|Dynamic Health-Practical Yogametrics®||
|Dynamic Health-Practical Yogametrics®||
19 The Write Minded Thinker…
Writing a phrase, or a sentence, or even a word, engages the brain in a way no amount of verbalizing will do.
Some agree with that. Some don’t.
There are coaches getting apoplectic about it at this moment.
How do you feel about it?
Here’s a Story For You…
‘Are you kidding?’ he said ‘This is a cinch.’
I had remarked how he seemed to apply himself with great ease to what he had just achieved.
He had applied himself very well to the program and had got great results.
‘What was hard’ he said, ‘was seven months ago, when I was walking to the car and got walloped by a heart attack.’
‘As I left the front door,’ he continued, ‘I felt a wave of weakness and a dull ache in my left side and shoulder. As I approached the car, my legs gave out, and I ended up on one knee, grasping for the door handle of the car for support. My wife was behind me, and I heard her scream to my daughter to phone for an ambulance, to say that her dad was having a heart attack.’
‘You must have been terrified’ I said.
‘No’ he replied, ‘I was enraged.’
‘As I grasped for the handle, it occurred to me that this need not have happened. I was raging with myself for the careless, brainless, even stupid, negligence that had brought me to this.’
‘That’ he continued, ‘was very hard to take. I had brought about my own catastrophe.’
‘This’ he continued ‘ is very very easy. And I’m only grateful that I now have the wit and the will to do it, and get my life back.’
And so he did. He’s fit, healthy, and well.
Many of us keep putting off what we know we should do.
Sometimes, it doesn’t do any harm to remind ourselves of the possible consequences of our inaction.
As in everything in life, nothing, nothing, nothing, happens till we do something about it.
How Tony Doran, the Boys of Wexford, and me, Won the 1968 All-Ireland.
New York has Broadway; London has Shaftesbury Avenue.
But for real theatre of human emotion, passion, heroism, triumph, and heartbreak, nowhere compares to Dublin’s Croke Park on an All-Ireland Hurling Final Day.
This was revealed to me in 1968, on a warm, September Sunday.
Walking back to my flat in Catford, South-East London, from an open window, came the strident, unmistakable voice of Miceal O’Heihir.
He was announcing the halftime score of the hurling final. “Tipperary one goal and 11 points”, said Miceal, “Wexford one goal and three points.”
Wexford, my county, in the all-Ireland, and I hadn’t even known it.
I stood, stunned, breathless.
The Wexford men were traipsing off, eight points down. It sounded bleak.
A face appeared in the open window.
“Where’re ye from?” It asked.
“Wexford” I replied.
“We’re batin’ the lard outa ye. Yiz are in for murder in the second half.”
There was a hint of sympathy in his tone.
He invited me in to listen. I politely declined, sat on the wall, facing a green of grass in the South part of the city. But I was seeing the green of my home county, the patchwork fields stretching off behind the village, the high hedgerows, the looping Hawthorne, and the winding lanes.
I was hearing the wash of the waves on the back strand, and the crash and hiss of the Atlantic as it thundered on to the Burrow.
I was hearing the rattle of the billycan as I cycled to Grants farm for the milk. I was passing Murphy’s gate, standing up on the pedals, pumping and accelerating away from their barking dog. I was seeing the blue skies, puff clouds, green fields with lazy cows, darting rabbits.
And my reverie was interrupted.
Second half. Dan Quigley caught a highball, pumped it up field to Tony Doran. Tony took it, passed to a running Paul Lynch, who looked, lifted, and fired it over for a second Wexford point.
Miceal’s Voice was changing, his speech quickening. The roar was louder. The game was getting faster.
Miceal was now calling them “the Boys of Wexford”, with warmth, admiration, in his tone.
This was a different Wexford team from the first half.
Flashes, scenes of my home county, were exploding into my mind
The game hurled on
Ned Colfer flicked one over to Dan Quigley. Dan boomed it up the field to his brother John.
John to Paul Lynch. Paul to Jack Berry. Jack turns, fires, straight between the posts. The game was changing.
