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Daily/Solo Training Sessions

These sessions were shared during the initial NZ COVID-19 Level 4 Lockdown Period, 2020, and were continued into each subsequent Lockdown period. They served as a way to help keep Systema Auckland students moving and motivated.


As I feel they can benefit a broad range of people, I leave them here for all to use.


Remember: 


- Keep things simple

- Listen to your body/mind

- Take your time

- Challenge yourself

- DO THE WORK.


Any questions, don't hesitate to ask. 

---------


Session #109 (Sunday 17.10.21)


Legs, legs , legs today.......


5 min - Squats for warming through your legs. Shakeout as much as you want, this is a warmup period.


10 min - Walk. As you walk slowly lower yourself down to a duck walk. Over time, make the transition slower by taking more steps to get down to the bottom. Take a few steps in the duck walk position then reverse the process, slowly coming back up to the top as you walk.


10 min - Squats, slow to moderate pace. Try for continuous effort.


10 min - Get on the ground and shakeout your legs - work to mobilize the hips, knees, ankles + stretch through your hips and legs.


5 min - On the ground/on your back, raise your knees, keep your feet on the ground. Keeping your knees to together, drop them to the side to stretch through your torso. No forcing, relax and release. Work through both sides.


5 min - Stand on one foot, balance yourself. If you lose balance, catch yourself with the opposite foot and balance there, back and forth as necessary. Add in: Reach with your arms in different planes/positions, reach to the ground, reach behind you. Add in: Move the free leg into different planes/positions. 


5 min - Standing on both feet. Close your eyes and lift yourself up onto the balls of your feet (get your heels as far from the ground as you are able). Balance here for as long as possible. Once finished, have a good patient stretch through your calves, they'll probably be pretty fired up!


Shake your legs out. If you've time, take a walk - breathe and relax your body and mind.


Session #108 (Saturday 16.10.21)


Similar session to yesterday's one - focus on the quality of your movement. Keep things light, clean, smooth.


100 breaths - Free movement on the ground + stretching.


100 times - Choose one of the Four Exercises. 100 repetitions = 100 breaths (Inhale up/Exhale down)


100 breaths - Free movement on the ground + stretching.


100 times - Choose one of the Four Exercises. 100 repetitions = 100 breaths (inhale up/Exhale down)


100 breaths - Free movement on the ground + stretching.


5 min - Breathe and relax - Light/Deep/Slow


Focus on the quality of your movement, work and breathe softly, continuously. Transition between movements and exercises smoothly, allow no gaps or stutter. Close your eyes at times, perform short breath hold periods, add in restrictions (tuck a limb away, play with tension). Be playful and experiment. Try things you don't usually try. Slow down, speed up. EEEEEXXXXXPPPPPLLLLLOOOOORRRRREEEEE!!!!!


Session #107 (Friday 15.10.21)


100 breaths - Free movement on the ground + stretching.


50 times - Down to the ground and back to your feet. Move down to complete relaxation, even if this means having to take a few soft breaths once on the ground. Let go. Inhale up/Exhale down.


100 breaths - Free movement on the ground + stretching.


50 times - Down to the ground and back to your feet. As before + add restriction: Place stick behind your neck, across your shoulders, drape your arms over the stick at the elbows.


100 breaths - Free movement on the ground + stretching.


Focus on the quality of your movement, work and breathe softly, continuously. Transition between movements and exercises smoothly, allow no gaps or stutter. Close your eyes at times, perform short breath hold periods, add in restrictions (tuck a limb away, play with tension). Be playful and experiment. Try things you don't usually try. Slow down, speed up. EEEEEXXXXXPPPPPLLLLLOOOOORRRRREEEEE!!!!!


Session #106 (Thursday 14.10.21)


Breathwork + Walking


30 min, 45, 60.....90.....120 min. Do what you can with the time you have.


Monitor your posture - be tall in the spine, have your shoulders slightly drawn back and dropped down, chest up and open, chin slightly tucked, allow your arms to hang loosely, keep your hips, knees and ankles light and free.


Step softly but with solid connection to the ground. With each step "reach" into the ground with your mind, expand your "roots", your moving roots.


Simple breath ladder timed with your stepping: 4 steps inhale/4 steps exhale, 6 steps, 10 steps, etc. Aim for longer and longer - 20 steps, 30 steps......


Have periods where the breath phases are uneven: 4 steps inhale/16 steps exhale, 12 steps inhale/2 steps exhale, etc.


Allow yourself at times to feel a "hunger" for breath. Feel the discomfort, dwell there - that is where the change is.


Make sure you are using periods of QUALITY recovery - calm your systems, allow things to cool out, then push and probe again.


Profound change can be made using the simplest methods. Even though the work is simple, it still requires your active participation to be effective and beneficial. Get to it.


Session #105 (Wednesday 13.10.21)


Let's get some wall work going for today's session. If you don't have access to a wall at home, take a jog to a wall in your neighborhood (park, school, etc). It just needs to be a meter or two wide.


10 min - Start with your back on the wall, keep your legs soft, and begin to move: Walk your shoulders, walk your hips, walk your hands (fists/palms). walk your chest. Change levels, work dynamically and softly. Use the wall to massage yourself. Spend some time standing sideways to the wall, lift your arm above your shoulders, stretching upwards, get your ribs against the wall. Massage.


