Health

Tonight’s Yin yoga class at the Yoga NoHo Center is celebrating the 11th Moon— the Winter Moon— which is near the darkest (shortest) day of the year, the Winter Solstice. It is very Yin. Can you say even longer, long-hold postures? Yeah, I thought you could.

Trigram: Earth

This trigram consisting of three broken lines represents Earth (kun or k’un) and is considered Yin, dark & cold. It’s the symbol of the female principle in the ancient Chinese tradition.

Here’s the series—

  • Seiza— shins on floor, sitting on heels: 5′
  • Caterpillar— seated forward fold over outstretched legs: 10′
  • Gambling— deep squat: 10′
  • Square R— seated forward fold over crossed legs, right in front: 10′
  • Square L— seated forward fold over crossed legs, left in front: 10′
  • Twisted Root R— lying side twist with right arm outstretched on diagonal: 5′
  • Twisted Root L— lying side twist with left arm outstretched on diagonal: 5′
  • Saddle— kneeling back bend: 10′
  • Pentacle— lying supine, palms up, tip of index finger resting on thumbnail: 8′
  • Seiza— shins on floor, sitting on heels: 2′

Here’s the soundtrack—

Tibetan Flute Music + Om Chanting | Meditative Mind

Here’s a meditation on the Winter Moon—

Bamboo Grove
Sit alone, hidden in bamboo.
Pluck the qin and whoop with joy.
Forest so deep no one knows it:
the bright moon comes to shine on me.

— Wang Wei (699-759)

What better way to celebrate gratitude than with my loved one, TC, the warmth from a fireplace blaze and the traditional Thanksgiving California Yellowtail dinner?

Thanksgiving dinner.

Now that’s fresh! California Yellowtail that was swimming on Tuesday!

Last week, right before joining my Friday Night Yin… Yoga for Athletes class, one of the two Yoga NoHo Center owners said, “Hey, your class received a nice review on Class Pass.” I said, “Very happy to hear that,” and went about leading the 75′ long-hold, deep stretch workout, as usual.

Then, following a rain-soaked motorcycle ride home, a quick bachelor’s feast of canned tuna, pasta & salad, and the requisite close-of-day check of text, email & voice messages, curiosity got the better of me.

I searched Class Pass for the Yoga Noho Center in North Hollywood, clicked on “Reviews” and one recent comment for Yin Yoga (Deep Stretch) with Christopher popped right up:

This is one of, if not the best, yin classes in the valley

Wow!

Whoever you are, I’m very happy to hear that you’re enjoying my classes! Thank you for your participation and your review. Maybe see you in this evening’s Monday Night Yin…

Namaste.

January 2017

It’s under 60°. In Los Angeles that’s, um… cold. I’m under the weather, which is unusual. More unusual is that I’ve been fighting this malaise for over three weeks. Flu? Winter blues? Cracked header on Jeep leaking CO into cab? Dunno.

What is certain is I’d like to feel better. My friend Nancy, a physician, recommends strong medication. Stat! She’s means, “Dude, whip up your awesome chicken soup— A Bowl of Seasonal Warmth would be great right now. “Yeah, maybe.” I say, “But I’m not all that hungry. I’m thinking more along the lines of a hot toddy made with Hibiki whisky.” She says, “Dude, you don’t have to eat it, just make it.” (Meaning she’ll eat it.) Nice.

I head to Whole Foods to fill the Rx.

Ingredients:

  • Two bunches of celery.
  • Eight multi-colored carrots.
  • One big yellow onion.
  • Five yellow potatoes.
  • One bulb of garlic.
  • One leek.
  • Himalayan pink salt.
  • Black pepper.
  • Bragg organic “Sprinkle” herbs and spices seasoning.
  • Organic, extra virgin olive oil.
  • Five chicken legs, separated into thighs / drumsticks.
  • About three quarts of spring water.

Thirty minutes and forty-five dollars later I’m at home, and the prep begins.

Tools:

  • One big pot— I use an 8q Calphalon pasta pot.
  • 10” Skillet— I use a 100 year-old cast iron skillet.
  • 8″ Chef’s knife.
  • Serving spoon.

Compounding:

My process is simple. Chop celery and carrots into 1/2” pieces. Cut onion and potatoes into quarters, then halve the quarters. Peel garlic and slice each clove in half.

Sauté celery, carrots, onion and garlic in skillet, one at a time, with olive oil and Bragg seasoning. (Five minutes, or so.)

Stand leek on end in big pot, add potatoes, chicken, and sautéed veggies. Add water to cover contents, and salt and pepper to taste— for me that’s 3 tbsp of salt and 1 tbsp of pepper.

Fire up burner and bring to boil, then reduce heat to simmer. Stir carefully, put lid on (it won’t cover pot completely because of the leek), and every so often stir again. Cook until potatoes are soft, maybe an hour-and-fifteen minutes. And then, soup’s on!

 

Chicken Soup Rx

Chicken Soup— Just What the Doctor Ordered!

Dosage:

A taste from the pot is promising. First bowl— mmmmm!— perhaps the best I’ve made. Second bowl, just as good. And, if some is good, more is better! Third bowl— don’t know that I’m well yet, but I am feeling better. Hey Nancy, your prescription is right on!

But, with half the batch gone already, you better drop by soon.

It’s been said there’s a right way, a wrong way, and the Army’s way. Growing up a military brat I sat ringside to this truism. Today, while there’s not been wholesale change, at least fitness-wise someone’s been doing something.

Dollars & Sense

Spearheaded by Majors Charles Blake and David Feltwell, both physical therapists, Pose Method founder, Nicholas Romanov and his son, Severin, Pose Method is now being incorporated into the United States Army’s physical readiness training (PRT) routine because it’s standardized, thus easily taught and learned, and because Pose Method prevents injuries.

That last part’s a big deal because, ironically, soldiers suffer a far greater prevalence of injury from running than from battle! Since such consistent damage to government property at once reduces the fighting force and costs many millions of dollars annually, any viable solution should get the attention of the top brass. And, it did.

Long story short, the right way would become the Army way.

The plethora of Pose Method drills recently introduced into the Army’s Fitness Manual (see Military Running) allows you to learn for yourself exactly how the health, fitness, and performance of Army troops is now being improved– and medical expenses averted– step by step. For greater context, just search on this site for “running” and read more.