There was a rhythm, a pace, a momentum, in Croke Park. It was growing into me in Catford, Southeast London. The Boys of Wexford were roaring back into my life.
Up goes Big Dan again. A mighty catch! He bursts out and passes inch-perfect to running Phil Wilson. Phil runs and jinks, deep into the Tipperary half. Over it flies to Tony Doran. Tony turns, twists, falls, bounds up, and with a mighty surge, bursts through… and buries it!!
I was off the wall, on the pathway! Scything with my imaginary hurl, scoring, pointing, hooking, blocking, with the Boys of Wexford in Croke Park.
The game raged on
Jack Berry catches a high one, tears past TJ Ryan, and far out, lets fly. Up it goes, soaring high, high, high, sixty-three thousand pairs of eyes on it in Croke Park Dublin, mine on it in Catford, South-East London. By sheer force of will, we floated it, majestically, between the Tipperary uprights.
We were inspired!
Another long one deep into the Tipperary half. Paul Lynch rises, catches, passing to the running Jack Berry. Jack’s in full flight. Darts left, dodges to the right, and fires. The net billows! Another Wexford goal!
Croke Park erupted in Dublin!
I erupted in Catford, south-east London!
Out it came again, a long ball aimed down the field for Tipperary’s Jimmy Doyle. But Jimmy was hurting, off his game. Running on to it was Wexford’s Nick O’Donnell, booming it up the field to Phil Wilson, a flick to John Quigley, and then to the mighty Tony.
And to me in South East London.
Tony and me! Up we went, going high and hard, snatching it from Tipp defenders, and before we’d even hit the ground, palmed it, swivelled, and fired, rattling and billowing the Tipperary net to the roar of the worldwide Wexford voice!
We were ahead. On we hurled.
Tony and the team in Croke Park.
Me in Catford, South East London.
We hurled, tackled, blocked, and hooked. We were men possessed.
Our lungs burned, our legs screamed, our shoulders ached. And on we hurled. The pitch got bigger. The ball got smaller. Moving was like pushing through thick mud.
The Boys of Wexford in Croke Park. Me in Catford, South East London.
The scores were building. The points were mounting. Two more times we smashed the Tipperary net. We inspired ourselves. Committing sublime, murderous strokes like relentless assassins.
And then it went; the shrill, thin, merciful blast of the final whistle.
Wexford 5-8, Tipperary 3-12.
We, Wexford, were the All Ireland Champions.
Sitting on the wall, relief, elation, pride, the sense of identity, all in an exquisite sadness, flooded through me in body-shocking sobs.
“Why’re you bawlin’?” asked Tipperary. He was at the windowsill, sucking on a Gold Flake. “Ye’ve just won the All-Ireland!”
I took a breath. The sobs subsided. The cheering and the noise faded. I turned to that kindly Tipperary man.
The change that had swept over Croke Park in Dublin, and into my life in Catford, Southeast London, in that thirty-five minutes of hurling history, expressed everything I felt. “I’m going home.”, I said.
But not to that flat around the corner, where I ate, slept, existed.
But to the fields and the ditches, the laneways, the high hedges, the cottages on winding roads, the chance meetings on crossroads, the rabbits, and the fields at evening, lit by slanting suns, where shadows drifted by...
Shane Lowry, Michael Caine and the Art of Performance…
The past week has given us two epic hurling matches and a magnificent achievement by an Irish golfer.
All this has given rise to conversations about performance.
One recent conversation highlighted the levels of skill and accomplishment by people today. There has been a huge improvement in performance at all levels. And it doesn’t matter where it’s in the area of business, art, or sport or anything else.
The levels of skill in all areas have improved dramatically. They are now taken for granted.
Recently I heard an interview with Michael Caine the actor, in which he spoke about manipulating a state of relaxation in spite of feeling nervous, apprehensive, fearful.
He realised early in his career that in order for him to access his resources, his abilities, and his talents, he needed to be relaxed. And he found a way to achieve this in spite of the nervousness and apprehension that may have been prevailing.
