorpions again.

Then, at 1:50 I’m practicing my Garland pose. This is a deceptively hard position, but every time I practice it, I get a little bit closer to it.

At 1:55 I start to practice my Crow pose, which is something I have been doing for over a decade and it is no problem for me. But I’m now starting to graduate into the Crane pose, which is like the Crow only both arms are locked straight. Instead of b…

2012 Reboot

OK.  So, I got off track.

This whole past week I was... well I... I sort of blew it.  I guess I was off in another world or something, but I didn’t do my exercises or my shopping trips, my morning routine or my nine cups a day of vegetables. In a word, I failed. But, the important thing is to be resilient and not let this become all about me failing.

I can sit here and blame the snow, the power outage, the injury I had in my hand or anything, but the reality is, in the end, I didn’t do what I set out to do.  Excuses don’t change that, they only maybe help us feel better about it. So instead of excuses, I’m going to reboot and do it right this time.

“You can’t fail if you haven’t given up yet.”

So I'm not going to give up, I’m going to take this opportunity to go over what was and wasn’t working with my program and move forward.

First and foremost, it’s crucial to re-assess my goals. Since I’m always working towards them, my goals will be changing and my priorities shifting. …

2012 Meditation

I’d gotten out of the habit of meditating. So, on New Years Day, I took the opportunity to reintroduce it into my life in the form of a Daily Morning Ritual, which also includes a twenty minute joint-mobilizing movement sequence and twenty minutes of breathing reduction practice.

The first few times I sat, I was relaxed and it went fine, but I was aware of the time passing and of not being comfortable and I didn’t ever really disappear into the meditation like I remembered doing in the past.

Then, I switched my technique and got out my old mala beads. After completely going through the whole string of beads and mentally repeating my mantra, I focused on circulating my attention through my chakras.

Except for the first day, which was an anomaly (perhaps due to the novelty and excitement of getting started again), I was impatient as I sat. There was even one morning when my body was strongly fighting being still, and I was restless. I actually got up and turned the timer off with abo…

2012 Exercise

My January workouts are progressing nicely.

Here is a video sampling of the progression I’m cycling through for this month.

It’s a four day cycle of increasing intensity and changing focus.

************DAY  1************************
It’s not a day off, but Day One is for RECOVERY. I usually do lots of simple movements, stretching and relaxing.  I don’t sweat on this day; instead I’m more focused on treating myself nicely and undoing any damage I may have done the days prior.

************DAY 2************************

Day two I call my FLOW day. I may do Nia or Yoga on this day.  It serves to sort of re-amp my body after a day of rest and to prepare myself for the onslaught of the upcoming two days. I will get deep with my stretching today, and may even use a foam roller or a rubber ball to address specific needy parts. I may sweat today, but only a mild sweat.  I don’t usually push myself much on this day, I treat it as flirting with my edge without going over.

************DAY  3******…

Night Sweats

Back in November, when I first started taking Lamisil, I had a bit of an issue with waking up in the middle of the night in a soaking wet bed, covered in sweat.  It was gross.

I wasn’t sure what caused the sweats, but since they only happened those first two nights, I figured it was either one of two things:

ONE: A reaction to the Lamisil which I eventually became accustomed to and stopped sweating.

TWO: A reaction to a tetanus shot I got at the same time I got my Lamisil Rx.

But now, nearly three months later, I only have a few pills left.  (I’d say I have about a week and a half left of my three-month dose.) And it happened again.  Three nights ago, about 4am, I was awaken by the feeling that the bed was ice cold. It was soaking wet and so was I.  I had to go get a towel to lay back down on the bed and sleep through the night.

Two nights ago it didn’t happen, but then again last night, or rather this morning, again at 4am, I was drenched in sweat.  This time I went and put on a pa…

“Super Human Rock Nia”

-- a Nia Playshop
February 25th, 2012 --

4:00pm - 6:00pm

at Waves Studio
232 Division Street NW
Olympia, WA

 Register with Julia Annis* to experience the world premiere of my newest Nia routine, ROCKIN'!

You may be leaving some power on the table.

