I was sitting in a coffee house a few years back, talking to a successful entrepreneur.
He’d ordered himself a large coffee with a couple shots of espresso.
‘Man, you must be made of steel,’ I remarked.
‘Gotta have this in the morning to start my engine,’ he replied. ‘The ole heart doesn’t work without this stuff.’
At the time I thought what he said was pretty funny – and in fact, still do.
But there is a better way to start your engine each day – and it doesn’t cost a dime. All you do is take in a few gulps of fresh air, hold it for a spell – then ‘spit out’ the stale, dingy air that’s taking up space in your lungs.
Then you do what cats and dogs do. You put your palms on the floor and stretch backward. In yoga they call this downward dog.
Now, I’m not a yoga teacher – but I can tell you this – yoga came from wrestling. This is a well established fact – you can verify for yourself in books like, The Yoga Tradition of the Mysore Palace. Not only that, if you pick up a book on Iyengar Yoga – you’ll see the man who founded this style doing – bridging. Back bridge, front bridge, kickovers, and so on. All of them are commonly practiced in wrestling.
This is not to put down yoga. I think it offers a great deal of help to many people. But the truth is that a lot of what is being taught about it in the U.S. is pretty lame.
About a year ago I was talking to a yoga teacher who really admires my book and DVDs on Combat Conditioning.
He told me how much he liked it. I said, ‘Thank you.’
Then he said, ‘Yes, all of those exercises come from yoga.’
The thought of throwing him down and breaking something on him crossed my mind – but I restrained myself and did my Zen Master breathing exercises instead. It’s a good thing I did so because I learned a couple really good things from him. And I wouldn’t have learned anything at all if I got embroiled in a
spat over a historical issue. Bottom line for me is this: Even if wrestling came first – who cares.
When I’m at my vacation home in China throughout the year, I learn everything I can. I’m a virtual sponge for new information on health, fitness, longevity – and so on. I keep an open mind. Pretending to be a know-it-all might be a ‘good story’ in your own mind – but it keeps you from growing; from becoming MORE than you currently are.
For many people, allowing new information into their minds is a frightening proposition. They want to appear as if they have the whole world and everything in it figured out. But that’s ignorant.
Let your guard down a bit. Let something new into your mind and I’m betting you’ll be much better for having done so.