A foremost golfing coach in the UK, Jane Storey, spoke of the composure achieved by Shane Lowry, and how he used it to achieve his aim and win the Open. She also spoke of how Rory McIlroy appeared to have reacted to his own performance in the game, and how his game appeared to deteriorate as a direct consequence of his own reaction.
This coach shows her students how to be relaxed enough to use themselves to the best of their ability.
Interestingly, she now declares the most effective way to achieve this is by using Breathing practices, and has incorporated Breathwork as a major factor in her teaching.
The global explosion in interest in using our breathing patterns to determine our mental and emotional states is now without question.
Science now supports what we have all believed all along; that a healthy body promotes a healthy mind, and a healthy emotional stability.
Breath work is fast becoming a stable system in the field of human performance in any endeavour. Any endeavour at all.
It may do you well to revisit your breathing notes, study them, and apply them.
You may not win the Open, or get the leading part in the next Hollywood blockbuster, but you’ll greatly enhance the chances of achieving what you’re at…!
Stay well. Keep breathing
19 Keep it simple, Do it well…
I had a lovely letter from a lady recently saying how she put the most simple of principles to work and was delighted with the results, which were beyond all her expectations.
What has she done? She had bought the book, ‘Dynamic Health’, and simply put the instructions into practice.
As she had been very overweight, was having great trouble with her knees, which necessitated an operation. She had been particularly dejected because her doctor had told her she was too heavy to be operated on.
She followed the instructions in the book, lost a lot of weight, toned up, got herself basically healthy and well, and made herself eligible for the necessary operation.
The operation was a great success. The lady however kept practicing the principles she had learned, and this contributed hugely to a rapid and successful recuperation.
Keep it simple. Do it well.
Pretty well applies to everything, doesn't it?
Harvard Business Review had an article in which they mentioned the $90 billion a year spent on training.
They said a lot of it was wasted because of the amount of content in many courses, programs, and books.
Courses tend to get judged by the quantity of content.
What is important is not what is in the book, but what is taken from it, and, more importantly, gets applied. Thus, when I heard a Guru recently telling everybody to read a book a week, I wondered at the wisdom of that advice.
How much of the content would be assimilated?
How many times have you read a book, only to find yourself going back over it for points that resonated, so that you could apply them to your life?
Bruce Lee summed it up very well in his statement, “I don’t fear the person who has practiced 10,000 kicks, as I would fear the person who has practiced one kick, 10,000 times.”
There might be a lesson there for us all, in any context;
read less, write less, talk less.
We were talking recently about exercise and benefits. The question of which exercise is best came up.
Of course, everything is in context.
So, it depends on what you’re doing the exercise for.
For fundamental health, well-being, and fitness, practically any exercise activity will do.
The objective here is to work the heart , work the lungs, and work the circulation.
That’s what every exercise activity should do anyway. So if you prefer a particular type of training, that’s the one to use.
The trick is to do it with vigour. It needn’t be murderously hard, or outrageously long, it just needs to be reasonably Intensive, and above all, frequent.
When exercise is done frequently with attention to form and control, it will work wonders for the body and the mind.
As the mind and the body are inextricably linked, the positive activity generated by the exercise, focuses the mind, which leads to an overall sense of positive expectation, and the highly desirable effect that this has on the whole person.
Think about this; which kind of activity do you prefer?
At what time of day do you like exercise?
How often do you like to train?
Give this serious consideration, and then develop a schedule round the activity that you prefer.
And then do it.
Fit For Purpose…
‘Fit for life’ is a phrase we hear much about today. Many people imagine fitness is got by training three hours a day, eight days a week, in the gym, or by running marathons, triathlons and other extreme training efforts.
That’s one way of doing it. One way. There are others, plenty of others. For over 50 years, I’ve been training people, from accomplished athletes, to those who have little or no interest in physical activity, in getting into shape, getting more from themselves, getting more from their lives, and with a lot less wear and tear.
That, to me, is what living is about; making the most of who you are, where you are, with what you’ve got.
It also depends on what you want your fitness for; if it’s marathons and triathlons, you need to prepare accordingly.