I'm going to teach some things you can do with your body to become instantly stronger.  Employing these little tricks can turn your human strength into Super Human strength. This isn't developing strength, although it will help with that, but this is accessing instantaneous strength that you haven't been using until now.

In this playshop I will teach you how to do movements you never knew you were strong enough to do. Then, we will put what we learned into action in a Classic Rock Nia Class. The movements of the routine will be classic Nia and will focus on influences from the three Martial Arts; AiKiDo, Tai Chi and Tae Kwon Do. We'll sweat to some good old rock 'n roll songs from artists such as The Beatles, Deep…

2012 Weekends

Weekends can be a challenge.  Because I work with habits and rituals, my systems get tripped up with all the changes that occur on Saturday and Sunday.

But weekends are a part of life, so I had to come up with a way to avoid the common mistake of letting the weekend unravel all of the work I’ve done. I have been working on putting together a good balanced system of habits surrounding my eating, exercising and meditation.

Since I don’t get up early, I slept through that time slot I’d been using for my morning ritual.  And there is a full house here on the weekend, as opposed to during the week when it’s just me and my dog.  So the added distraction of bodies could be enough to warrant my throwing my hands up and giving into falling back into my old ways.

So I came up with a workable solution.

First of all, I do allow myself a ‘cheat day’ or a “day off” from any of my programs, no matter what it is. The purpose for the Cheat Day is to allow life to work its way into my idealized schedu…

Another Uplifting Nia Experience

I got this email from a Nia student who used to take my class in New York.

He said I could post it on my blog so here it is. 

"Taking Jason Griffin's Nia class has always been a positive experience.  For someone like me who is middle age and not in the best of shape Nia really improved my muscle term and flexibility within a relatively short time.  I've seen sharper mental focus in just a few weeks  and a difference in my energy levels and flexibility.  There are times when it was more challenging and Jason always guided me through it with ease and patience and determination which far exceded my expectations.  Plus it can be be much more fun then aerobics but just an effective.  It truly can improve endurance, strength and flexibility and you will feel so much better overall. Thanks, Jason, for helping me get back into fitness with Nia!"

  Henri, Bronx, NY.

Jason here:  Thanks Henri, for that lovely letter. I agree that there is something about Nia that makes it a fu…

2012 Soreness

I am just now making my coffee, which I get to do as a reward for doing my new morning ritual. Today I woke up very sore from yesterday’s workout.  Or at least, I think it was from yesterday’s workout. It could still be residual from two days ago.  Because usually it takes about 24 hours for delayed onset muscle soreness to show up after exercise, which won’t be until around three o'clock this afternoon.  I might be in for some serious soreness then; we’ll see.

I was a bit demotivated this morning because I was so achy and sleepy, but I still went into the room at my scheduled time for my morning breathing, moving and meditating ritual. 

Afterwards... Now...  I’m so glad I did it! I feel SO much better.  It actually felt better today than it has felt all week.  So this is an interesting paradox: “The less you feel like doing it, the better it will make you feel when you do.”

Also, it feels good to keep the habit going. I know that habits take a while to become ingrained, so I hav…

2012 Sweat

Yesterday, I was up to 6 cups of veggies by 4pm, but then a trip to the airport took longer than expected and I got hungry and impatient so I had a burger and fries. My vegetable quota was not met yesterday; I had a couple of bananas for dessert, so by the end of the day, I was two shy of my goal.  I was five over the day before, so I’m wondering if I can carry some of those over to yesterday and call it even? haha. I’m just going to assume it will be fine if I just get back up to nine today. No worries.  Yesterday was the first day I really let myself sweat. I’d been at this for four days, but I’d been preparing for and building up to it incrementally. Here is a video of the exercises I did yesterday. 
It was a stability and strength day and I was focused a lot on stabilizing my pelvis and my shoulders with my abdomen as I do movements from a variety of angles on an unstable and changing surface.  The intensity was only moderate; just enough to make me sweat and struggle a little bit.  …

2012 Vegetables

I was inspired by this video.

