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Back to Basics

You would never build your dream home on a sandy beach. You would seek out a solid piece of bedrock or pour a sturdy foundation, and then create your masterpiece.

Likewise, it pays to focus on the foundations of any task. Clear and concise writing and speech at work. Technique and drills while swimming, running or cycling. Proper alignment, breath (pranayama) and focus (dhristi) in a yoga practice. Nutritional basics like getting plenty of clean water every day.

The most dramatic changes can be found not through fancy supplements, hot-tips or anything you buy. They can found by getting back to the fundamentals of whatever skill you are practicing, and mastering them as best you can.

Over the long-term, mastering the basics will slowly, but inevitably set you up for success. I say “slowly” because at first, especially if you do not have a great grasp on the basics, you may actually get worse before you get better – case in point is barefoot/minimalist running, but over time you’ll be better than ever. The trick is to focus on the longer-term and not let any near-term setback derail you.

Here I am teaching a yoga class to members of my triathlon team (VO2 Multisport) in the park near my home. Most folks were relatively new to yoga. What I love about teaching newer students is that they are so receptive to guidance - since there is no preconceived notion of how to do the poses, especially when it comes to instructions for safe/healthy alignment.