…mean you see the stars the most.” – K.Flay

K.Flay is pure magic.

Let’s start with her show. From the controlled chaos in the live performance of “Black Wave” to the introspective and hope-filled lyrics of “Dreamers”, this ‘Frisco native was a late bloomer to her now quite obvious calling. The first time I saw her perform was in the summer of 2017 as an opening act for my favourites, Mother Mother. After the first 30 seconds of her opening song, I knew this was going to be a superstar. Mother Mother had their work cut out for them, that’s for sure…

She lit it up.

Huge highlight for me from that show was her impeccable lyricist ability and unreal flow. Her a Capella, free form rap, mixed in with edge electronica-fused alt rock was just something I’d never heard before. Stand out.

Diving in a little deeper, her story is quite impressive.

I want to look at a line in her opening track “Dreamers” off of her 2017 release Everywhere is Some Where

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I came to in a cold sweat with a nosebleed feeling hopeless
Thought I maybe might be dead til I got my pen sat down and wrote this 

Suddenly I felt fine inside a mind so full of ghosts
The darkest nights mean you see the stars the most

The endless hope in this line is the motivation for me to keep pushing. What’s it mean to you?

It’s Bell’s “Let’s Talk” Day here in Canada today. For every text, share and like on social media Bell donates a nickel to help the Canadian Mental Health Association bring awareness to something that affects the majority of us. Yet, we’re still blinded by a stigma that cripples lives. Join me in spreading the love, saying “what’s up” to someone today and asking how they are from a genuine place. If you suspect some one is dealing with mental health issues, don’t stand by. There are plenty of resources out there to help get people well. Mind and body.

Check out my friend, and former bandmate, Joel Porayko’s project video on bringing an end to the stigma. Big thanks to all of you put yourselves out there. My MusicFit crew, my RMH crew, your support is endless and I am forever grateful.

Contact any of these providers if you or someone you know is battling with mental illness. Together we can bring an end to the stigma. Get well. Stay well.

My Top Three Picks For Mental Health Wellness Counselling and Awareness

CMHA (Calgary) (local assistance programs, links and counselling)

Unison Benevolent Fund (national assistance program for musicians and industry)

Elephant Artist Relief (local artist relief organization, they also have a whole directory of related organizations in the US and Canada)

Until next time, namaste sweet. And open up that conversation…

M

 

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Alright everyone, I told you I was up to something two weeks ago. I am periodically bringing on guest writers. These are professionals in the industry that are stoked to share their expertise and help give you all a different perspective on the learning thing. I’m very excited to bring to you my first guest, good friend, fellow Calgarian and amazing talent, Janis Isaman. She’s going to talk about her experience with the misconceptions of Yoga in the fitness industry and give you some insight of why it may or may not be the thing for you. Amazing how your understanding can totally shape the effect something has on your lifestyle. So without further adieu, I bring to you Ms. Janis Isaman…
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I get clients who stand in front of me talk about yoga in an offensive manner.
Offensive, as in: “I’ll do yoga on my days off from seeing you.” Aka: Yoga is a “rest day” program and therefore doesn’t “count” toward achieving “real” fitness goals.
(Note: I don’t want to wander into the “what is yoga” debate in this short post. So let’s simply presume we are talking about Yoga as the pursuit of moving your body, exclusive of any spiritual or mental benefits. So if you are a yoga teacher, don’t email me with the many meditative or spiritual benefits. Let’s just acknowledge that we both know and focus on asana for this post).
So here’s the thing.
Yoga is not “rest.” Sleeping is rest. Any pursuit of any kind that moves your body is movement, not rest.
We have a cultural obsession with things that “count”. And if there aren’t measurable caloric benefits from doing it, it must not “count”. If it doesn’t “count”, it necessarily gets lumped into  “rest, or even worse: “active rest.” Seriously: can we stop building programs that include “active rest?”
Yoga does not have to be done in a hot room or at full effort to “count”. I have personally experienced dramatic body transformation from practising yin, which theoretically burns no calories and should change anything about my body. But it does.
You can get injured doing yoga. I have.
You can change your body doing restorative yoga. I have.
You don’t need to punish yourself for “resting” the next day with a hard workout to make up for it. I used to do that.
Yoga can certainly vary in perceived difficulty. But doing things that are “easy” doesn’t make them “rest”. Next time you are on vacation, tell me that walking for 12 straight hours for 5 days in a row is restful on your body. You don’t need to be at maximum exertion to gain mental or physical health benefits.
In general, yoga is a complete movement system. Key word: movement. Even yin is movement. So yoga “counts,” every time.
Rather than thinking of Yoga as rest, we need to think of Yoga as balance. The busier you are, the more your body movement program needs to include body sustainability work and restorative work.
So if you are a mother of a young child, an executive, middle aged anyone, or a type A person: you probably need some yin or restorative yoga to balance out the busy and the drive.
The more sedentary you are, the more you need activity, effort and action in your body movement program. So: students and office workers, maybe consider some active postures and poses.
A fitness professional with yoga training can help you figure out an appropriate yoga program. Not to rest, but to balance the rest of your life and life choices, and to smooth the edges so that you can keep going.  Yoga is about sustaining you, not about resting while you are secretly doing Warrior poses.
Oh, and by the way….Yoga doesn’t necessarily EVER make you more flexible. You might be following instructions and cues that aren’t helping you. You might be doing things outside class that make it impossible to get gains. You might be doing movements that aren’t good for your body. Or you might be at bone compression and there no more range to gain. But that’s a whole other rant…
Contact Janis at www.mybodycouture.com where you’ll find all her social media, information on services and more awesome insight like this, her thoughts on cooking.
Photo by Farsai C. on Unsplash