So now, I’m committed to eating nine cups of fresh fruits and vegetables a day.  Its not that hard, but it is a lot of vegetables.  I’m noticing that although I’m not a vegetarian, I feel like eating meat takes up too much room in my stomach.  If I’m going to be able to fit in all the vegetables, its going to push other stuff out of my diet.

Yesterday I started off with a mango.  But it wasn’t ripe. It was so sour, I only had two bites and threw it away.  Sad.  I had an apple instead.

Then, for lunch, I heated up some leftover dinner, which was beef, cauliflower, kale, parsnips, potatoes and rutabagas.  I had about two cups of that heated up on top of four cups of chopped and steamed Swiss chard.

After my afternoon workout, I was hungry again, so I had a cup each of roasted cauliflower, roasted beets, raw cucumber and raw spinach with a handful of almonds and topped with lemon juice and olive oil.

About five hours later, I made dinner, which included a c…

2012 Establishing New Habits

I did it this morning!

My new morning ritual is in place.  I woke up, took River for a walk and then came back and did my breathing exercises, my morning movements and my meditation, all before going upstairs to have my coffee. 

I’m not looking for any earth-shattering results from doing this, but it does give a nice energetic glow to my day.

I’m also all prepared to get my nine cups of fruits and vegetables today.  I’ve got some Swiss chard, cucumber, zucchini, some beets, a mango, cauliflower and a sweet potato.  I’m guessing it's about nine cups, but I haven’t measured it.  I’m also not sure if I’m going to be able to eat it all, or if I’ll eat all of this and then eat even more.

But this is where I’m starting.   I’ll have that mango for breakfast...

And I will also be taking a walk to the store at some point today, where I will buy lots more fresh produce.

A bit later this afternoon, I'll be doing a bit of exercise. It will be a slight increase in the intensity (or lack t…

2012 Check In

I am going to use my blog to “check in” daily and be sure I keep doing my new rituals. I’ll also be sharing my progress as I keep exploring new facets of my fitness edge.

Today I started what will become my morning ritual. I like this resolution to spend an hour breathing, meditating and moving each day. Although, this morning I didn’t start right away and my day went out of control for a while. So it was mid afternoon before I started my “morning ritual” and almost sunset before I finished.  But that’s fine, because I was glad to just do it. Tomorrow morning I can wake up and do it again and since I did it today, it won’t be foreign. I can be so sensitive in the morning when something is foreign.

So, we’ll see how that goes in the morning.

I also did some extra work with elastic bands and high performance breathing, but I’m saving anything intense for after I’ve been at this for a day or so.  So that was it for me, movement and exercise-wise today.

I also did a meditation. I couldn…

2012 Motivation

How Do I Get Started?  How Do I Keep Going?

This time of year, more exercise, diet and fitness programs are started than at any other time of year.  In fact, I often use the momentum of this auspicious occasion to re-invigorate my programs.  Over the course of the year, I tend to slack off bit by bit so that by the time December rolls around, I’m eating cookies daily and exercising with little frequency.  So this seems like a good time to write about how to get and stay motivated.

Some people seem to have no problem convincing themselves that they have the time, the energy and the inclination to exercise and eat healthful food, while others seem to think it would be just as easy to walk straight up the side of a building--in other words, pretty darn impossible.

So what is the difference?

In this article I’m going to explain how I work my mind so that I am motivated to exercise every day and to make healthful choices at each meal.  And if you want to, you can work your mind this same …

2012 Resolutions

This year, I’ve decided to blog about my adventures in getting my life back on the health and fitness track.  I have to admit, I’ve been coasting for the last few months of 2011.
So, another New Year and another opportunity to assess how much my life has gotten away from me.  I often use this time of year to make new promises to myself.  And I’m almost always seeking self-improvement through these changes.

I’ve written down some basic Resolutions for the New Year. Notice that the way I word these things are as if they’re already happening.  This is the most powerful way to phrase these affirmations.  Also, I can never affirm to NOT do something.  For example, it won’t work to say “I’m going to stop smoking” as well as it will work to say, “I love to breathe only fresh clean air and I love having healthy lungs.”  To me, the energy of the two statements are significantly different.

I also like to give myself a built in reward whenever possible.

So here’s what I came up with:

1- I love …