Sunday, September 30, 2012

Phase Two Energy Flow

Last month I posted a video of me doing my basic Energy Flow workout.  It was the exact same technique that I've taught many times in Energy Flow classes and to private training clients.

This month, I'm posting the next phase. Once I've worked with the basic Energy Flow movements long enough to feel comfortable and strong with them, I graduate to the more sophisticated Phase Two movements.

The four exercises you'll see are designed as offshoots from the four basic Energy Flow positions: The Squat, the Plank, the Bridge and the Side Plank.  By moving into, through and out of these positions, or moving back and forth between two of the movements, the energy really starts to flow.

People who have taken my Energy Flow class, and were interested in moving to the "Next Level", well this is it. I am finally making this level available.

As always, the video is me working out in my studio. I've recorded a voice-over to help make the workout accessible to be enjoyed in many different ways, including possibly working out right along with me, if you should choose to do so.

 Use this button if you'd like to own a copy of Phase Two Energy Flow for yourself. It's only $9 for the full 55 minute video, immediately downloaded to your computer as soon as your purchase is complete.

If you want a sneak peek, check out this short teaser I put together of clips from the full length version.  (The teaser does not include the voice over.)

If you're interested in getting all three videos each month, you can join JAG's Video Club for only $13/month. That's a significant savings over the already ridiculously cheap $9 per video if you got them individually. Read more about JAGs Video Club here and here.


Saturday, September 29, 2012

Road Trip Adventure Genesis

About a month ago I got the idea into my head that I wanted to make a lifestyle out of taking River on RV road trips.

It all started when my uncle died and I was entitled to an inheritance. My first thought was that I wanted to buy a small home on the beach that I could escape to when the Seattle winter wetness got to be too much to handle. 

That idea was quickly scrapped for many reasons. One being that I wasn’t going to inherit enough money to be able to afford anything decent on the beach. Another was that I didn’t want to feel tied to the same beach year after year. And finally, there was the issue of getting River to the beach house, since he can’t fly. 

So the next logical step was to rent beach houses.  This solved the dilemma of repetition but not the transportation issue. 

So my next leap of logic was to buy a car and stay in hotels. But finding dog-friendly hotels across the country seemed like a great big exercise in optimism. Not to mention the cost of hoteling.  And then the question arose, “Where do I eat?” Do I go to restaurants, leaving River in the car or hotel room?  That sort of destroys the “Boy and His Dog” fantasy I was intending to live.

So, that’s when I thought I should buy a trailer and pull it with a truck. So I was looking into buying trucks and trailers, and that search led me to looking at motor homes and RVs. 

The idea is something that I had wanted to do since I was a kid. I’ve always pictured myself driving the US, coast to coast in my motor home. So now I had the picture again, but this time with River in the passenger seat. 

The choices regarding purchases of RVs were staggering. I had no idea what I was getting into, or how to choose between a class C motor home, a fifth wheel, an Airstream, a Winnebago, an cab-over camper shell, etc.

After tossing the idea around for weeks, I came to the conclusion that I should rent each type of vehicle for a test drive out on the road before making any decisions on purchasing. And I also may find that it makes more sense just to rent every time we wanted to do a trip.

So that’s where I stand now:

For my first experiment, I’ve reserved an 
MTR Freedom Elite S 27ft Class C motor home for a week. So far, the cost is about $800. There will be some further expenses because I’m renting a convenience kit for about $80 which will include all the kitchen utensils, bathroom and bedroom linens and accessories and batteries and hoses and whatnot. There will also be an added expense of about $190 to rent a car to get us and our luggage to the RV rental facility, which is about an hours drive from our house. 

I know it seems ridiculous at first, but I didn’t come to this decision lightly. As with all of my decisions, I labored over it, weighing all of the options.  I considered a car service, public transportation, hiring a friend for a lift, going to get the RV by myself and bringing it home to load up, or even buying a cheap car. So it turned out the the most logical option was to rent a cheap car and leave it parked at the RV rental site. The thing that I love about that option is that the car will be waiting for us. I didn’t want to have any issues with not having a ride home, or having to wait for a pick up. 

