Shaolin Monk’s Core Rocks!

All About Abs No Comments »

shaolin_monk2.jpg shaolin_bowl_sucking.jpg For the majority of people, good abs are expressed in the form of a 6-pack. Ponder this clip: YouTube.

Often at the Shaolin temples, a monk puts a bowl against his abdomen, engages his abdominal muscles and will ask the largest visiting tourist to pull it off. Much to the surprise of all, the bowl sticks. While focused on trying to pull the bowl off the monk’s stomach, the tourist does not realize that he is unable to move the small monk off his feet.

The monk’s ab training and breathing allows him to withstand the tugs, jerks, and twists of the largest force. This is core conditioning at its finest: breathing, muscle control and stance.

When working the abs, there are two positions of action: concave and convex. Most people work in the convex/“tummy out” position because it is easier. Abs in the concave/“sucked-in” position is more body defining, and involves a greater level of thought and core control to execute the same activity.

The monk’s ability to suck in his abs to hold the bowl demonstrates incredible abdominal control that allows him to deliver force into this stance.

Over a lifetime, we learn to push our abs out when standing, bending over to pick something up, and also while sitting in front of a computer New Balance 891 Outlet. The convex/“tummy out” position has obvious effects on the body’s stature. It is only when we do extreme overhead lifting that we typically “suck in” our abdomen to stabilize the core.

As an exercise, try using the abs in the concave/sucked-in position in various activities: lifting an apple, bending over your desk, standing in line, etc. The next time you go to pick up an object, suck in your abdominals and tighten them before lifting. You might want to try it several times slowly until the work feels secure in your abdomen nike sale air max. This is a very intense abdominal exercise if done right. If you do not feel any different, you are not using your core. If you do access your core, you will feel a sense of control similar to the Shaolin monk.

Brush and Floss your Teeth

General Health No Comments »

teeth.jpg I cannot tell you how many times I have sent clients of mine to the dentist. I have been saying for years that oral hygiene affects the overall health and is preventative in certain health conditions. Yesterday’s LA Times Health section stated: long term gum disease “can contribute to diabetes, cardiovascular disease and stroke, pregnancy complications, and perhaps even Alzheimer’s disease, osteoporosis and some types of cancers. Infections in the mouth also may increase the risk to people undergoing several types of surgery, including transplantation and cardiac valve replacement.” If oral hygiene can affect long-term health, do you see how proper oral hygiene could impact simpler conditions like nutritional absorption, intestinal health, immunity to colds and wound healing time—which are the building blocks of good health Cheap Air Max 90 Carved. There is an expression, “Do not look a gifted horse in the mouth.” I do not agree. If you are plagued by a physical ailment such as joint pain, low back pain, headaches or digestive problems look to the mouth first.

Jake & Mozart

Leadership No Comments »

jakesart.JPG I have a friend, Jake, who is a gifted graphic designer and artist. I call him “Mozart” when he is in his artistic zone. The reason I call him Mozart is because he can produce art as effortlessly, cleanly and with as little revision as Mozart produced music. The work he creates is core connected with his abdomen, as well as to his Southern roots. His art comes to him easily, so he is constantly reinventing his artwork, finding new subjects, styles and themes to draw out his deeper gifts. I bring up Jake because he is my reminder to reinvent something I do well so I never take it for granted. This is my challenge to you, pick a common activity such as walking and reinvent it. Walk on uneven surfaces and keep your balance. Stroll along the beach and try to make all your strides the same length. Navigate through a safe area with you eyes close. Try making your steps as light as possible. Practice recovering from a stumble until it is not traumatic new balance buy online. Each of these little reinventions of a common activity will create mastery and also safety. So over a lifetime, the gifts you have been given will evolve for the better. This is how life should naturally progress—where you improve on anything you did as a kid. Master what comes easy to you, so you don’t lose that valuable skill. Jake’s Art

