The Home of Steven Barnes
Author, Teacher, Screenwriter

Thursday, December 27, 2007

RESET button

Today is a yoga day. As a rule, on yoga days I try to think of nothing but yoga (in terms of physical development stuff) but I’m hankering to try a little jump rope in combination.

I’ve been grimly amused at the increased perceived difficulty in jumping rope now as opposed to…say, twenty-five years ago. It feels as if there is some core timing that is “off” now. I mean, every jump is a complete expression of the entire body, a little plyometric pulse running through you from toes to neck. Everything has to go in sequence, and a mistake trips you up pretty damned fast. Feedback is excellent. But man, I’m jumping at about 150 per minute (with lotsa tripping) and the minimum threshold for the effect I’m looking for is found at about 220 jpm. Going to take work.
While I’m at that, I have a copy of Scott Sonnon’s newest, called RESET. Rapid Energy Sports Enhancement Technique. It promises to reduce recovery time drastically, by incorporating a variety of postural, breathing, and vibrational effects.

It feels to me that Scott is synthesizing his original Russian training into something quite remarkable. This is advanced stuff, and he says it will take 2-4 months to integrate it so that you breathe/move this way all the time. I’m going to give it a shot, that’s for certain. Another of those interesting doorways…but all of them are ultimately about seeing clearly, deciding quickly and well, moving toward your goal with elegance. When you find a physical metaphor for this stuff, it communicates with your nervous system rather sweetly. Worth a look.
I was asked to phrase my observation about black (and Asian) men in film as succinctly as possible. This is my best shot:

The premise is that
1) males of group A prefer not to see males of groups B or C engage in sexual behavior.
2) This can be measured in the box-office success of non-white actors. They will not have sex as often as their white counterparts, and when they do it will negatively impact box office.
3) This is most clearly seen by looking at % of films with sexual content that earn above 100 million dollars. Films with white leads and sexual content earning above 100 million: about 23%. Films with non-white leads with sexual content earning above 100 million: zero percent.
4) That this emotional disconnect can be considered the "Invisible Hand" of the marketplace revealing unconscious racial attitudes. That the "visible hand" is revealed in differential incomes, incarceration rates, life expectancies and more.
I don't know if I can phrase it more precisely than this. Any thoughts?


Anonymous said...

Hi Steve,

I would like to read Scott Sonnon's RESET, sounds fascinating.

Regarding Yoga practice and keeping it seperate from other physical modalities. About a decade ago my body seemed to be falling apart; I'd decided that the cause was too much hard martial arts training, too much lifting and too much running. I got the idea that I was going to take 1 year and practice nothing but Yoga (including pranayama and meditation) every day in an attempt to heal my joints and soft tissues. For the first six months I cried during every other practice. Not for a specific reason or from the pain; mostly I think it was just emotional baggage that I'd stored in my muscles and other soft tissues. Amazingly, the more emotion that I released the less physical pain I had to deal with.

I gradually worked my earlier training modalities back into my weekly practice with great success. Not too long after during my Yoga teacher training I had the opportunity to study with Dharma Mittra and was so excited about my re-discovered physical health and movement that I told him the story. He listened to it patiently, then smiled and said "Yoga is a prayer. What makes it a prayer is not the Asanas, but presence. Therefore, anything done with presence is Yoga."

That really changed the way that I thought about life in general. Everthing done with presence is a prayer and has meaning; anything done out of habit was simply patterned conditioning.

My point in all of this is that it's probably okay to skip rope on your Yoga days :).


Daniel Keys Moran said...

You're doing better than me, which I suppose is not a dreadful shock. I've yet to break 100 jumps without tripping.

Santa did bring me a nice leather jumprope for Christmas.

Steven Barnes said...

RESET is a DVD. He spends a great deal of time explaining the theory, and then provides solid practice suggestions. It is practiced during rest breaks in your current exercise routine, and so takes no real time.

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