What’s the hype about meditation, mindfulness, and other airy-fairy, hippy-talk such as manifesting, affirmations and positive self-care, self-talk and all this be the best version of yourself business all about?

Hmm.

It still surprises me to see any type of resistance towards any of this quite clearly positive stuff, but I still see it. A perfect example just happened to me.

Scrolling through Instagram, checking out what my friends are saying, seeing what’s up in their lives and then WHAMMY! This happened…

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You read that right. An old friend is just hating on the New Years Resolutioners. You know, the typical crowd that swarms the gyms across the countryside in search of nothing more than false aspiration that “this year will be the one…” and to do nothing at all but just get in the way to all of us regular, fit, normal, great, PRETENTIOUS, gym-goers. That’s right. I’m calling those who hate on the Resolution crowd out. I think it’s completely ignorant, selfish and pig-headed to have this train of thought. Here’s why…

Let’s examine the facts. There’s an influx of people taking care of themselves and you’re going to get mad? Are you out of your mind? Sit on this for awhile. Let it stew. Revisit it if you think this way, because I hope you continue to read, maybe even get mad and defensive towards my argument. You are the person this post is aimed at. I hope you practice some sort of meditation. And if so, I sincerely commend you. If not; here’s another stinger:

“Everyone should meditate for ten minutes each day. Except those who don’t have time. They should meditate for an hour.” – Calvin Wayman

For those of us that are intolerant towards others trying to better themselves I think it’s a by-product of two things

  1. You just don’t know – and that’s okay, so long as you know that you don’t know. Stick around because you might have a change in attitude by the end of this post. Or don’t ignorance is bliss. But then you fall into category number two, as listed below…
  2. You just don’t care – unfortunately, this is where most of the folks that are intolerant towards the New Years Resolutioner’s are. And I’m coming from good background, as I’ve been a part of 10 of the annual “Hate On Resolutioner’s” anniversary and I think it’s about time I take action (you’ll hear a lot about taking action in the coming posts too..)

What Does It Mean To Be Mindful?

So here’s how mindfulness plays a part in all of this. And it could go off the rails so we’ll examine just a couple specifics this time, digest and come back to more mindfulness in other aspects of life.

Mindfulness to me is all about pausing yourself. Pressing pause on life for just a moment so you can observe your surroundings. Enjoy your place in the present moment. Stop hyper-analyzing everything that’s going on around you. Breathe. Connect. Listen. Watch. And take it all in. All of this comes before you react.

Now, anyone who’s read a bit of my literature before knows I’m pretty biased towards the paraphrased saying “We are in complete control of every situation we are faced with merely by how we choose to react…”Well, think of the gym in January as your opportunity to change that situation if you’re the typical regular that HATES New Years.

Pause. Understand that these people are here to better themselves and should not be shamed, guilted, ridiculed or otherwise intimidated from doing so. That’s just a dick move, so if you’re feeling this way – start to change your mindset.

If you’re excited, like I am every New Year about the tons of new faces, eager to better themselves and their lives and thus the lives of loved ones all around them, then just keep doing what you’re doing. Greet them, offer them a hand, start to get to know and welcome these new friends into your life at the gym. It’s a betterment facility. Only hurt people hurt people, so if you find yourself irritated at the sharp increase of traffic near YOUR squat rack… you’d better flip the switch. You have the choice.

The Significance of Meditation

Now, with mindfulness there’s many ways to achieve this higher state of self-awareness. I’d encourage meditation. And no, it doesn’t have to be a kumbaya-sit-by-the-fire-with-your-eyes-closed-wearing-tweed-beanies-and-capris-after-you-dreadlock-your-hair… you can take 5 minutes to lay face up in bed and focus on your breath and the sounds around you, or you can go for a walk through a park, or you can enjoy prepping and cooking a meal. All of these things count. It’s getting to a state where you’re better able to turn off, press pause and collect information about what’s going on around you.

Everyone’s different, so play around with it. It’s a race against only yourself though, so take it step bey step. And know that it’s okay to miss a few steps here and there. Start incorporating a little more mindfulness into your daily routine and things like busy gyms full of like-minded individuals that are collaborating in order to become better versions of themselves might not bother you so much anymore. Hell, you might even start to remember that time when you were just like them, just working on bettering yourself.

Make someone smile today. Be your best. Take action.

PAYCE!

SCHWARTZ