The practice of yoga changed my life...without changing me at all. It's a bold contradictory statement, I know. I am happy to share this statement with anyone. The confidence I have in who I am and how my yoga practice uncovers my true character keeps me very solid in my space.
How has yoga changed my life? It allows me to quiet my very over-active brain and observe my thoughts instead of engage with them. It allows me to test my resolve, push my boundaries and find ease in times of discomfort. It has built serious physical strength, and playful flexibility. My yoga practice allows me to stand my ground, love my body, appreciate those around me and more.
What I love about this yoga is that everything in my life has changed; physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, the way I love, that way I interact...yet, nothing has changed. The true teacher, what we call in yoga the 'sat guru', is already in us. My yoga practice has merely uncovered what was already there, in me, ling dormant. It has simply created space for me to evolve.
How can I take these lessons and create something bold out of them? Well, I am watching one of my long time goals unfold before my eyes. I have partnered with an amazing jeweler and friend to take quotes from my yoga classes which have hit close to home for my students, become mantras and glimmers of inspiration and we've create a rockstar jewelry line. When it started to unfold I wondered, "who the hell am I to do this?" I did not invent the alphabet or words, I did not invent yoga...What makes me so special that I can put the two together? Well, thanks again to my yoga practice for putting me in my place. Truth be told, I am me...someone with a passionate and intelligent point of view. I am dedicated to elevating people's lives and enhancing productivity and performance through passion. If the messages in this line of jewelry help me on that mission, then it is the right step and I'm going for it.
The inspirations that will be offered on the line of jewelry, called the evo concept, are as follows:
maybe, just maybe...
thank your for everything, I have no complaint whatsoever.
happiness is a practice
turn the corners of your mouth up
if you feel good, pass it on...
amore e verita (italian words for love and truth)
Thank you to yoga for uncovering my courage. Thank you to my students and athletes for inspiring me. Thank you for everything, I have no complaint whatsoever.
Contact me for additional info on how to be bold, or how to order your own rockstar inspiration..Strength@PoweredbyRegina.com.
..Everyone else is taken. - Oscar Wilde
When we stray from who we are and what we do best, we lose our authenticity. Others see through that. We cannot be inspiring if we are not being real. We are not elevating others if we are playing small.
So play real, play big and be yourself.
"Be yourself. Everyone else is taken."
Imagine this. A cop pulls you over for speeding through a town. He (or she) is a d-bag. (sorry to my friends who are cops.) Cop asks you if you knew you were speeding and you reply, (puppy dog eyes) "No, sir/ma'am." "Well" they say, "the speed limit is 30 and you're going too fast." Officer D-Bag takes your license and registration and writes your ticket. You have no idea what the speed limit actually is, nor do you care, considering it's late and no one is around. You're not using excessive speed and this badge just needs to meet his quota. Besides, speed limits are really just impositions meant to keep order for those who are incapable of being alert, those who should be living in Florida and the guido in his mom's bmw. Right? This cop is just a jerk.
Now imagine the cop pulls you over and asks if you know how fast you're going. "No sir/ma'am." Then the cop surprises you and says, "Listen, here's the reasoning behind this 30 mph zone. If someone is hit by a car doing 30mph there is an 80% chance they'll live. If that same person is hit by a car doing 40mph there is a 70% chance they'll die. Is it worth it for you to slow down?" Then he lets you go. Would you now follow the speed limit? Now that you are educated?
* This statistical info has been readily available for some time. However, the New York City Department of Transportation just put out a kick ass new advertising campaign shedding light on these statistics. Here's the link to see the ads. And here is a link to the NYC DOT study.
Not only does this touch on a communication issue, which I'm extremely passionate about and will get to another time. It touches on the issue of education, the presentation of knowledge. Education, knowledge, critical thinking abilities and the courage to question authority can be extremely valuable. When we understand the "why" behind what we do it allows us to take further ownership over our actions and choices. It removes the wool from our eyes and allows us to participate rather than be 'drones' who are just following. This affirmed understanding creates a deeper sense of confidence. * As I refer to education I do not mean a paper degree. Formal education is extremely important in its own right but anyone can pay for a degree. That doesn't mean they've purchased understanding.
I could start a whole new tangent at this point speaking about the brain's conscious capabilities and its subconscious abilities. All I will say is, even when you're ears are not listening and you've tuned out, the brain is soaking in and processing information. Even if you think you are not interested, there is a lesson being absorbed by the efficient, emotional computer inbetween our ears.
Now I'll bring it back to what I do. My athletes understand why we train the way we do. They understand my training and coaching principles because I state the "why" to them constantly and they absorb it even when they don't care and are not actively listening. They do not have to be experts in what we are doing and I don't get overly technical in my explanations. They just have to grasp the intention and the reasoning. When they understand why we're doing something it leads to confidence. In fact, I've even caught them explaining some of our programs to other athletes. That confidence in their preparation leads them to performance because they believe in their foundation. When they believe in their foundation, the brain is free to focus on other things. They stop wondering "am I prepared for this?" and "can I do this?" and start thinking "I got this" and "how am I going to do this." All of this from a simple explanation.
