Positive Thinking Myth: “Smile or Die!”

Dear Yoga Student,

A recent student asked me:

“Why is it that people who are obsessed with
positive thinking are always so miserable?”

I didn’t have a good answer because it’s usually
true. And even more true is that the most positive
people I know have no problem whatsoever having
a bum day – or even a bum month – because one
of the most positive thing you can do is to get

If you can relate to this, watch the short video above.

Stay bendy,

Yoga Electrolytes

p.s. Please post your thoughts/comments below…
I’d love to hear what you think.

Your Biography Becomes Your Biology

Dear Yoga Student,

I came across a quote the other day by author/speaker
Carolyn Myss that really struck a chord.

She says:
“Your biography becomes your biology.”

What you do, what you eat, how you live your
life quickly becomes who you are on the very
visceral knees, ankles, shins & toes level.

With yoga and nutrition, I like to think of each
day as a building block, a biography being written
that is constantly updating my biology.

How is this practice, this pose, this food going
to create my body tomorrow?

Things to think about:

(1) What is your “story” and how is that freeing
or limiting your body and health?

(2) If you could rewrite your story (or change
the ending), what would you change?

(3) If your actions are your building blocks, what
actions can you start taking now to ensure your
“happy ending” comes BEFORE the end?

Stay bendy,

Yoga Inversion Swing

p.s. Love to hear your thoughts on this. Post them
on the bottom of this page here if you’d like to share:

Discipline vs. Flow (which is better?)

Dear Yoga Student,

Traditional yoga relies on specific sets yoga postures done over and over until mastery.

Here’s how it works:

(1) You go to class.

(2) The teacher gives you some poses to do in a specific order (poses that she has practiced for YEARS and that work for her and her students).

(3) You do those poses 6 days a week until the teacher tells you to do something else.

Ashtanga, Sivananda, Integral, Bikram – all these styles rely heavily on the structure and discipline of a fixed sequence.

And here’s why I get pissed off…

There’s a movement among senior yoga teachers to “do whatever you feel in the moment” or to “do spontaneous yoga!”

Now if you’ve never done this before, it is a lot of fun, and it is a great way to practice… sometimes. Like on the weekends. Put on some music with some friends on a Friday night, roll out your mats and just play. I love that.

But here’s the BIG catch. You’re probably not really ready to flow yet (hardly anyone is), and if you “free flow” every day, you won’t experience half the juice that structured yoga practice has to offer…

… most of which are real life benefits, not even anything to do with the yoga poses themselves.

And here’s the rub: every one of those teachers that advocate free flow, spontaneous yoga practices comes from a highly structured, disciplined background.

To understand this better, think of a gifted child piano player. She plays Mozart, she plays Bach. She’s awesome Wins the talent show.

She plays her whole life, every day for an hour; but by the time she’s 40, she never plays the classics anymore. She plays jazz at a local cafe on Sundays. She sits down with a drummer and bass player – sometimes people she’s never met before – and they just play.

And it’s awesome. It’s magic.

And it’s actually BETTER than the highly structure disciplined practice she knows so well but is now ready to leave behind.

But the ONLY reason she can improvise and jam on the fly is because she spent decades hammering away at the fundamentals. Learning the classics. And getting the notes ingrained into her body and mind forever.

Flowing is great fun, but for now, use it as a fun break from your discipline. Success leaves clues, and in yoga, structure is always the mother of success.

Stay bendy,

Want More Strength in Yoga?

p.s. What do you think about this “do what your body
wants” practice idea? Share your thoughts here below…

Yoga Students – Get Motivated!

Dear Yoga Student,

When it comes to anything health and fitness
related, your level of motivation often makes
all the difference.

Highly motivated people plow through the world
like Mack Trucks with no brakes; while those with
lackluster motivation suffer from the incredible force
of inertia…

… and the question you always have to ask yourself
is: “How bad do you want it?”

Because with health, what I LOVE, is that everyone
can have it. We’ll all die some day, sure. We might
get really sick sometimes too. But the rest of our
lives, health is just waiting there for you to create
it – to take it. It’s one of the ONLY truly equal
opportunities on the planet.

BUT… what about the days when you just can’t
get out of bed?

OR… those mornings when you just can’t be
bothered to prepare something healthy for

AND… the times when it’s just so much easier
to zone out in front of the tube instead of
taking an hour, 30 minutes, or even just 15
minutes to invest in your health?

We all have those moments, and here’s what’s works
for me…

If you REALLY do want it (deep down), then it’s your
obligation to motivate yourself by whatever means

Go nuts.