Take Care of Mr. Winky

Pain Prevention No Comments »

bike-seats.jpgseat1.jpg Reading an article in the LA Times about bike seats reminded me of a repeated experience that I had during my biking days. While blasting along on the 70th mile of a bike race, I experienced the worse case scenario. The night before, I decided to reorient my bike seat in order to put more weight into my legs. I had read it in a biking magazine and it seemed like a good idea. Little did I know, this slight modification of the seat caused a slight but constant pressure against…well…Mr. Winky. Mr. Winky is the most sensitive and reactive part of a male’s body, and to have numbness where life springs from was extraordinarily alarming. In fact it was numbness in a saddle distribution (for those neurological buffs it was in the Pudendal nerve or cauda equine distribution) which is bad. Let me just state for the record, Mr. Winky under any circumstance should not be numb. What did I do? I finished a race nobody remembers in third place and then curled up in the trunk of my car for an hour in fetal position as the circulation returned. My point: there are certain pains an athlete should not push through. Yeah, I know pushing beyond pain, conquering the elements, leading the pack and charging to the top are all very sexy elements that enhance athletic drama. Numbness, long term pain, muscular loss, pain into the joints, excessive swelling, altered sleep states or loss of function are symptoms of more serious long term conditions that should not be ignored. These symptoms usually manifest slowly, but have dire consequences in the long run . If you have encountered any of these symptoms, you should consult a properly trained medical professional to find a solution. Often the solution is simple, and more importantly, will allow you a long career in your sport. Remember, a smart athlete knows when to take care of themselves as well as when to kick some butt new balance 479.

102 year-young Woman’s 1st Hole in One

Posture No Comments »

elsie-mclean-102-yo-golfqueen04_06.jpg Hole in One
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I am always amazed by true feats of conviction and effort, but it is especially surprising when done by a 102 year young woman.
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Elsie McLean of Chico, CA shot her first hole-in-one last Thursday. In her 80+ year golfing career, she’s always wanted a hole-in-one. Last week, her persistence finally paid off. It goes to show that some things don’t come right away. Some people have to work their whole lives to see the same results as someone else in their youth.

When I speak, I always stress the importance of working posture multiple times a day. I know it’s a difficult task, but posture is something you work at your entire life. Some people are lucky enough to have good posture in their youth, while others won’t achieve it until much later in their lives, and after a lot of work. The point is that you don’t give up until you get it right, even if it doesn’t happen until you’re 102 years old.

Blind Texans Hunt?

Special Notes No Comments »

BlindHunter Bill would allow legally blind Texans to hunt
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Christine’s (my girlfriend) home state is Texas. Typically, I am not allowed to comment about her State in a negative light, but this is one of those moments where I must.
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As a person that is visually impaired and who also spent three months blind, I cannot say that hunting with laser sighted rifles was ever on the top of my list. It seems in the Great State of Texas there are enough blind people interested that legislation be drafted to regulate this pastime. I just love when people think….er…shoot outside of the box.curry 1 foot locker

Brave Women at Waimea

Leadership No Comments »


Remember the last time you were truly brave? The last time you went against logic and consequence…and won? The last time you put yourself in harms way knowing you would be safe because your instincts of bravery were stronger? Do you remember just by being brave how you became a leader?

When I was at Waimea Bay on the North Shore in Hawaii, I watched seven women bravely face a challenge. The challenge was a single rock that stood about 35 feet above the water. This remnant volcanic outcropping was both unforgiving, slippery, and the initial mount at the base had to be timed with the waves. Waimea is notorious for extremely large waves and strong currents. Even though this was the end of big wave season, these women were very careful at the base.
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It was clear there was not an exact plan except the end goal of getting to the top. But with each progressing step, an unmistakable movement with a concise design emerged. At the start, the first woman was the initiator, but with each step, all seven women undoubtedly creating a path to the top that all could follow.
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I am sure thousands have done this before, but in this moment these seven women were the lead reminders for all watching on the beach. Reminding each one of us, it is safe to face our fears.
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I often talk about being brave, because life is full of choices. Most choices are easy, seductive and convenient. Being brave is daring to go outside your comfort zone, lines of safety and boundaries of security to find a better place within ourselves.