All I'm saying is, either be the one to ask a question or be the one to share your knowledge. Watch how it empowers others how it enhances the way you articulate your areas of expertise and how this enhances human performance. The brain wants to be used!
As a Personal Trainer to Motocross athletes, I have found myself explaining what I do in conversations with other trainers and fitness professionals quite often. Understandably, being a trainer for Motocross Racers leaves many in the fitness field confused. "All they do is ride a motorcycle." "The motorcycle does the work for them." "They're crazy!" "How do you train them to do stunts?" I absorb the normal slew of questions and try to respond in a way that is palatable and does the level of competition and athleticism in the sport justice.
Imagine wrestling a 250 lb. man for two (2) thirty-five (35) minute training sessions. Imagine that you wrestle in the mud, humidity, heat, desert, sun and sand. Sometimes this dude weighs 250 lbs, and sometimes he weighs 300 lbs (depending how much mud is packed onto him). Now imagine this dude is a motorcycle. This is usually how I explain the load that my motocross athletes train for when I am speaking to someone who doesn't understand the sport at its most basic level.
While preparing for the season (and throughout the season) Motocross athletes put in practice lap after practice lap and start after start as part of their sport-specific conditioning. As an example; one day at a practice track may consist of race simulations (a moto is 30 minutes plus 2 laps), one day consists of sprints to practice getting up to speed quickly for qualifying, one day is corners and starts to work technique, one day is suspension testing and once in awhile a fun day of free riding fits into the calendar.
Our training programs consist of endurance training to build a cardiovascular foundation (like superman). Strength programs are constantly varying, applying load to primary and supporting muscles in different ways, using variable timing/tempo and angles. Yoga increases body awareness, teaches breathing techniques (which my athletes believe helps with endurance while on the track), enhances resilience to injury and improves focus. Sometimes kickboxing is thrown into the program (because training should be fun and it's always fun to hit your trainer) to assist with reaction timing, mental recovery and building strength and dexterity in the hips and adductors. This is a brief description of our physical preparation that leads up to race season. Nearly every day consists of time in the gym, on the yoga mat and at the track while leading up to the season.
What are they preparing for? Not only to wrestle the bike at speed during qualifying, practice and two motos...Now I must add the fact that 80 athletes try to qualify for each AMA MX National race and only 40 make it to the actual motos. Which means that 40 guys line up at the starting gate, elbow to elbow, ready to throw it down to get through the first turn first. 40 guys want the holeshot; one guy gets it. His focus, reaction time, breath, preparation, equipment and confidence all align and one dude (of 40) gets the holeshot.
Mentally, motocross is a game of adapting. Track conditions (and sometimes your equipment) change corner to corner, lap after lap. Maybe if you only had to deal with constantly varying conditions it wouldn't be so hard. But let's not forget that there are 39 other athletes on the track ready to pounce if you slip up or miss your line for a split second. Thinking strategy becomes second nature; not always conscious computations but rather intuitive understanding of cause and effect that comes as a result of constantly being under pressure.
Travel is exhausting. A full Supercross/Motocross season runs from January thru September over 29 race weekends, bringing us from Washougal, Washington to Daytona, Florida, Sacramento, California to Southwick, Massachusetts.
Put all of this together and you have one of the most intense and exciting forms of competition that you will ever witness in your life. Physically these athletes deal with the rigors of man-handling a machine at speed in all types of extreme conditions. Mentally they have to be prepared to compete on a track with 40 athletes at once while coordinating movements and thoughts that most of us couldn't imagine stringing together. Emotionally they can be susceptible to fatigue due to travel and abuse to the body. Part of my responsibility as a trainer is to educate, prepare and usually protect them from themselves in order to hold back burn-out.
Athletes? Absolutely. Elite athletes. Motocross at its highest level is not recreation, it is athletic brilliance. It is an amazing collaboration of coordination and physical and mental strength.
*This is meant to explain part of what I do, what my athletes do and what I love on a very basic level. If you're interested in learning more or have questions contact me.
Special thanks to Shawn Taylor of Shawn Taylor Media for the awesome photo of my athlete, Ryan Mills.
It is a beautiful time of year....a time of bliss, family, giving, abundance and fun. It's also a time of reflection.
I leave you with this statement by poet Rainier Maria Rilke:
"I beg you..to have patience with everything unresolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves as if they were locked rooms or books written in a very foreign language. Don't search for the answers, which could not be given to you now, because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything, live the questions now. Perhaps then, someday far in the future, you will gradually, without even noticing it, live your way into the answer."
Enjoy this amazing time of year. Enjoy the magic of the holidays. Enjoy the close of 2010.