10 min - Push-ups on the wall. Change your hand position with each repetition. Adjust where your feet are, work dynamically, closer in towards the wall to ease the load, further away to stretch out into a plank. Walk your fists/palms.


10 min- Get on the ground directly in front of the wall. Start to walk your feet on the wall, turn over as needed. Walk your feet up the wall, get up on your shoulder(s), forearm(s), hands. Work dynamically.


10 min - Roll towards the wall from your knees. Do not allow your body to touch the wall. In the beginning, start further away from the wall. As you progress, make things more difficult by getting closer to the wall. This drill is about controlling yourself through the roll and not giving in to shear momentum. If it helps, every time you contact the wall, do 10 push-ups.


5 min - Plank out in an easy position (just enough to feel the weight of your body), fists on the wall. Circle through your joints, focus on: ankles, knees, hips, spine, shoulders, elbows, wrists, neck.


5 min - Walk, breathe, shakeout.


Session  #104 (Tuesday 12.10.21)


Well, what a difference a day, and bit of effort, makes. After a couple hours of focused work on my breath, taking some exercise, and having a good discussion with one of my mentors yesterday, I was able put things in perspective, and my uneasiness has subsided. 


By talking things through, we managed to deduce the probable cause of that uneasiness. It seems to have come down to what I was CHOOSING to ingest in terms of information. I went through a 2-3 day period of watching clips about what is happening in Melbourne, Australia as a result of the current COVID lockdown there. Although I am all for staying up-to-date and 'educated' about what is taking place around us, this (for me in this case, at least...) needs to be tempered with some perspective. It is not healthy for me to be glommed onto negativity in that form. To worry about things that are well out of my control. The true path is to work on, for ourselves, the things that we can positively influence - our breath and body. 


So, a little slice of advice here: Police the amount and nature of the information you are CHOOSING to take in


5 min - Relax and breathe - Light/Deep/Slow. Scan down through your body. Feel for spaces that are free and for spaces that are stuck.


5 min - Loose, soft, relaxed push-ups. Keep yourself light, avoid straining, shakeout as required.


15 min - Explosive push-up: On your knees, be tall. Fall forward, catching yourself on your fists, lower down to the bottom of your push-up. Use explosive energy + push-up to get yourself back up to the starting position. Repeat. For harder work, push yourself up with a "straight" body. For easier work, push yourself back towards your feet first then lift yourself back up to the starting position.


5 min - Loose, soft, relaxed push-ups. Use this period to wash excess tension from your body.


5 min - Lie on your back, bring your arms/hands up in front of your chest as you inhale. Exhale and allow your arms to fall to the ground next to you. Repeat.


10 min - Stretch through your body. Get your extremities away from your core. Open and stretch, holding for a few breaths. Shakeout and repeat. 


10 min - Soft movement. Continuous and light, change the shape of your body, explore various positions. Work smoothly. Keep your systems dialed down.


5 min - Relax and breathe - Light/Deep/Slow. Scan down through your body, what has changed, for the positive, for the negative? Have the free or stuck spaces changed? What needs your attention in future sessions?


5 long, deep breaths. On the last exhale, stand to your feet relaxed and refreshed.


Again, the true path is to work on ourselves - our breath and body. Peace.


Session #103 (Monday 11.10.21)


Good Morning Team, you're on your own today.


Take 5 minutes, sit/lie down, connect with your breath, and feel down through your body to recognize what it is you need for the day. Once you've discerned what it is you require, come up with a 60-minute (or longer...) plan, action that plan and come out the other side feeling good!


For myself, today was the first day where I woke up feeling really uneasy about this lockdown situation here in Auckland. I hope for the best but as things drag on, I........Well, I don't know really.....I can't quite place where the uneasiness is seated at the moment.....


I will therefore apply myself to a good stretch out, a walk/jog carrying something heavy, some exercises, and more stretch. Through this, I will allow my brain to cool out and settle by focusing on my breathing and some simple tasks.


I look forward to getting back to group training, and the support and camaraderie that accompanies it. 


We'll catch back up tomorrow and keep pushing forwards. Stay healthy and be well.


Session #102 (Sunday 10.10.21)


Session Revisit - Work it through, take your time, listen to your breath, feel your body, relax your mind, recover as necessary, 


5 min - Movement for warm through. Wake everything up, hook into your breath, settle your mind for the session.


15 min - Hold at top of a push-up. Working through your body, softening and moving: Heels/ankles, knees, hips, torso, shoulders, elbows, wrists. Spend a few breaths at each space. Once you've gone through sequence, restart and repeat until time has finished. If you hit a wall, complete a few push-ups, see if that changes the tension build up. Rest as you wish, especially if the activity is bringing excess tension into your body rather than dissipating it. Shake out and get back to it when ready.


5 min - Free movement on the ground: Crawling, rolling, threading, changing positions often. Use this time to have a good shake out.


15 min - Sit-ups. Hold at 45 degrees. Be strict with your form - chest up and open, extending through your spine, tucking your chin slightly, your shoulders/arms relaxed and soft, your legs relatively soft to the task. If you hit a wall, complete a few sit-ups, see if that changes the tension build up. These could be very strict to form through to very lazy. Rest as you need, shake out and get back to it when ready.


5 min - Free movement on the ground: Crawling, rolling, threading, changing positions often. Use this time to have a good shake out. Shed excess tension.


