Sunday, March 24, 2013


I want these to continue to be as honest with limited or no editing. 


The 2nd Power Plus class I taught, I ended the class by reviewing the definition of Namaste.  I said something along the lines of "Its too bad we only say Namaste near the end of a yoga class."  From what I've read, Namaste is defined and/or interpreted a couple different ways yet they seam to all mean the same thing... My heart acknowledges your heart; my light acknowledges your light; my goodness bows to your goodness and so on.  "I bow to you."  In my opinion, in understanding the root of the word, we are free to interpret as we please as long as we do not lose the meaning. 

"Its too bad we only say Namaste near the end of a yoga class."

Imagine if business meetings began with placing our hands at our heart, bowing and saying "Namaste," and all parties understanding what they're saying... imagine your work place... imagine that happening.  Would the meetings be different?  Would the workplace be different?

Imagine if we began our mornings hugging our loved one and saying Namaste before heading out for the day... would your mindset be different, more ope and positive for the day?

Imagine if instead of saying "Hello," and "Good-bye," we said "Namaste." 

Imagine if we were all mindful of any of the interpretations and meant it fully in every encounter... How different would our life be? 

How many work meetings feel negative and leave people worried about their jobs?
How many coworkers stab other coworkers in the back for advancement? 
How many conversations have you had with friends or family members that ended with harsh feelings or an unease?
How many times do we go into a gas station or supermarket and we become angry with how we treated as we check out?

Its a very simple question, do we treat each other well enough every day?  Every moment?  Every chance we get?

"Let the goodness in me, honor the goodness in you," and it flows back and forth and all around us.  A room full of people, truly honoring each other, using kind/mindful speech and showing respect...

Our world would be different.

Personal note:
"Our world would be different."  I used to say "Waiting on the World to Change," was the laziest song every written.  John Lennon wanted change, John Mayer wants to sit on his ass.  (I'm also a huge John Mayer fan.  HUGE.  In a mini man crush kinda way but its OK.)  So "Waiting on the World to Change," bothered me, especially coming from a guy like that.  I believe musicians can change things. 
Can we change the world? 
No.  I guess we cant.  We cant fix the economy.  We really have no say so in terms of what our government does.  You can think so if it makes you feel better, but at the end of the day, money controls Washington. 
My sister is in Africa on a retreat with her church and they have rolling black outs and limited power.  My daughter (8 yrs old) asked "Why cant our country go over there and help them have better power lines?"   I lied to her and said they're working on it, but we know the truth :) I'll save my politics for another rant.

Can we change OUR world?  Absolutely.  I, we have the power to control and change every person we come in contact with at every step. 
If someone is rude at the grocery store, I have the power to choose how I respond.  Do I respond with more rudeness?  Do I respond to aggression with aggression?  No and no.  Fire cannot put out fire.

So if words like rude, aggression, anger, and meanness stem from the negative, we must counter with the positive and it will have double benefit. 
Benefit #1, they're negative didn't turn us negative.  How may times has that happened?  Someone was mean to you and it put you in a bad mood.  Probably often.  But had you responded with kindness, you would have been unaffected.  Think of how many times someone speeds ahead of you to cut you off while exiting the freeway... what good does it do get angry?  Does flicking them off really help either of you? 

Benefit #2, you begin altering their path.  Now, when someone is rude or mean, is your smile going to change them and put them in a good mood?  Maybe, maybe not.  But it does alter their state whether they acknowledge it or not.  Subconsciously they felt your warmth, your empathy and kindness.  They felt your energy. 

(Energy.  Do you know someone that you can feel?  You're near them and all the sudden... your mood is effected, for better or worse.  Ever wonder why?) 

Back to the point because I'm rambling... I can go on and on with this stuff :)
Namaste... treat each other well.  I posted something earlier today like "Go out of your way to be extra friendly today."  Why not?

I don't want to say some speech anymore at the end of my classes.  I want to assign mindful homework.  Dedicate a full day to smiling and improving other peoples moods all day long.  Go to work and do everything you do, but do not engage in gossip, do not bad talk anyone, do not say anything or act in any negative way towards yourself or any other living creature for one full day.  Think about that.   


Blue Chip Training Camp/Power Plus Notes
I think this past week was the first week where things really started to make sense and the training philosophy is coming into a true light and people are "buying," in.  I've always said that yoga made me train or taught me to train w a smarter and with a new, more thoughtful intensity.  I often emphasize on Mondays to sink deep and really feel your muscle engaging in whatever move we're working through.  One of the first points I wanted bring up months ago was to be mindful of your shoulder/scapula movements through the high plank/low plank/up dog/down dog transitions.  Once you can put the mind on the muscle, the training changes.  To sink deep into those crescent lunges that we love so much :) and sit in there and gently take on that burn and understand whats going on and enjoy it in weird way, the training changes.  How you notice your body moving changes.  So on Tuesday, when we were really grinding it out... and boy were we (you actually as Scarlett pointed out, the trainer doesn't actually go through the workouts with you), you could feel everything the way you should.  Your form was great, your focus was incredible, and your effort was truly one of the best classes Ive ever been a part of.  That class last Tuesday will be very memorable and something to build on as things move along.  That was intense cardio.  Flat out, and just like the pain in the crescent lunge that you cant ignore, that you just have to dive deep into and sink and settle and take it on... you have no choice but to be in that moment and work it, just like those plate pushes.  Your thighs were feeling like crap, your lungs were on fire and your heart was beating into your throat.  And you continued on... it was really really impressive.       