Fitness for living however, can be a different matter. To be well, healthy, and fit for life, needs a regime that uses mind, body, and what resources we have within us, to achieve this aim. And it can be simply done, has in fact, by thousands.
This is a program that works from the inside out. It requires attention, practice, and a reasonable discipline.
Once these are applied, the regime can be practised by anybody, at any age, and to very good effect, at any level.
Whether you’re a complete beginner, or an active athlete, doesn’t matter. The beginner will achieve a fundamental and useful level of health and wellness, the athlete will enhance the value of his or her activities.
It all starts with the decision.
If you feel you’d like to get more from yourself or your life and you don’t know where to start, get in touch and we can talk for five minutes.
What do you hear may be of real use to you, or who knows, maybe it won’t be for you.
But if you’re curious, and you have an open mind, ring or email or text.
Making the enquiry is a step that many have taken, and they moved on from there, step by practical step.
And you’ve absolutely nothing to lose.
Use this number: 087 2321128
How to Succeed at Failure…
‘We are all big in our family ‘.
‘ I am a vegetarian it can’t work for me...’.
‘The New Year will be a good time but not right now ...’
‘It wouldn’t work for me because ...’
All specious arguments. Every one of them.
And they work because we believe them. We really do.
Truth is, we don’t want the inconvenience of change, or the effort of starting.
Also, failing to do anything about what we want to achieve, has become our comfort zone.
We now have a belief, and a value, that what ever we try, it will not work. It will fail.
It is a belief that serves us poorly. But it is our belief.
And our beliefs are precious.
And the only way we can keep our belief and sustain this particular value is by making sure nothing interferes with it.
Which is how, in that instance, the only way we can succeed, is by failing.
The Power of Decision..
Most of the important things in daily life are accomplished by doing the simple things in daily life.
That’s why a lot of things that are simple, aren’t easy.
Simplicity is sometimes confused with ease.
It’s simple to exercise, to eat well, to go to bed on time, to get up early, to be nice to people, to display good manners, to buy some flowers for your wife, or a little gift for your husband, or wish someone a good day.
But a lot of these things we regard as hard to do. And like Henry Ford said, ‘Whether you think it’s hard or easy, you’re right.’
Yes, I know; he didn’t say that exactly, but it’s a paraphrase.
Here’s a trick you might find useful. About forty years ago, I started finishing my morning shower with a stone cold blast of the water. Simple. But for the first week it wasn’t easy. Then the body amd the mind adjusted to it. It did get easy. In fact it got so enjoyable and beneficial to my mind and my attitude that I wouldn’t even consider finishing a shower otherwise. It turned me into a full-blown morning person.
There was no particular motive to do this. It was a random decision. But one of the best I’ve ever made.
The cold blast was electrifying. It drove the circulation, opened the eyes, guaranteed a really vigorous rubdown with the towel that’d grind the scales off a pollock.
Perhaps the best kept secret in the world of fitness, is the magic of .....Resting, stopping, coming to a halt, clearing the mind, calming the emotions.
R and R.
Rest and Recreation.
Rest and .....Re-creation.
After exercising, when you are resting, recuperating and repairing, is when your fitness development takes place.
Rest and re-creation is probably the most overlooked factor in nearly every fitness and wellness program.
After exertion, the body needs rest. Learning how to stop , rest and revitalise is a simple skill.
But like every skill, it needs attention, mindfulness, awareness. It needs to be practised.
When do you do this simple procedure, your mind and body and nervous system become conditioned to it. They learn how to assimilated the practice into living. Rest and recreation, re-creation, become a condition, and a practice, in every day life.
This enhances the value of training. The body learns the cycle of exertion, rest, and repair.
It’s simple, natural, wholly effective.
This is one of the main advantages of becoming mindfully aware.
A conscious awareness of how we are functioning on a day to day basis helps us use simple procedures and accessible practices.
Nobody, Nobody, can say she or he hasn’t got the time. The practice of mindful awareness brings this into simple living.
Posture improves. breathing is more efficient.
Energy increases, concentration sharpens, mental and physical stamina abound.
Living well is a skill. Like any skill, it has its fundamentals. They can be learned.