15 min - Squats. Hold at a challenging depth, somewhere around halfway down will do the trick. Be strict with your form - chest up and open, extending through your spine, tucking your chin slightly, your shoulders/arms relaxed and soft, your legs relatively soft to the task. If you hit a wall, complete a few squats, see if that changes the tension build up. These could be very strict to form through to very lazy. Rest as you need, shake out and get back to it when ready.


10 min - Walk, stretch, move. Get rid of tension, soften yourself down, ease your breathing.


Session #101 (Saturday 09.10.21)


10 min - Return to the last exercise from yesterday's session - Link one repetition of each of the Four Exercises, stringing them together over and over (Push-up/Sit-up/Leg raise/Squat is an order that works well here). Work continuously, softly, smoothly, nice and easy.


10 min - Stretching (You'll need your stick for this session). Lie on the floor, face up. Take your stick in both hands, hands on the ends on the stick. Bring your arms to lay flat on the ground "above" your head. Relax and breathe. As you continue and as things releases, move your hands together on the stick. Bring them in a fists width. Relax and breathe. Again, once tension subsides, move you hands closer together a fists width. If at any time your arms come off the ground, stay at this "level" until they can fully relax on the ground. No rush, no hurry. Keep the rest of your body relaxed.


10 min - Same set up as above. Once you found your range of movement limit (hands closer together WITH arms on the ground), start to actively move the stick further away from your shoulders, like someone is grabbing the stick and pulling it away from your shoulders. Push out through your heels. Breathe, hold the tension required to feel a good pull/stretch through your body. Hold for a few breaths, relax, shakeout then repeat. With each repetition, make the stretch stronger and hold for longer periods of times.....10 breaths, 20 breaths......50.....


10 min - Ditch your stick. Lie on your back, take an inhale staying still. On the exhale, turn yourself over. Once on your front, take an inhale staying still. On the exhale, turn yourself over. Do this continuously. Back and forth, back and forth. Really relax as you turn, relax even more as your body sinks into the ground. Time your movement with your breathing - start your exhale then move.


10 min - Back to the beginning of today's session - Link one repetition of each of the Four Exercises one after the other. Work continuously, softly, smoothly, nice and easy.


Later n the day, if you've time, take an easy jog. Open up your lungs, breathe some fresh air, and get some sun on your skin.



Session #100 (Friday 08.10.21)


30 min - Falling from various heights/positions. Fall from: Sitting, kneeling, low squat, half squat, standing. Greet the floor with softness. Inhale up/exhale down. Work slowly in the beginning, allow yourself to relax completely on the floor. Over time use less control on the descent, fall, let go. Feel how your body moves through the transitions. Feel less burdened by tension each time you get up. Feel stronger as the minutes tick along.


15 min - Tension/Relaxation drilling. Lie down (front/back/side - change positions as often as you feel the need). Inhale/generate tension, exhale/release tension. Time the actions with your breathing. Make sure to lead with your breath - begin inhaling THEN create the tension as you continue to inhale. At the top of your breath (full lungs) is when you should have full tension. Begin to exhale, THEN relax your body. At the bottom of your breath (empty lungs) you should be your most relaxed. Try to spread the tension evenly throughout your body. Pay attention to space that will not let go with the exhale. These are spaces you should do some focused stretching through.


15 min - The Four Exercises. Link the exercises in the following order, complete one of each - Push-up/Sit-up/Leg raise/Squat. Make your work light, and continuous with smooth transitions.


5 min - Relax and analyze your body. Are there any spaces that require a stretch out? If so, spend some time later to shake them through.


Session #99 (Thursday 07.10.21)


Nothing too specific today crew. Have a feel down through your body, feel for what you need for the day - is it a good stretch out, an absolute beasting, somewhere in between? Sift back through the previous sessions, choose a few exercises/drills that will help to get you opened up and moving. Aim for 45-60 minutes of activity. Make sure you are working on all of the Four Pillars, as always with some emphasis on your breathing.


Now, it looks to be a somewhat rainy/windy day, DO NOT let that stop you from getting outside. Get out into the elements, feel the world around you and what it has to offer in terms of energy!!


Side note: My session was an early morning, easy jog (30 min), 20 minutes spent with the Four Exercises (linking 1 rep of each in continuous activity), easy jog home (30 min), once home 10 minutes leg raises for cooldown and stretch out. 


Session #98 (Wednesday 06.10.21)


Breathwork focus. 

You'll need 3 markers (stones, sticks, etc...) for today's session. Place the markers on the ground 10 paces away from one another. Lay them in a straight line. Make sure you have some room to move at the outside markers, i.e., don't place them next to a wall or tree)


5 min - Walk the distance between the outside markers. Back and forth. Breathe easy, shakeout.


10 min - Next: Inhale to the middle marker and exhale to the opposite end marker. Turn around and repeat.


10 min - Next: Inhale to the middle marker, hold your breath and complete one push-up, stand and exhale to the opposite outside marker. Turn around and repeat sequence.


10 min - Next: Inhale to the middle marker, hold your breath and complete one push-up, stand and exhale to the opposite outside marker. Hold your breath and complete one push-up, stand, turn around, and start the sequence over. Back and forth.


5 min - Walk the distance between the outside markers. Back and forth. Breathe easy and shakeout.


If you start to falter with your push-ups, feel free to switch to one of the other Four Exercises.