Sometimes that means taking a few moments of silence
to get clear, and other times you need to do something
really ridiculous like looking yourself in the eyes (in the
mirror) and affirming everything in your life you love and
everything that you want.

Stay bendy,

Yoga Swings

p.s. The video above is absolute fascinating… the science
of motivation. You can apply the motivational techniques
to anything. Figure out how to incentive yourself based on
what REALLY gets your juices flowing. Intrinsic motiviation:

Wanna share your motivational ritual? [post it below]

Yoga Guru’s – Do you REALLY need one?

Dear Yoga Student,

For most people, their best quality is also their worst. Let me show
you what I mean.

I’ve always been a one-man show doing everything on my own terms
for as long as I can remember. In some ways, it’s done me a lot of

But in other ways, it’s been an idiotic waste of time. When I was a kid,
I used to spend hours trying to “invent” a pizza dough recipe in the
kitchen when there were dozens of great recipes to be had in any

I used to try to fix my motorcycle without reading any manuals – just
twisting screws and yanking on cables.

And the amount of times I’ve screwed up my computer… let’s not
even go there!

Then I found yoga.

My first teacher was a noodle of guy about 6 1/2 feet tall, and
whenever I did anything even slightly off, he’d get right up next to my
ear and growl:

“Stop messing around and do it like I told you!”

As stupid as it is, I don’t like people telling me what to do.
Fundamentally, I just don’t like it. How stupid is that?

People have been doing yoga for a zillion years, and yet I thought I
could figure it out on my own! Surprise surprise, I was a complete

Back then, it was hard for me to focus my eyes on one point, breathe
through my nose and press my hands together above my head all at
the same time (I’m not making this up).

More than once, I feinted in class, and the morning-after, I’d walk to
work with a limp. I put up a good bull-headed fight, but eventually,
Noodleman beat my independence out of me and opened me up to a
whole new world…

… a world where I could piggy-back on the work of other people and
move ahead 10x or even 20x as fast – at anything!

In the yoga scene, people are always looking for gurus and sages to
follow, but I was just looking for teachers of any kind, and I looked

Yoga geeks in the park.
Nutrition nerds at health food stores.
Fitness buffs in the gym.

I didn’t care then, and I don’t care now who I learn from (as long as
they’re good). I just love to learn.

One of my daily mantras became this: “I don’t know Jack, so today,
I’m going to find someone who does.” (very spiritual, eh?)

Where I’m going with this is that my best quality, my independence
and obsessive nature is also my worst. And your best quality is
probably stinks sometimes too.

Think about it.

Stay bendy,


p.s. Have you tried the Yoga Trapeze?

Yoga Covered by Health Insurance?

Dear Yoga Student,

Getting past the excuses NOT to do yoga is a big deal for most people
– because we can all think of so many reasons why not!

Too tired today
Too hippy dippy
Too difficult
Too easy
Too stiff
Too expensive

Whenever I run into a student of mine who hasn’t been to class in
awhile, the excuses WHY she hasn’t been practicing come gushing
out with no need for prompting.

Why is that?

Excuses are something we all have to struggle with, and personal
power is often a direct result of blasting through those excuses and
getting stuff done. Yoga included.

Most excuses are just excuses, but if you’re a yoga junkie, your monthly
membership can truly add up to a sizeable chunk of change at the end
of the year.

That’s reality, and it’s worth it…

… BUT the good news is, your health insurance provider (if you’ve got
one), might be able to knock one of those big excuses (too expensive)
off your list for good.

If you’ve got health insurance, give them a ring and see if you can get
reimbursed. I was super surprised to learn that many insurers do, in
fact, cover some portion of fitness memberships.

If you don’t have insurance or if your provider is non-cooperative, here
are some other ideas to consider:

*If you’ve got a progressive employer, put in a request for a ‘company
yoga’ classes to be held on site (paid for by the boss).

*If you’re an employer yourself, consider hiring a teacher to come
each your staff 2 afternoons per week (it’ll increase productivity,
trust me).

*Check out community classes in your area.

Ok, one BIG excuse down… the rest is up to you!

Stay bendy,


p.s. Here are the reimbursement forms for the following big

*BlueCross BlueShield Yoga Reimbursement Form

*Oxford Health Plans Yoga Reimbursement Form

p.p.s. If you know of more providers offering this program please post
below… thanks!

The Death of the New Year’s Resolution 2010

ABOVE: an interview with Will Smith to get you thinking…

Dear Yoga Student,

Today I’d like to officially and formally kill the New Year’s
resolution and replace it with the “90-Day Resolution Revolution.”

Here’s the deal:

Any yoga teacher will tell you that their yoga classes are packed in
January with slightly bloated students eager to get back on track
for the New Year.

