I know, right?

What a thing to say in a world that is so focused around getting to the next level, pushing and climbing your way to the top. And for what? Do you feel happy? Is that success?

I dunno, I must be getting soft in my old age, but now more than ever I’m more inclined to put myself in only the situations that bring my joy. When I’m happy, I thrive. I like feeling restored, energized, positively happy, and I really like to help others feel that way too. It’s super cool to help someone make that flip. That’s what we talked about in therapy this week; how to make that switch with as limited emotional duress as possible. A part of that is reflecting on my days and recognizing what I’m grateful for. Do you do something similar?

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The shadows show more than the eye can see as I ride back home up the monster hill. It’d been far too long. 

Today was a really nice day. I rode my bike for the first time seriously for commuting

purposes. I want to get back to that again. I just feel so much better. It’s freeing. And that’s what I want to write about, how once you find something that’s freeing, you should do it. And do it for as long as it brings you peace. One of those things for me is cycling.

 

 

 

 

This whole weekend was great actually. I’m very happy to be back enjoying movement again. Saturday I was invited by my friend, Jess Smith to accompany her for a Yoga class that’d feature us in the beautiful Yoga Passage, a gorgeous studio fulll of beautiful humans, here in downtown Calgary, Alberta.

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However, prior to the super mindful, health conscious Mike – the rock star lifestyle Mike happened…

unfortunately for my wellbeing, but par for the course (as an industry it’s not uncommon to be out all night) I had to “take one for the team”. I  ended staying out waaaaaay past my bed time after the Canada’s Music Incubator, AE West program wrapped up. Well, of course I’d like to go to the afterparty….

……

There’s a lot of stories. So I’ll give you a bit of Matt Blais… good friend of mine and our shenanigans with some food (that turned out to not even be ours!)

Let’s just focus on how great the music was. Canada, you have a lot of amazing talent coming up out of the West. I’m happy to help foster and develop all of these amazing talents.

This is Atlaas – she’s from Winnipeg and you should check out her EP. She’s an amazing soul. And that voice…

 

but yeah… and I got in around 4:30 am. Good thing I didn’t have any plans until Jess and I had yoga to cleanse the soul and stretch the mind and body…

Sunday I got up, headed over to a train an in-home couples training session and then ripped to the stairs to hit up Sunday Funday.

After the workout, I ripped home let Dar out and got down to toss a Teddy Bear on the ice at the Hitmen game. Here’s what that looks like. Must have been somewhere near 22,000 Teddy Bears out there.. it’s an annual thing. Super fun. I go every year.

I did have this weird revelation that I’ve had in passing before. I nearly bought an art set with canvas, an easel and something like 110 pieces. I have no idea how to art though. Are any of you artists? What would you recommend for someone who is looking to get into it? I feel pretty strongly about abstract art. I like rad stuff. I have a lot of energy and creativity and for some reason art seems like a really cool outlet when I don’t music.

Any recommendations for what to go for, what to look out for and the like would be awesome.

And in the meantime… find stuff that fuels your creativity, fuels your happiness and I really think. you’ll see that success thing everyone is always talking about. Don’t beat yourself up if you haven’t done this and feel silly for not figuring it out. Sometimes it takes getting out of your lane in order to find what you’re lane truly is.

Thanks for reading. Until next time, stay sweet.

M

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As I stand here, warming up in the bomby -2.5C Calgarian November morning, I look around to see nothing but open park, glorious cityscape and a few tourists over the stairs at Crescent Heights. The same stairs that the team and I meet every Sunday, at 11:07.

Not this Sunday though. I was the lone wolf.

I heard lots of inquiries, lots of interest, some were unfortunately sick and others had previous engagements and that’s all fine. I’m okay if you don’t show up. I have zero influence on what people prioritize until they see what health and wellness will do for them.

Ironic because most of the excuses I hear revolve around “I’m tired, I’m gonna sleep in, I’ve been working nights, I’m getting sick, I have no time for that…” which all stem from the root of why you should be joining me every Sunday at 11:07!

I don’t do this because I like it all the time. I do it because I know the alternative of depression, anxiety, poor conditioning, sickness, lethargy, zero motivation, ambition and the feeling of insecurity far outweighs the shitty 35:07 of a little hard breathing, muscle soreness and pounding heart. Yeah. I show up.

I’d encourage you to do the same the next time you say you will. Physically and mentally. At the end of the day, you’re only letting yourself down.

I did my reps.

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 does it mean to down regulate?

Some people say yoga, stretch, relax, walk, meditate. Well, all of those things could be ways for you to down regulate, but really what I suggest is asking yourself the question – “What do I enjoy doing the most?” What activities do you do that bring a sense of calm, inner peace and a slowness to your breathe unlike anything else?