Conversely, if this is an easy task for you, make it harder by: Adding in more repetitions of the exercise during the breath  hold phase or making the distance between your markers greater (15 steps, 20 steps...), or both.


10 min - Lazy movement for stretching. Focus in on your breathing - Aim for Light/Deep/Slow. Open up your body, shift positions, change your shape, breathe easy and relaxed.


Session #97 (Tuesday 05.10.21)


Head a back to your wall today. 


10 min - Engage with the wall using your hands, forearms, upper arms, chest, shoulders, back, hips, thighs, feet. Fall into it, roll on it, do some push-ups, some squats, walk your shoulder, chest or hips, take yourself off the wall then back onto it. Explore free movement just like you do when you are on the floor.


20 min - Spend time stretched out in a bridge/push-up with your fists on the wall. Aim for 5 breaths, 10 breaths.....30, 50, 100. Shakeout as required. Repeat. The closer your feet to the wall, the easier the work. The further away, the more challenging.


20 min - Put yourself into a bridge/push-up this time with your hands on the ground and your feet on the wall. Aim for 5 breaths, 10 breaths.....30, 50, 100. Shakeout as required. Repeat. If you'd like to push this even further, walk your hands closer to the wall as you walk your feet up the wall and back down to the plank.


5 min - Relax yourself on the wall with the same type work you started the session with.


5 min - Lie on the ground, relax and breathe - Light/Deep/Slow


Session #96 (Monday 04.10.21)


20 min - Return to the work from yesterday - A exercise period, followed by a tension/relaxation period. Repeat.

Choose the number of exercises you use today based on how many were just pushing your buttons yesterday. For me it was 20 push-ups, 15 squats, 35 sit-ups. So, for today, I will use those numbers for both the exercise and tension/relaxation phases. Do not ladder up the repetitions today, just stay in the same groove. Focus in on one of the exercises for today's session or cycle through them again. Challenge your muscles then cleanse them.


5 min - Free movement for shakeout and relaxation


20 min - Go to your wall. If you've the room, stand 3-4 meters away from it. Go down to all-fours, on your knuckles or palms, and crawl toward the wall. Once there, plank out into a "push-up" position on the wall as low as you can. Walk your fist/palms up the wall, walking your feet in, until you're standing relatively straight up. Walk your hands back down the wall, walking your feet out, until you are back down to the crawling position. Crawl backwards to the start point. Stand, shakeout and repeat.


10 min - Free movement for shakeout and relaxation.


5 min - Take a few breaths and reflect on any changes between your work yesterday and today. 


Session #95 (Sunday 03.10.21)


Work through the Four Exercises today. Warm yourself, mobilize your joints, stretch before starting.


Choose one exercise to work on (Push-up, sit-up, squat....Don't worry about the leg raise for now.)


Complete 10 repetitions of the exercise. Keep your body soft, minimize your expenditure.  


Once finished, lie on your back. Inhale and bring tension into the muscle groups you feel played a strong role in the exercise. (Example: Push-up= chest/arms). Exhale and relax. Repeat this 10 times.


Using the same exercise as before, complete 15 repetitions followed by tension/relaxation 15 times


Further: Same set up - 20 reps followed by 20 times tension/relaxation, 25 reps, 30 reps, etc


Go through the same sequence with your sit-up and squats.


This work comes to us from Vladimir VASILIEV's recent video release, "Breathing: Clean the Muscles"


Finish the session up with 100 leg raises. Move with ease and purpose, lengthen your breath phases and relax your body.


Lying on your back, take 5 long breaths. On the last exhale stand to your feet relaxed and energized.


Session #94 (Saturday 02.10.21)


Well I did it again.....I had planned to take the day off today, to give my body and brain some room to breathe.....


But, I woke up early with the sunrise and headed out for another weighted backpack carry (15kg). 2 hours of trail walking, focusing on keep my breathing - Light/Deep/Slow.


Very challenging and rewarding. Fresh air, birdsong.....what could be better? 


Take the day off, or get a session together for yourself, either way, enjoy your day!! I hope everyone is well and to be seeing you all shortly!! Cheers.


Session #93 (Friday 01.10.21)


5 min - Movement for warm through. Wake everything up, hook into your breath, settle your mind for the session.


15 min - Hold at top of a push-up. Working through your body, softening and moving: Heels/ankles, knees, hips, torso, shoulders, elbows, wrists. Spend a few breaths at each space. Once you've gone through sequence, restart and repeat until time has finished. If you hit a wall, complete a few push-ups, see if that changes the tension build up. Rest as you wish, especially if the activity is bringing excess tension into your body rather than dissipating it. Shake out and get back to it when ready.


5 min - Free movement on the ground: Crawling, rolling, threading, changing positions often. Use this time to have a good shake out.


15 min - Sit-ups. Hold at 45 degrees. Be strict with your form - chest up and open, extending through your spine, tucking your chin slightly, your shoulders/arms relaxed and soft, your legs relatively soft to the task. If you hit a wall, complete a few sit-ups, see if that changes the tension build up. These could be very strict to form through to very lazy. Rest as you need, shake out and get back to it when ready.


5 min - Free movement on the ground: Crawling, rolling, threading, changing positions often. Use this time to have a good shake out. Shed excess tension.


15 min - Squats. Hold at a challenging depth, somewhere around halfway down will do the trick. Be strict with your form - chest up and open, extending through your spine, tucking your chin slightly, your shoulders/arms relaxed and soft, your legs relatively soft to the task. If you hit a wall, complete a few squats, see if that changes the tension build up. These could be very strict to form through to very lazy. Rest as you need, shake out and get back to it when ready.