(me, I accidentally lost 5 lbs eating tons of food over the holidays
because of my new YOGABODY Revolution program, but that’s another
topic I’ll tell you more about later)

New Year’s resolutions are awesome. I love goal setting, and too
see a gazillion people doing it at once really makes me excited.

But let’s be honest.

Hardly anyone ever follows through with even a fraction of their
resolutions. Old patterns are tough to break, and most people
can’t, don’t, or just plain won’t change.

How do I know this?

Because I have ruthless discipline. It’s disgusting how focused and
goal-oriented I can be, and even still, I flake out on some major
goals each year. And I’m sick of it.

There is NOTHING worse than letting yourself down, so enough

Forget the whole year of 2010. I’m looking at 1st quarter of 2010 only,
and I’m going to rock and roll.

Wanna join me?

The process is really simple. If you’ve got a laundry list of New Year’s
resolutions, that’s great (if you don’t have anything written… get to

What I want you to do is cherry pick 5-10 things you can do within
90 days (even if it means working your arse off), and make a new

This list is called your “90-Day Resolution Revolution,” and I don’t care
what your goals are or what format they’re in or if they’re totally
imbalanced or crazy.

They’re your goals, so go nuts. The only thing they MUST be is
specific. “I want to lose weight” it not acceptable. “I want to lose
8 lbs by March 1st” is golden.

My “90 Day Resolution Revolution” is here:

1. I’m going to read 24 books (5 down already btw)

2. I’m going to do the side splits between 2 chairs and then
make a video showing you how to learn.

3. I’m going to get my wife pregnant.

4. I’m going to do 3000 jumping jacks per week

5. I’m going to do 100 pull-ups per week on my Yoga Trapeze

6. I’m going to eat a minimum of 500 grams of dark greens everyday.

7. I’m NOT going to eat any sweeteners in any form (interesting experiment… results TBD).

8. I’m going to hire the world’s greatest Admin Assistant/Project
Manger to help me manage my zillions of projects.

9. I’m going to do a 5 minute full wheel pose in the middle of
Plaza Catalunya, and film it.

10. I’m going release the new and updated print version of the
YOGABODY Handbook (long overdue) along with 2 more top secret
YOGABODY projects.

Date I’ll Complete These: 1 April 2010

If you want to truly make 2010 the best year ever, let’s start small,
make it public by posting you goals below, and let’s hold each other

To the best year ever…

Stay bendy,

Yoga Home Practice Tools

p.s. In case you missed that, I honestly want to see your goals too.
Enter you goals below…

Jim Rohn Passed Away – You’ll Be Missed

Dear Yoga Student,

Jim Rohn has passed away, and I just wanted to
take a moment to acknowledge the man who, in
many ways, is one of the founders of modern
personal growth and development.

Just like in the modern yoga world, if you trace things
back to their source, almost every yoga teacher can be
directly linked to Krishnamacharya or Sivananda or

In the modern world of personal growth and development,
the same is true.

If you look at anyone from Tony Robbins to Wayne Dyer
to Deepak Chopra, all these powerful teachers can be
directly linked to Earl Nightingale, Dale Carnegie, and
the man of the hour, Jim Rohn.

Just to put things in perspective, Tony Robbins got his
start as a ticket-taker at Jim Rohn’s events.

So I’m a personal development junkie, and I started plowing
through Jim Rohn’s program’s years ago, and what always struck
me most about his work was his consistency, his clarity of
purpose, and his ability to simplify the profound through the
use of story.

The greatest teachers in the world are master storytellers and
have a gift for instantly connecting to the heart – and Jim Rohn,
to me is truly a great teacher of mine and a personal mentor.

Jim was known for his incredibly potent quotations, and the
one that always echoes in my head goes like this.

Jim said: “Better understated than overstated. Let people be
surprised that it was more than you promised and easier than
you said.”

I think everyone would agree that Jim did give much more than
he promised and surprised us again and again. So here’s me
saying: “Thanks, Jim Rohn, you will be missed.”

Stay bendy,


p.s. Some of my favorite Jim Rohn quotes below:

FAILURE – “Failure is simply a few errors in judgment, repeated every day.”

DISCIPLINE – “For every disciplined effort there is a multiple reward.”

EDUCATION – “Formal education will make you a living; self-education will make you a fortune.”

ATTENTION – “Give whatever you are doing and whoever you are with the gift of your attention”

GIVING – “Giving is better than receiving because giving starts the receiving process.”

HAPPINESS – “Happiness is not something you postpone for the future; it is something you design for the present.”

IDEAS – “Ideas can be life-changing. Sometimes all you need to open the door is just one more good idea.”