These girls embodied bravery and leadership and like the Hiwatari (see previous blog entry) they reminded me of my own hidden strength. They reminded me that our genetics could survive a thrilling endeavor like their ascent and dive from the rocks. Mostly, I realized we are as vulnerable to the environment as I thought.
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Whether you are involved in a business transaction, involved in a sports league or interacting with family members; the challenge is leadership: Finding a path upward based on courage, instinct, insight and knowing, even if it counters prevailing belief systems. In doing so, you become a leader of an evolutionary movement that others can easily follow.

I Stand Corrected

General Health 1 Comment »

FatMan As seen from the Orlando Sentinel (03.17.07):
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Last week a man jumped from the back of a cruise ship and was found adrift 8 hours later. Michael Mankamyer, 34, fell 60 feet off the back of the Carnival Glory and drifted about 20 miles with the Gulf Stream in 70 degree water. Officials are not really sure how he survived for 8 hours in the open sea. “It’s pretty miraculous that he’s still alive,” said U.S. Coast Guard Petty Officer 1st Class Dana Warr. “It’s not that it doesn’t happen, but it’s few and far between when we’re trying to find someone that jumps from a cruise ship.” The reason most people do not survive is because they are usually overcome by hypothermia and drown. According to Richard Rotundo professor at the University of Miami’s Miller School of Medicine, “ His 300 pound girth might have helped. As a heavyset man, he was more likely to float than someone leaner.” The professor continues, “Someone who is really overweight and has excess fat, their body density would be less than water. Layers of fat also would insulate Mankamyer from the water.”
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When lecturing, I used to say the sole function of fat is to insulate. I have been proven wrong. Fat has a secondary function of acting as a floatation device. So when falling off the back of a cruise ship, make sure you have the proper floatation device to secure you in the choppy nike free run

Waiola’s (April 2, 2007)

Special Notes No Comments »

waiolasblog.jpg I lament about very few things in life, but there is something dear to my heart that I have lost – Waiola’s Shaved Ice (Shave Ice as the locals call it). I had it (large or extra large just to keep details straight) up to three times a day often in the same visit. Its smooth, almost creamy texture was like having ice cream, but without a violent lactose reaction following (you have to be Asian to understand this). I know it was just ice and flavoring for heaven’s sakes (haupia and mango to be exact), but the way it slid across my tongue was pure bliss.
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I have tried some replacements with little success: chewing on a mouthful of ice and fruit, crushed potato chips in a cup with coconut milk, a bowl of corn starch with flavoring. I even thought about powered soap, but common sense took over.
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Yes, there are shaved ice places in California, but it is just like having a regular snow cone. Nothing here seems to replace the delicate, sensual experience of a Waiola’s Shaved Ice.
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This just goes to show you, you do not need bells and whistles to be successful in this world. You just need to do something better than everyone else. This is like posture and body language if you do it well it will become the one standout experience in someone’s mind.
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Mahalo Waiola’s

Mahalos (April 2, 2007)

Special Notes No Comments »

eganmichaelblog.jpgI just returned from a week in the beautiful state of Hawaii. Having spent a week in a wonderful location such as Hawaii gave me time to reflect and appreciate. I appreciated running my toes through the baby-powder-like sand of Lanikai and swimming in cobalt blue waters. I was awestruck by the beauty of the marine life and was privileged to see and interact with them. Even being home for just a few days now, I already miss the taste of shave ice from Wailoa’s, plate lunches from Diamond Head Market & Grill, and awa from the Health Bar.
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I have also been reminiscing about all the friends I made in Hawaii. The friends I made at the Honolulu Club that were eager to learn about posture and core connection. The classes I taught there were both inspirational and fun. I am excited for them as they learn the effect of physiological response plus time. Martial arts instructor Egan Inoue and his students opened their dojo (studio) to learn about the flow of energy and its impact during martial arts and grappling. I spoke with a brave family that just lost a loved one and shared with them how such a loss can impact their bodies. Dr. Ishii and the surgical staff of Queen’s Hospital were curious about the influence of posture while spending many hours performing surgery. Mr. & Mrs. Gin opened their home and hearts to me, and then shared their experience of business body language with their employees.
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To all that I met, thank you for your wonderful hospitality. I am very grateful for my experiences and hope to return soon to swim in the ocean, eat fresh fish and give you more cool insights into the human body. Mahalo, Michael Luan
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