10 min - Walk, stretch, move. Get rid of tension, soften yourself down, ease your breathing.


Session #92 (Thursday 30.09.21)


15 min - Move on the ground while keeping both your feet connected to it. Your feet can move and slide anywhere, they just need to stay connected with the ground. What movements can you come up with? What positions can you find yourself into?


15 min - Move on the ground as above, but now it is your hands that stay in contact with the ground.


15 min - Move on the ground as above, but now both your hands and feet stay in contact with the ground.


To help keep your awareness in your hands and feet, every time you lose contact with the ground, stop and complete 10 push-ups.


You will come out of this session feeling loose and alive. Take your time with it, be creative.


Session #91 (Wednesday 29.09.21)

15 min - Soft rolling to relaxation. Complete a forward or backward roll from any position (lying down, knees, low squat, standing). Roll to lying down flat (front/back/side). Once there, relax and take a few easy, soft breaths. Reset (possibly cycle through rolling from each of the positions listed) and repeat. Try to get a good feeling for what your relaxation feels like, the heaviness of it.


15 min - Rolling to standing. Complete a forward or backward roll from any position as before. However, this time roll and get to your feet. Allow the momentum of the roll to carry you upwards. You will have to experiment with what needs to happen with your legs to facilitate this. Generally speaking, one leg should be tucked in (coming up to your knee), while the other reaches out. Stand up fully each time, lengthening through your spine from the crown of your head. Get your chest up and open, drop your shoulders. Walk. As you walk, try to encapsulate the same feeling and level of relaxation you achieved while lying down. Feel lightness in your bones created by having your structure sound (your body in alignment) and heaviness in your muscles as they relax.


30 min - Choose one of the Four Exercises. I'll use the push-up as the example here. This drilling comes from Vladimir's "Breathing: Clean the Muscles" download.


Perform 10 push-ups. Your push-ups should be completed with a relaxed body and breath, softening through your joints.


Once finished, lie down on your back. Inhale, bring tension into the muscles you feel were involved in the push-up (arms, chest). 


Exhale and release, cleansing any unneeded tension from your body. Stand to your feet and walk as before, feel for relaxation.


When you're ready, repeat, adding on 5 push-ups each time through the cycle.


Depending on your time allowance, either focus on one of the Four Exercises or try a couple of them. Just don't rush. This drilling is about your ability to recover yourself and cleanse excess tension. It takes time and patience.


5 min - Relax and breathe. Lying down, sitting, kneeling, walking. Monitor your body and psyche - What is relaxed? Where are the sticking points? What needs work?

 

Session #90 (Tuesday 28.09.21)


10 min - Stand. Start a slight bounce in your heels. As you go, make the bounce bigger and bigger until your feet are leaving the ground. Keep your body relaxed and loose. Once you've reached your peak, reel the bounce back down, making it smaller and smaller. Continue this cycle for the 10 mins.


10 min - Put a stick across your shoulders behind your neck, drape your arms over the stick at the elbows. Circle through your shoulders, and rotate through your spine. Keep your chest open and shoulders relaxed. You should be able to keep your arms very relaxed here also as the stick is what should be holding them up.


20 min - From standing, walk your hands out in front of you until you are in an extended plank position (hands on floor out 'above' your shoulders). Once stretched out, breathe as you hold your the position, and relax. Walk your hands back in and stand up. As you proceed, spend longer periods of time stretched out in the extended plank position.


5 min - Circle through your shoulders using large rotations of your arms. Circle through your elbows and wrists.


5 min - Circle through your hips using large rotations of your legs. Circle through your knees and ankles.


5 min - Stand and bounce through your heels like at the start of the session. 


5 min - Lie on the ground. Relax and breath, let go of tension.


Session #89 (Monday 27.09.21)


5 min - Take your time to warm through your legs with some squats. Stop and shake out as needed. Circle through your hips, knees and ankles. Remember this a warm up - keep things light and easy.


30 min - Fall to the ground greeting it softly. Once on the ground, take an inhale, and on the exhale get to feet as fast as you can.


10 min - Fall to the ground greeting the ground softly. Once on the ground, take an inhale, and on the exhale do a forward or backward roll then get to your feet quickly.


10 min - Fall to the ground greeting the ground softly. Once on the ground, take an inhale, and on the exhale link 5 forward or backward rolls together then get back to your feet quickly.


5 min - Relax and breathe on the ground. Every so often, change positions - lying on your front/back/side, sitting, kneeling. Me the transitions soft and smooth, move without gaps.


Stand to your feet, relaxed and refreshed.


Session #88 (Sunday 26.09.21)


Stretch out and warm-up as you see fit. Spend some time stretching through your legs as today's session will center around walking, jogging and running.


If you have an interval timer this will be a good place to utilize it. If not, just use landmarks, lamp posts, intersections or whatever seems right, a couple street blocks, etc.


I'll use a timer set to 1 minute intervals for the example here.


Walk for 1 minute.


Jog for 1 minute. Very light and easy pace, there should be a distinct shift in pace from the walk though.


Walk for 1 minute.


Run for 1 minute. For the run, open up your stride, pump your arms, cover some distance, use the image of a mangy dog biting at your heals for inspiration if that helps get you moving!