Whew, I’m already getting the sense that this isn’t going to be a cheap hobby.  But it will certainly be an interesting adventure. 

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Absolute Yoga

In October of 2010, I went to Thailand and spent a weekend at Absolute Sanctuary, a gorgeous yoga retreat center on Koh Samoi.

It was there, over that weekend, that I did a lot of thinking and planning and putting together a new, updated business plan for JAGfit.

And also while I was there, I ate baby coconuts and a delicious, local vegetarian cuisine and we practiced "Hot Yoga" daily. I'm not a big fan of yoga in heated rooms. I easily generate enough body heat to have sweat dripping off my nose and elbows just from a moderately strenuous bout of exercise. But I did really appreciate the sequence of poses we practiced.

So I took a photograph of the pose chart on the wall (thank you iPhone) and when I got home, I copied it down into my book of workouts.  I've been practicing that sequence, or a variant of it, ever since.

Today I made a video of myself practicing a variant of that sequence. I set a timer to bong every minute and I work on or hold each pose for the entire minute.

The thing about my timer in this video... I had only taken the time to set it up to bong about 12 times. And there are over 40 positions. So ever ten poses or so, I have to go and reset my timer. Not a big deal. If it were a big deal, I'd just program my timer to have 40+ sessions rather than the dozen or so. But it's more work to set the timer that many times than it is to walk over and reset it a few times during my workout.

This video is about an hour, including a ten minute restful corpse pose at the end.

Here is a sneak preview video. This video only shows brief clips of some of the poses and does not include the voiceover that comes with the full length video.  I added a soundtrack to the preview video instead.  But you can get an idea of the unconventional lighting and camera angle and maybe get a sense if you'd enjoy the full length version or not.

If you do want the full length version, you can download it for only $9. Use the PayPal button you see here to purchase it and you will get immediate access to the file for viewing and/or downloading.


Monday, September 10, 2012

Solar Dog

Solar Dog is a Nia routine created by Debbie Rosas and no longer available through Nia.

In my version, I've changed it considerably, as I do with most routines that I've worked with for years. I obviously think what I've done is an improvement over the original.  That statement is not intended to belittle the work of Nia or Debbie Rosas at all. In fact, I have respected Debbie and practiced Nia for over 15 years.  I suspect that if you took this routine in Debbie's class today, you'd find that she has also changed it quite a bit from what she originally released on video.

The focus of Solar Dog is on the joints: Ankles, Knees, Hips, Spine, Wrists, Elbows and Shoulders.
It uses the music from a discontinued sampler of music from the Planet Dog record label run by Michael Dog.   The first song is focused entirely on the ankles.  The second one on the knees. The third song is focused on the hips and pelvis. The fourth song puts attention on the spine.  The fifth song is an epic 11+ minutes and it focuses on the upper extremities; specifically the fingers, wrists, elbows and shoulders. The routine then cools down and focuses on movement of the whole body with an awareness of all of the joints.

It is a highly technical routine. A friend and student of mine once called it "the corporate Nia routine" because of a distinctly different "feel" than you get from most Nia routines.

Here are a couple of videos of me working on the routine before I got it to a place I considered appropriate to present. You can get a sense of the style of music and movements you can expect in Solar Dog, and you can maybe get a laugh as my choreography falls apart before your eyes.  Rest assured that when I teach the Solar Dog routine, it doesn't have glaring errors like the one you see here.

This is a very fun and exciting routine and challenging both mentally and physically as we isolate and free up the joints while maintaining awareness of precision of the joints throughout the movements. I always have a great time when playing with this one, and I always get very, very sweaty.

If you're interested in the Solar Dog routine, I suggest finding a local Nia teacher who can teach it to you, or invite me to come visit your town and I'd be happy to bring it.

Enjoy the joints!