For me, it can be music or motion, creating, thinking, learning. Other activities that bring me ultimate freedom are when I go for a long bike ride, or a walk with Darwin, my pooch. I just feel like I’m not expecting anything, can embrace nature and live and breathe slowly and focus. It’s a cleansing type of feeling for sure. I hope you have something that makes you feel that way.

I really enjoyed my weekend of “chill vibes”. It was full of down reg. I was able to produce a couple videos, in which I played drums in my first drum cover (stay tuned to Wednesday’s post for the link to my YouTube if you’re into that…) and I was able to do some yoga-fused dynamic stretching, again making a video. Check it out below…

In any case, figure out what things bring you happiness. You can choose to move or sit still. It’s all about finding peace, quieting your mind and learning to breathe again.

Try it out. Please comment and let the rest of us know… How do you down regulate?

Til Wednesday, stay sweet!

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Featured image: Photo by Jamison McAndie on Unsplash

A lot of folks don’t know the natural benefits of raw foods. So let’s open up discussion on one of them; beets.

Historically, these bad boys have been described as medicine, not just food. A true testament to their full potency. Here are my Top 11 points that should encourage you to pour a glass of natural beet juice every once in awhile.

11 Reasons To Drink Beet Juice

  1. Beets contain betalains. Two of which, betanin and vulgaxanthin contain loads of goodness, including antioxidants, anti-inflammatory and detoxification properties.
  2. 1 Cup of raw beets contains just 58 calories and 2g of Protein
  3. 1 cup of raw beets contain 6% DV of iron
  4. Lower blood pressure! Beets contain nitrates. Research shows that the high number of nitrates will immediately lower your blood pressure.
  5. Detox! Beet juice will help detoxify your liver, dump toxins and rebuild liver cells. Boom. Rad.
  6. Prevent premature aging! Lycoprene will help keep your skin elastic, so beets help prevent aging
  7. Energy! That nitric oxide produced from the nitrates will help you boost energy
  8. Lower blood sugar! Those dang soluble fibres found in beets help aide in reducing glucose in the blood stream.
  9. Improve sexual performance! Those nitrates are back at it. When they get converted to nitric oxide that stimulates blood flow. Bow chicka bow wow!
  10. May help arthritis and joint pain
  11. Helps to improve cognitive function. You will reduce your chances of dementia due to increased blood flow from the high amounts of nitrates found in beet juice.

Want to improve your nutritional profile this fall? Try my 10-day detox. Just subscribe to my Newsletter here and I’ll send it off to ya!

Attention all drummers!

Try this one out before your next rehearsal and unglue your shitty forearms.

Here’s what to do.

1. Grab a LAX ball, or a tennis ball to start cause this can get NASTY.

2. Hang you wrist off of a counter or over your snare.

3. Roll the ball over your forearm, up close to the elbow.

4. Find the spot that sings like Shakira and hold it!

5. Make a fist. Try not to cry. 👶

6. Relax, open your fist and repeat all the way down closer to the wrist.

HIYA! Take that, wrist pain.

I’ve got some more books to help you on the road with exercise and nutrition if you’re the career-minded musician. First three to comment below and tag their band get a FREE e-copy. 🤘

🎶 by The Heist – “Let it Go”

Go check out my YouTube channel, subscribe for a weekly dose of awesome.

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCeP8bF4NNmv_HqkcHfrtNgA

‘Til next time, stay sweet.

Calisthenic or “body-weight exercise” often goes underrated in the world of fitness. Overshadowed by the likes of the latest Spin Class, or CrossFit “Workout Of The Day” (WOD) – and don’t get me wrong, I love my friends at YYC Cycle & at CrossFit Above All – but social media has coached us into moving our body with some sort of apparatus generally speaking.

I am here to dispel that notion and shed some light on another way; a way for people that enjoy getting in shape with the things that they have around them… Like a stair case, a wall or the playground their kids hit up on the weekend.

What is calisthenics? 

Simply put, sequences of “primal” movement patterns (squatting, lunging, pushing, pulling and twisting…)

Many people consider body-weight exercises as elementary or “rookie” because of the media’s misconception of the strength training fuelled by the big box gym and companies that sell shit that they want you to buy. Really though – we all have the resources right in front of us. And if you are still skeptical about how body weight training could possibly make you strong, check this fella out. Ido Portal is a God of movement and one of my favourite specialist to model programming from. Here is a bit of his practice. Tell me what you think.

If you are interested in learning more, click here for a primal movement pdf to help you learn the basics.

I am offering a 6 week body weight training program too. In person and remote. Click here if that sounds like fun.

Thanks for reading. Stay sweet!