Use the walking and jogging periods to recover yourself. Keep up this cycle for 30-40 minutes. 


Once you've reached your destination, recover and have a short shake out.


Walk yourself back home at a moderate pace. Focus on keeping a good posture, shoulders back and dropped, your chest up and open, lengthen through your spine, allow your arms to hang loosely, keep your hips free, step soft and solidly. Breathing - Light/Deep/Slow.

 

Session #87 (Saturday 25.09.21)


10 min - Lie down on your back. Inhale slowly through your nose. Pull your breath deeply into your abdomen. As your diaphragm's maximum range of motion is reached, allow your chest to rise and your ribs to expand and open. Pause ever so slightly then softly shift to exhaling through your mouth. Let go of everything that feels taut, and relax. Try not to add anything to the exhale, no forcing or pushing, just release. Slight pause at the bottom of your breath.


As you proceed, start to lengthen out the inhale phase. Again, no forcing, just slowing down, making your breath lighter. Repeat. Inhale...exhale.


There is no time limit for the next phase.


Inhale as earlier, staying stationary. On the exhale turn yourself over using minimal effort to do so. Initiate the movement from different parts of your body by imagining yourself being pulled along by the chosen part: Hand, elbow, shoulder, hip, knee, foot. Take you time. Remain stationary, whether on your front or back, on the inhale. Roll over on the exhale. Back to front, front to back, over and over.


Now do that for 20, 30...60 minutes and tell me you've ever felt more relaxed!!


I will be taking advantage of the relaxation generated here by taking a long walk with my weighted pack afterwards.


Choose a challenging task for yourself and see if you can transmute the relaxation in your mind/body from the drilling into a more active and demanding dynamic.


Keep analyzing yourself, feel for what you need, apply yourself and get results. Doing nothing produces nothing. It is in your hands to make change for yourself. 

 

Session #86 (Friday 24.09.21)


No fixed time period for today, adjust for your needs. 


We'll do a repeat of yesterday's session with a few additions.


Have periods where you take yourself from a walking speed to a jog to a run and back down. Through the speed/intensity changes, keep your grip strong and in control.


After your stick work, put yourself into the top of push-up. Starting at your feet, move from your ankles, knees, hips, torso, shoulders, elbows, wrist until you are moving through all of your joints at the same time.


In the same position, walk on your fists and on the balls of your feet/toes. Take your time, establish a strong connection to the ground with each step. Keep your body soft but structured. Move lightly with ease.


5 min - Lie on your back, relax and breathe. Rise your hands up above your chest, out in front of you. Keep your chest, shoulders, and arms soft and gently shake them out. Inhale, squeeze your fists tight. Exhale, and release any tension in your arms allowing them to bend at the elbows, and to drop to the floor out to your sides. Be protective of your hands here.


Take a nice deep inhale, exhale and stand to your feet. Relaxed and refreshed!!


Session #85 (Thursday 23.09.21)


You'll need a stick for today's session. It should measure 3-4 feet in length and fit comfortably in your hand. It is a good idea to use a stick that has the ability to hold your weight. If you're short of one, you could always use a broom handle, just watch applying too much weight to it as they generally are not very strong.


Take hold of the stick in both hands, one at each end. Walk. As you walk, apply tension to the stick by gripping it strongly with the intent to produce tension here. You can apply pressure through the stick in different directions - imagine you are trying to break the stick downwards, upwards, towards yourself, away from yourself, twisting your hands in opposite directions. Hold the stick horizontally, vertically, on a diagonal plane, out to the side of your body, behind your body, at you hips, in front of your chest, or above your head.


While walking, tension check through your body. Acknowledge where tension has shifted away from your hands - Where is it? How strong is it? Don't try to change the tension just yet, just acknowledge and accept it. Continue to walk. Have periods when you are loading the tension into your grip as above, and conversely, letting go and shaking out through your hands and arms.


After 10-15 minutes of drilling as above, do the same thing but now actively try to shed tension as you walk gripping the stick strongly. Rotate through and shake out your: Wrists, elbows, shoulders, neck, chest/torso, hips, legs all the while keeping your grip on the stick strong. How much of your excess tension can you get rid of? What is still holding on? As you relax your body does it become problematic to keep a strong grip?


Once you have completed another 15 minutes or so, have a really good shake out, circling through your joints. Give your hands a good stretch through also.


Now for the hard work proper:


30-45 min - Working as above, but rather than walking, go down to the ground and back to your feet. Play around with going down to complete relaxation (other than your hands, keep those tight) to going down more dynamically (up and down quickly spending little time on the ground), everything in between. Try to go up and down a little differently each time. Over time, work in crawling and rolling. Work continuously. If you feel the need to shakeout your hands and let them relax, do this while continuing to go down to the ground and back to your feet.

 

10 min- After a short shakeout (you should be pretty relaxed by now!), use the stick to massage through any spaces in your body that require it. For general massage, sit on a bench or stool (something without arms/sides). Grip the stick in both hands, one at each end. Use the long dimension of the stick to rub through your muscles, pulling up or pushing down depending on the space. Change the angles often. The end of the stick could also be used for more specific spaces (knots or adhesions). Work through your calves, hamstrings, and quads. While standing, massage through your torso (front/back/sides). Use your hands to massage your forearms and upper arms. Use the stick to massage your neck and traps.


Another quick shake out and you should be feeling great. Nicely done. Cheers!!


