Monday, July 30, 2012

Crazy Circuit

I do a specific workout for about a month and then I change it up, doing a different workout each month or so.

For July, I did a workout I called the Crazy Circuit. So called because I took six exercises and did them all, back-to-back for thirty seconds each without rest in between.  After that three minute cycle, I rested for a minute and repeated them again. I do this four or sometimes five times and that's my quick and dirty workout.

I posted a video of myself doing this workout, including a warm up and cool down. The warm up and cool down are both of the variety that I call "disorganized," meaning that there is no structure to them. In the warm up and cool down, I'm moving in a random way to achieve the desired result.

On YouTube I have posted a video, also taken in July, of me doing the same workout, but on a different day than what I have available for download.  But if you'd like to see a quick sample of the types of movements you'll be seeing, check out this short clip:


If you like that, you might be interested in getting the whole thing.  The Crazy Circuit video is just under 40 minutes and includes the disorganized warm up, the workout with a surprise twist at the end and a disorganized cool down.  I've recorded a voice over throughout the whole video.

This video can be purchased separately for only $9, or as part of a subscription to JAG's Video Club, entitling you to three videos per month for only $13 monthly.

To purchase Crazy Circuit, use this button.
 Once your payment is accepted by PayPal, you will be automatically directed to a page where you can view or download the Crazy Circuit video.

If you're interested in subscribing to JAG's Video Club, check out this page.

These videos are intended for entertainment. It is possible to work out along with me while watching these videos, but I am in no way suggesting that you do. I don't know you, so it wouldn't be responsible of me to do so. You will be using these videos at your own discretion.

If you are interested in getting more individualized instruction, you may want to hire me as a personal trainer, or commission me to make you a customized video.

As always, feel free to contact me with any questions, comments or suggestions.


Sunday, July 22, 2012

Deep Stretching

I use a technique for increasing flexibility that I call Deep Stretching.

It involves putting my body into a position that I can relax into. The more I relax, the deeper the stretch gets.  I'm relying on gravity to do the stretch so I have to do no work.   In fact, the biggest challenge is to remain relaxed while my body experiences such a deep tissue stretch.

In this video I'm holding about 18 stretches for three minutes each.  I turned the camera on and let it run as I did my workout and then I went back later and recorded a voiceover, talking about what I'm doing.

Due to an injury, there are a couple of stretches that I'm unable to do, but I show them anyway so I can demonstrate a way to do your workouts even while injured.

You can download this 57 minute video here for only $9.  Or if you want more videos for less money, you can subscribe to JAG's Video Club and get three videos each month for only $13 monthly.

Use this button to purchase Deep Stretching.

If you're interested in JAG's Video Club, click here to read about that.


The following video is a short sampler that was posted on YouTube. It was compiled from clips of the Deep Stretching video. In the short video, I was focused on the movement of my dog while I tried to remain still. In the actual video, he really isn't moving all that much. I literally used every bit of his movement to put together this amusing compilation.  But I offer it here so you can view it and get an idea of the style, the lighting and the types of stretches you'll be seeing in the full length video.


Saturday, July 21, 2012

ROCKIN: a rockin' Nia routine

I was inspired by a recent event at Soma Ranch called Men of Nia. In this weekend event, Helen Terry taught a whole Nia class to the Dark Side of the Moon, Pink Floyd album while we watched The Wizard of Oz on a big screen. And William taught a couple of songs that weekend, too. The ones that stuck with me were Magic Carpet Ride by Steppenwolf and Immigrant Song by Led Zeppelin.

In all honesty, I was struggling with whether or not I was going to continue to be a Nia teacher after about 16 years of teaching. This weekend fired me up again not only to the point where I relicensed as a teacher, but I also was inspired to put together a new routine based on what I mentioned above.

I set out to create an entire Nia routine out of 70's classic rock songs. And ROCKIN is the result.

The playlist is:

Speak To Me/Breathe      Pink Floyd
On The Run                              Pink Floyd
Time                                      Pink Floyd
Low Rider                              War
Rock And Roll, Hoochie Koo      Rick Derringer
Light My Fire                              The Doors
Magic Carpet Ride                      Steppenwolf
Immigrant Song                      Led Zeppelin
Highway Star                              Deep Purple
Eclipse                                      Pink Floyd
The Great Gig In The Sky      Pink Floyd
Stairway to Heaven                      Led Zeppelin

This is the playlist I used when I recorded myself rehearsing this routine in my home studio.
I've made this rehearsal available for purchase because of the popularity of the routine.
This is not a professional video, and it will not stand up to scrutiny compared to professionally made and edited videos.  This is literally a camera turned on and aimed in my general direction as I practice.  And later, i went back and recorded a very minimal voice-over.

It seems to me that someone could learn the routine by watching this video, or, if they watched a few times, someone could conceivable do the routine right along with the recording.

When I teach the routine live now, I've added a final song because I've found that the way Stairway to Heaven ends, doesn't give us enough time to cool down and end the class. After Stairway to Heaven we were still breathing hard and our hearts were racing.  So I added

We Will Rock You                       Queen

using some very basic choreography to give our bodies a chance to return to a resting state.

If you're interested in this routine you can either contact me and arrange a way for me to come and teach it to you, or you could simply download the video right here and now and learn it for yourself.





The video below shows some clips from my home tapes as I practiced and created the routine in my home studio. Yes, I don't wear any clothes when I'm practicing at home, but don't worry, I'll have clothes on when I teach it. :) This video is no more revealing than Olympic diving and contains a variety of very short clips from the routine. Enjoy

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

KNEE-AH: Putting the Nia in Knee Awareness


I injured my knee in February and had to do physical therapy for two months. During that time I was unable to teach Nia classes. Even though they were challenging and interesting at first, I eventually got bored of my physical therapy exercises, and wanted to start teaching Nia again. I started to play around with ways to do my physical therapy exercises in the context of a Nia class.  I discovered that many Nia songs already had some of my exercises in them, and others could be added with small choreography tweaks. And that is how the KNEE-AH routine began.

Eventually it came time to teach again, and this is the routine I put together for that event. It was very important to me that the routine felt like Nia, that it was a challenge, but that it didn't exacerbate my knee issues. I also thought it would be cool if I could manage to not only avoid hurting my knee, and not only to do my physical therapy exercises, but to strengthen my legs and correct imbalances in my knees and legs so that an injury of this type wouldn't happen to me again.  And the great news is, I was able to do all of that with this routine. 

Knee-Ah keeps a very grounded groove going and combines a bit of Yulunga and other Dead Can Dance songs with Somthin’ Happnin’ (Water In Me), Work That Body and other Nia favorites. It blends classic Nia with basic knee physical therapy and a strong focus on moving and dancing with strong, healthy, pain-free knees. 
The physical therapy exercises are peppered throughout the routine, from the warm up, through the get moving section and into the floorplay section. My knees always feel very taken care of by this routine. And some of the students present on that day in New York when I taught this routine reported that they learned a lot about the use of their knees and appreciated the opportunity to do Nia with such Knee Awareness. 
Here is a video with some clips of me exploring how to put the movements into the music.  This is a glimpse of a very embryonic Knee Ah routine. 

And this video shows some clips from the final Knee-Ah routine video. 

The Nia Video of the Month for July: KNEE-AH

This is a video of me practicing the routine. I've actually cut together two different days of practice in order to give you the 'tightest' routine I could.

Purchase the full video with a recorded voiceover for only $9.

Or get this video, along with every single video I release (three a month) with a membership to JAG's Video Club.