“If you always put limit on everything you do, physical or anything else. It will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them.” – Bruce Lee
Good morning , meditation done.
Quote for the Day:
“If you always put limit on everything you do, physical or anything else. It will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them.”
In his book ‘The Art of Expressing the Human Body’, Bruce Lee states that stretching was a vital component of his daily fitness routine. He was forever coming up with new methods to help improve his flexibility, and always made sure he was thoroughly warmed up before commencing his martial art training. The same rule really applies to all forms of exercise, from martial arts to track and field, weight lifting to gymnastics, plus sports from cricket to the NFL.
The benefits of stretching are numerous, and can aid you for years to come.
Stretching helps to prevent injury while training and competing, and also increase range of motion, which can increase the work and benefit of exercising. For many martial artists, stretching is just about kicking higher; but really, stretching plays a more important role that just that.
According to Herb Jackson, one of Bruce Lee’s training partners, stretching was the only set routine that he performed before a workout. His workouts were often varied and spontaneous, but the stretching was specific and regimented. He also was famous for stretching almost constantly while working on set.
People have commented that he would be reviewing some footage and rather than sit, would stand with one leg up on a chair to help keep him loose for the next scenes.
In his office at home he had a specially crafted post that could be elevated to a desired level by raising a bar and inserting two pins to stabilise it. This device allowed Lee to stretch even while watching television or reading a book in his office. Indeed, flexibility was the equal of aerobics in Bruce Lee’s training program.
Lee realised that flexibility depends on the joints and the elasticity and firmness of the ligaments, as well as on the condition of the cartilage, which covers the ends of the bones and acts as a buffer to reduce friction. A devoted student of anatomy and physiology, Lee was well aware that the amount of movement available to a given body part depends on the nature of the joint to which it is affixed. A ball–and-socket joint, such as in the shoulder or hip, permits much greater freedom of action than the hinge joint of the elbow and knee. The sliding joint of the ankle is mostly limited to forward and backward movement, while the thumb, with its saddle joint, can be moved freely either forward and backward or sideways.
To view one of Bruce Lee’s stretching routines, watch his film Way of the Dragon. In the final act, before fighting Chuck Norris at the Roman Coliseum, he performs one of his pre-fighting warm-up and stretches, to reveal a suppleness of limb that would make an Olympic gymnast envious. Unlike many other action movies, what Bruce displayed on film was true to his methods.
Bruce Lee’s Five Main Reasons To Stretch
1.Stretching for improved health and fitness.
Strong and supple joints are essential to being healthy and fit.
2. Stretching reduces the risk of injury.
A greater range of motion means that you are less likely to put the weakest points under too much strain when working out or competing.
3. Stretching is a good way to warm up/cool down for other types of training sessions
In addition, a stretching program improves neuromuscular coordination and prepares the muscles for the task ahead. And when stretches are performed immediately after a workout, they can reduce muscle soreness and quicken recovery.
4. Stretching improves athletic performance.
A more flexible artist makes a better martial artist, and a more flexible athlete makes a better athlete. Any athlete who’s more flexible than another automatically has a physiological and psychological edge
5. When done correctly, stretching is fun.
A good stretch routine should be a pleasure to perform, and is a great way to start the day and prepare the body for the tasks it faces in the day ahead.
Lee believed anyone interested in improving their flexibility should stretch for at least 10 to 15 minutes a day, and aim to stretch 4 times per week to gradually improve joint mobility and muscle flexibility. To keep his edge, Bruce Lee used to stretch first thing in the morning, and then at various times throughout the day.
For a stretching program to be truly effective as a warm-up, he believed it should last 10-15 minutes, and should include flexibility exercises for every part of the body. The same flexibility workout also acts as an excellent cool down following a strenuous martial art or weight-training workout, and you can be amazed at how quickly the muscles can recuperate after a 10 to 15 minutes post-workout stretch.
Lee’s knowledge of exercise science was constantly expanding, and nowhere was this more evident than in his pursuit of flexibility exercises.
To stay at the very top of the martial arts world for over 20 years (on and off the set), Bruce Lee had masterful stretching and flexibility skills, besides wicked physical strength, freakish cardio ability, and speed only replicated by machines – flexibility and agility were his top priorities.
Along with Muhammad Ali and Daley Thompson, Bruce Lee was one of my childhood heroes, a massive influence and inspiration on my life and training. He was a true innovator in advancing the development of the human body and mind.
His wife Linda Lee Cadwell recalls a particular day in Bruce Lee’s life – a day when he failed to achieve the level of expectation he had set for himself; a day that became a turning point in his life.
Bruce famously had to fight a Chinese martial artist for the right to be able to teach martial arts to Westerners, or anyone who was not Chinese. Bruce Lee’s philosophy echoed that of Confucius:
“In teaching there should be no class distinctions. ”
Here is her brief description of the physical action that day:
“Within moments of the initial clash, the Chinese Gung Fu man had proceeded to run in a circle around the room, out a door that led to a small back room, then in through another door to the main room. He completed the circle several times with Bruce in hot pursuit. Finally Bruce brought the man to the floor, pinning him down and shouting in Chinese, “Do you give up?” After repeating the question two or three times, the man conceded, and the San Francisco party departed quickly.”