Session #84 (Wednesday 22.09.21)


Simple, straight forward work for today. Get these done however you wish, just get them done!!


150 x Push-up / 150 x Sit-up / 150 x Squat / 150 x Leg raise / 200 x Rolls (forwards/backwards over shoulder)


Smash them all out in one go, break them up (5s, 10s, 20s, etc...) during your day, focus on one exercise then once completed move on to the next, eyes closed/eyes open, breath holds + recovery periods, wearing a weighted backpack, etc. You figure out how to manage your time and challenge. Feel great afterwards - relaxed with a good sense of accomplishment!!


10-20min Stretch and/or foam rolling to say a big "thank you" to your body/mind/spirit!!


Session #83 (Tuesday 21.09.21)


"All Systema work demands a high level of sensitivity to the body, the ability to focus and maintain attention in the body, and the ability to recognize and make sense of changes in the body." K KOMAROV


"...every exercise in Systema is, first and foremost, a mirror, in which we can carefully examine ourselves from a new angle and see our flaws, shortcomings, tensions, and imperfections. Second, any Systema exercise is an instrument to correct and rebuild us. At the initial stage, Systema exercises are not a way to learn anything new, but a means of internal change." K KOMAROV


15 min - On the front of your body, with your hands clasped behind you, move staying faced down. Crawl and walk your chest/hips, use your shoulders and knees/feet, generate locomotion ie. move from where you started. Breathe relative to your needs. Aim for Light/Deep/Slow.


15 min - As above, now on your back, hands clasped in front of you. Move.


15 min - Lie face down again, bring your lower legs up and take hold of your ankles with both hands (if you can't reach both, grab one, on the same side or opposites. Alternately, you can also hook your fingers into your shoes or grab your pants legs). Move. Again, move away from where you started. Using the same set-up, try to turn yourself over into a shoulder bridge. Fun times!!


10 min - Relax and breath on your front/back/side. With each exhale, let go and sink into the floor, feel heavy and relaxed. Reflect on the above quotes from Major KOMAROV. What are the insights you've drawn from the work today? Where are the gaps, what are the shortcomings? If you had to do the session over again, what would you focus on, what would change and how would you go about it?


"...Systema is, first and foremost, a mirror...". Knowing yourself and your connection to the world around you takes a hard, honest look. Don't shy away from exposing and acknowledging your own cracks and gaps.


There is a centuries-old Japanese art called Kintsugi where pottery is repaired using gold to fill in the cracks and rejoin the broken pieces. Kinstugi translates to "golden repair". Each repaired object is considered a new work of art, something unique and exquisite, with its scars and cracks turned into a point of focus and beauty.


What are your cracks, where are your broken pieces, and your scars? Are they filled with "gold" or do you hide them away? Bring them to the surface, face them, repair them, fill them with "gold', and use them as lessons for the future.

Session #82 (Monday 20.09.21)


Morning Session


5 min - Breath Check-in + stretching through body/decompressing joints


100 times - Down to ground/Back to feet


50 - Forward rolls over shoulder


50 - Backward rolls over shoulder


5 min - Cool down, soften. Breath check-in - Light/Deep/Slow


Afternoon Session 


Head outside (yes, even if it's raining...), find a small hill or incline or possibly use the stairs again (if they're a good 30+ steps).


Walk/jog/run up and down the incline. There are no time parameters here, feel what you want/need. I will be aiming for 45-60min on the stairs as I am really enjoying these 'single-task'/endurance sessions at the moment.


If you're feeling like adding some "beasting" action to the session, perform 10 reps of one of the Four Exercises at the top, bottom, or both. Once you've maxed out on one exercise and need a rest from it, switch to one of the other exercises. Keep rotating through for as long as you can.


Watch out for stumbling or any missteps, this will be a sign that you're pushing into your limits. Be carful and take your time.


Once you've returned home have a shakeout and short stretch (especially your calves).


Keep up the good work and we'll catchya tomorrow!!


Side note: I ended up doing: (Weight(w) used was a 5 foot section of PVC pipe filled with sand, approx 12kg) 15 minute walk carrying weight to stairs set, 54 step stair session for 1 and 1/2 hours. After each time back down, I performed 10 - 30 reps of one of the following exercises: Military press(w), 360 cast(w), torch(w), push-up, sit-up, squat, leg raise. Tried for as much continuous work as possible, varied speed in both steps and exercises. Focused on nasal breathing and lengthening out breath phases (Managed at one point 10 steps inhale/exhale during the stairs portion). 15 minute walk home carrying weight. Shakeout and stretch.


Session #81 (19.09.21)


Let's do a repeat of yesterday's stair-based session. 


Reflect back on what was taking place with you during the previous session, acknowledge the gaps (what was NOT working for you...), and work to course correct as needed (what needs to change). 


Aim for at least 30-45 mins, stopping to stretch through your lower legs and feet as you go.


Take your mind through the Four Pillars (Breathing/Relaxation/Movement/Form). Spend a few minutes really dialing in each of them. Think about the optimum characteristics of each and produce them in your body/mind.


Monitor if there is tension creeping up from your lower half into your upper half? Where does it want to sit? How strong is it? Does tension in your upper half affect your lower half? Are the two halves feeding off one another negatively?


Once finished, take a walk to reflect on the session and cool your systems out.