A note from Alex!!
I've been loving everything from this blog lately! I've definitely been snagging some photos for my own blog


Big thanks to everyone who voted on the "Cleveland Best of!"  Blue Chip was only on the ballot 8 days and quickly jumped from 15 or so on day #1 to finishing in 7th... behind 2 Zumba instructors :) 

Things were much easier when training is all I did. 
Easier but more stressful, I guess.  I was never comfortable feeling pressure for sales to be able to pay bills, which inevitably was why I found a 9-5... 7-3:30 actually.  Some of you have probably figured out one way or another, I'm uncomfortable even mentioning money.  (Some day, I'll figure out a way to do this for free.) 
But now there's a very different challenge for me and it really sucks.  At my day job, hate to say this, but its not very stimulating.  I don't mean its a "dumb job," by any means, but its very repetitive.  Its very physical and we lift some pretty heavy parts but for the most part its the same thing every day, every day, every day, every day, every day.... odnfjdnflsdnfulsidfleifn
Get it?  
The challenge is go from there to training, to go from steel toe boots to running shoes, to go from "work energy," to "Lets bust some ass!" energy or even harder "yoga energy." 
My car has become my "office," where I go and focus and reset everything.  I rarely listen to the radio or ipod anymore.  I need some quiet time to envision what I want to see happen in the next class. 
But something happens... No matter where I go, I get there and a switch flips.  Someone walks in and everything changes.  Someone walks in and I think "This is exactly where I'm supposed to be," and your energy, your enthusiasm, your "vibe," flips that switch. 
Ever know deep down what you were meant to do?  What your dream is?  I've never doubted what I was meant to do.  Not one day.  Might seem dumb to some people but I really don't care :) training and running awesome classes with amazing people, is exactly what I was meant to do.  And I mean that full blast, AMAZING PEOPLE.  You are.   And now, having yoga with us and this blog and avenues to share... its all I want to do. 
You really do have to practice yoga to be "OK," living in Cleveland.
Think about this... The weather sucks! Don't lie and say "shut up! I love the snow!" Ya right, for about 1 week. But after about 30 inches and 3 months of never seeing the sun, you're ready to blow something up just to see something bright.

Our sports teams suck and we have no faith they'll ever be good.   I'm naturally an extremely optimistic person and I truly believe anything great can happen.  Remember Northcutts drop in the flats a few years back vs the Steelers in the playoffs?  
(I said I wasn't going to edit anything but I just deleted all the horrible draft picks and guys we shoudve drafted... it was just too depressing to read.)
Do I really need to talk about LeBron?  He was just in town and the talk on the radio was "Should we root for him and beg for him to come back or boo him?"  Holy crap... what a loser mentality! 

I'm about to be 36 and I've seen MAYBE one Browns playoff win, i don't actually remember it, and that was in the 2nd grade, Major League Baseball is forever tainted and the NBA is more fixed than the wwf... Or is it wwe now?

Downtown always was and always will be Gotham City to me. It's gray, it's a bunch of square buildings and NO ONE IS EVER FRIENDLY!

Why yoga?
What else is going to teach us to NOT kick our televisions over every Sunday, to smile at snow on the first day of spring and find something unique and pretty about E.9th?

Last thing... these are getting lengthy!  Ill probably start writing throughout the week, they've been a really nice outlet for me and I really look forward to sharing.  For the record, in no way do I actually think these are anything more than something to read when you're bored out of your mind and flipping through facebook.  But on the flip side, I wish more people wrote things like this.  I do think its important that we share and get to know each other, even if it is via blogs or social media... but you can text me and buy a bottle at corks too.  That would be way better than typing away for hours and Id probably say something way "nuttier," after a bottle of Moscato :)

I have two daughters, Abby Jean (8) and Livi Grace (6).  This weekend, Abby was in her first pretty legit play for UpStage Players in East Cleveland.  We were talking and I asked "Are you nervous?"  She said "No, why would I be?" 
I said "Just wondering, dumb question."
She wasn't nervous because shes 8.  At 8, you don't know people are watching you or judging you.  You still have that innocence.  So much can be learned from kids, all you have to do is watch them.
Imagine if we could "unlearn," the things that have created who we are...
Imagine if our ego's could just dissolve...
If we could return the things that we loved as kids... laying out in backyards, under the stars, and just talk. 
My kids don't care about whats "cool," or the news or what someone thinks.  They care to be nice, friendly, intelligent, thoughtful young people. 
So someday our kids may meet... and we need them to be much better than we were.  Why not?
........... did my first topic tie into my last?

Copy, paste.... Rick out a little to this :)

This Is Blue Chip