The entire fight lasted about three minutes, Linda recalls.
“Like it was yesterday, I remember Bruce sitting on the back of the steps of the gym, head in hands, despairing over his inability to finish off the opponent with efficient technique, and the failure of his stamina when he attempted to capture the running man. For what was probably the first time in his life, Bruce was winded and weakened. Instead of triumphing in his win, he was disappointed that his physical condition and Gung Fu training had not lived up to his expectations. This momentous event, then was the impetus for the evolution of jeet kune do and the birth of his new training regimen .”
She goes on to emphasise that in her and just about everybody else’s observation in early 1965, Bruce seemed to be in superb physical condition. After the Oakland encounter confrontation, this was not good enough for Bruce – he knew he had to do more, and be better, to be prepared to realise his dreams when the opportunity arose. He would often say he would become a common household name “like Coca-Cola.”
He approached his training in a scientific manner:
- Set new goals for fitness and health.
- Researched the best ways to implement the changes.
- Scientifically recorded progress and modified the approach where necessary.
The greatest talents Bruce brought to realising his dreams were Intelligence and curiosity, dedication and perseverance and focus (enjoying the journey as much as the destination).
He placed great emphasis on stretching to improve his flexibility and mobilising his body to be able to perform amazing physical feats on a regular basis, and reduce the effects of muscle fatigue and risk of injury.
I have been stretching everyday for over 30 years and I am still striving to improve I am nowhere near where I want to be in my flexibility and that was before I had my injury and my physiotherapist told me to stop stretching until my hip flexor is pain free again.
My health and fitness goals for 2017 are:
Health and Fitness:
I have recovered from my hip flexor tendonitis, sciatica and sore knee. I am doing splits on both legs, sitting in lotus, holding a free standing handstand and performing a muscle up.
3x 90 Day Health and Fitness Goals:
- I have recovered from my hip flexor tendonitis, sciatica and sore knee.
- I am doing yoga and splits everyday
- I am holding a free-standing handstand for 5 breaths
3x 30 Day Health and Fitness Goals:
- I am doing rehabilitation exercises everyday
- I am walking my dogs everyday
- I am working out five times a week
As soon as I am pain free in my hip flexor and my physiotherapist has given me the all clear, I will be back doing my full yoga practice and stretching everyday to get to where I was before I got injured and then with all the extra strength I will have gained from the months of doing my rehabilitation exercises I will push on from there.
Practicing yoga everyday for 10 years has really helped me in all aspects of my own life.
The more I exercise and practice the stronger my breathing becomes and the more control of it I have.
The yoga poses and breathing teach me that if I control my breath I can control my mind. The pain and discomfort I feel in the awkward yoga poses, will go away if I breathe and stay calm. This mirrors situations in life which can seem impossible with no way out, but if you stay calm, focused and breathe then your head clears, the situation does not seem as bad as you first thought and you can see a way forward.
Yoga has taught me to focus my mind and not be distracted by outdoor forces and things that I cannot control.
By practicing headstands and handstands I am able to turn my world upside down and look at it from a different angle, which allows me to see things from other people’s point of view, which again makes me more open in the mind and as a person.
I have also learnt that I cannot do all the poses or asana, but this is not failure, the point of yoga is not to be able to do all the poses, it is the daily process of trying to achieve them that is important. Because as soon as you have mastered a difficult pose, you will come across another one that you will feel is impossible, when you first start, but if you practice every day it will become a little bit easier as you improve every day.
This is the basis of my Elysium Way Training System.
The Elysium Way enhances and enriches lives allowing you to reach your full potential physically, mentally and spiritually.
And one of the main components of the Elysium Way is practicing yoga.
If you would like to improve your breathing and clear your mind by introducing yoga into your life or to strengthen your daily practice to help you focus, smile more and achieve your goals and live the life of your dreams?
Why not take your first step and come on my yoga retreat in Morocco from Saturday March 18th to 25th and join me at the Mazagan Beach & Golf Resort the new five-star luxury destination in El Jadida Morocco
Click Here to find out more
The location is amazing.
It is a truly unique coastal destination resort, less than an hour drive south of Casablanca and set in a region abounding in contrasts that has preserved all its authenticity.
Rooms and suites overlook the lagoon, the golf course, the swimming pool and the patio, plunging down to the sea from the terraces and offering a 180-degree view over the Atlantic Ocean.
The view will take your breath away.
So if you would like to learn more about yoga and join me for some fun in the sun at a beautiful, exotic location in Morocco, then Click Here
Also look out for the exciting news that Daley and I are planning some fitness and yoga retreats soon, I can’t wait for those.
Have a super Sunday peeps and may all your dreams come true.
Breathe, Believe and Achieve
Be Happy, Healthy and Wise
Keep on Winning Smiling and Living the Dream