Then you only need to observe the three laws;
Know what to do.
Know how to do it.
Get on with it.
Many people are aware of the benefits of exercising in very general kind of way. They know that when the exercise regularly they feel better, they have more energy, and they’re thinking abilities or more efficient.
There are precise reasons for this. The first one of these reasons is that the heart, the circulation, the lungs, all function more efficiently and feed the cells of the body with oxygen, water, and nourishment.
When we’re not active, none of these functions work as they were intended to. The body becomes like a river with the source drying up; all the life in the river is deprived. Riverbanks dry up, the vitality of the river diminishes, and we are left with a drying, lifeless, trickle of a stream.
Here are some facts for you to ponder when you exercise regularly with a little bit of vigor:
1. Your heart muscle becomes more fit, more efficient, doing more work with less effort.
2. Your arteries become more pliant, with their coating of muscle getting stronger, and more elastic, helping blood flow through the body, and hugely reducing the risk of cholesterol.
3. Your muscles become more toned more relaxed, facilitating an efficient circulation, which is greatly preventive in heart and associated illnesses.
This applies at any age.
4.Your lungs become more active, getting more air, supplying the essential oxygen to the blood stream. This is the key benefit in all activity.
5.More red blood cells are created to accommodate the extra oxygen. Nature is a great organiser and lets nothing go to waste.
6. This increases the number of cells revitalised by the oxygen, and an increase in cellular waste excreted from the body, also by the action of oxygen.
7. This also has the effect of having enough oxygen in the body to transmute nutrients into healthy body tissue.
The best diet in the world is only as good as the body allows it to be.
8. Because of the regular exercise, body and mind activity is more regulated, which is one of the main reasons why exercise has such a beneficial effect on sleep and rest.
9. The increase in lung efficiency means a better supply of oxygen and energy to the brain cells. The brain is the centre of the nervous system. Every function in the body related to the well-being of the nervous system, such as the endocrine system, that is, our ability to produce and have a balanced supply of hormones, is greatly improved.
10. To accommodate the extra blood cells, more blood vessels are created. This ensures a rich and regular supply of oxygenated circulating blood cells to every other cell in the body.
So when you feel better after exercising, and let it become part of your life, it is not a psycho somatic reaction.
It’s a sound, physical, undeniable effect of your training.
Stay on it.
Have a Great Day and Do Well..
The Miracle of Exercise…
After peace of mind, and nutrition, a very large percentage of people in the 101 healthiest people under review, regarded exercise as the next most important factor in their achievement.
Now there are many types and kinds of exercise.
Apart from the conventional aerobics, weight training, spinning classes, jogging and so on, a lot of the vital-energy type activities are gaining popularity. Yoga, Chi- gung, Pilates, Tai Chi have become hugely popular and are very beneficial from the point of view of Flexibility, concentration, and the ability to learn a form of relaxed focus.
Weight training, in gyms and at home is even more popular. This is not surprising as there are great benefits for anyone, at any level of fitness.
If weight training is done regularly and without too much weight, it can be used as an aerobic workout, as a muscle toning work out, and is known to strengthen joints, bones, and improve the powers of concentration.
It can be done at any age. Big weights are not necessary. As long as there is enough weight to give resistance to the movement, huge benefits can accrue to anybody.
Many men and women are now finding that a regular, precise, reasonably intensive workout with weights, improves health, increases energy, and increases resistance to colds, fatigue, and many kinds of illness.
Because the muscles are directly involved in the training, they tend to be very relaxed after work, and continue working naturally, giving a huge boost to the circulation and to the metabolism.
Weight bearing exercise has also been found to greatly diminish the incidence of osteoporosis, in some cases. Even reversing it. To us of a certain vintage, this fact is heartening. This is one of the reasons why middle-aged people, and those older, are now training regularly with weights.
Speaking of hearts, the one way to a healthy heart is to exercise it.
Precise weight training has a profound effect on the condition of the heart muscle, the arterial muscle, and the overall circulation in the body.
There is your best preventive measure against heart and related diseases.
There are some miraculous effects of regular adequate training.
I’ll tell you about those the next day.