A good reflection point is the Four Pillars. Think of them like the legs of a table. On the table rests a fine piece of glassware representing your health and well-being. Now remove one of the legs. What happens to the stability of the table? Are the remaining three legs under more demand and pressure? Replace the leg and remove a different one. How does removal of this leg affect the table? Really think about how and why each of the Four Pillars is integral to the stability of the table. How are the Pillars interlinked and what happens when these links are broken or severed.


Later in the day, take 10 minutes to shake out and stretch through your legs. Thank them for all the work they put in!!


Keep working and thinking Team!! Your efforts are appreciated, cheers.


Session #80 (Saturday 18.09.21)


You will need to find a set of stairs to utilize for today's session. Try to find a set with at least 10-15 steps; the more the better really. 


Stairs are a great, simple tool that will really make you have to be present in the moment. Keep in mind, stairs are stairs and they are indifferent to your health and safety, so take your time and work within your capacities while pushing into those boundaries.


The focus of this work is quality over quantity. This is not a session of blinders-on, do-or-die, beasting yourself for the sake of it-type session. There is good value in that work too but we'll save that for another day!! This session is about mindfulness in regards to your internal state and your awareness of your surroundings. On his visit to NZ a couple of years ago, Systema instructor Kwan LEE, spoke to the group about developing the ability to fluctuate between looking inwards and looking outwards. This drilling is an awesome context in which to work on this skill development.


The secondary focus of the drill is fear, and how it manifests in your mind/body, and how to process it in a healthy manner. Be honest about what you are experiencing, work in a detached fashion, and collect the data.


For this session, have in your mind the following thought from Konstantin KOMAROV:


"In Systema work, don't go after the sheer number of exercises, don't do too many of them. Instead, work on gaining the experience with each one and learning what the work should focus on."


So, with that in mind, walk the stairs - up and down. Be tall in your spine, have your chest up and open, have your stepping be soft and solid, and regulate your breathing to the task. 


Initially, in order to calibrate your stepping, just walk facing forwards going up and down a few times. Once you've a good feel for the steps themselves, start to do an analysis of yourself as you walk - How is your body feeling? What feels tense, loose, absent? Where is your mind? Are you fully present? Does your mind wander? Are you able to keep your breath - Light/Deep/Slow?


Once you've calibrated yourself, walk up the stairs forwards. On the way back down, walk backwards. If initially you feel the need to look down or over your shoulder, do so. This is a your first glimpse at fear, acknowledge it and keep working. Play around with pace but whatever speed you choose you should remain in control - no slipping or stumbling.


For the next phase, work as before (up/walk forwards, down/walk backwards), and add in closing your eyes walking up the stairs. On the way down, open your eyes.


Next, as before, but with your eyes closed up and down the stairs. At the bottom, open your eyes, shake out.


You should be starting to get a good dose of fear coming in now. Where does it sit in your body? Where does the tension the task creates want to go? Is it mostly in your body or in your mind? Are you able to keep your eyes closed for the whole period? Are you stumbling? Do you fell imbalance? Weakness?


As you acknowledge the fear and how it presents within you, move and shake out the spaces that it is trying to reside in, control and soften your breath, relax yourself relative to the task, and most importantly, continue to be present and honest.


So, that is the base drilling and outline. Once understood, modify it by: Walking up the stairs backwards/coming down forwards, walking up and down backwards, adjusting your speed to a jog/run, holding your arms in different positions (above your shoulders, out in front of your body, behind your body, out to the sides), adding in breath hold periods (careful with this one!!), coming up with your own modifications.....


And there you have it, a pretty straight forward task, but one that can be layered to produce a deep connection between mind and body. Try it out, take your time, and in the spirit of Major KOMAROV's quote, FEEL what is happening within yourself and the task, and how you can better perform it. BE PRESENT and HONEST.


All the best to you and yours, Stay healthy and be well.


Session #79 (Friday 17.09.21)


10 min - Free movement: Soften your body, get your blood flowing and hook into your breath - Light/Deep/Slow.


30 min - Breathwork via the Four Exercises. Complete exercises in any order, any number of reps and linking them how you wish. Your goal is continuous movement and breathing. Work at a pace that is borderline manageable. Make this a struggle, make this difficult...but DO NOT STOP. (Feel free to extend this period past 30 minutes if you've time and are up for it.....)


"Real progress comes with a psychological breakthrough - you learn to use your breath to mediate all physical effort. Your breath's miracle power will be found only at your extreme limits" - V. VASILIEV


20 min - Free movement with focus on softening and stretching through your body.


5 min - Lie on the ground, face up. Relax and breathe. With each exhale, let go and sink into the floor. Feel down through your body for all the points of contact with the ground. Stay relaxed, shed tension.


On an exhale, in one smooth, efficient movement, stand to your feet and enjoy the rest of your day!!

 

Session #78 (Thursday 16.09.21)


Time to get outside, out into the elements......get this done regardless of wind, rain or shine.


30 min - Jog to an open space. If you are kind to yourself you'll find a nice patch of grass to use.


60 min - Free movement - Crawling, rolling, stretching, up/down, the Four Exercises, threading, hip pivoting, etc. Aside from any static stretching periods, try to move continuously. Have part of your mind hooked into your breathing, thinking: Light/Deep/Slow.


30 min - Jog back home.


Simple work here today. Feel good for pushing through, and for keeping your eyes on the prize!! Enjoy.


If you're short of time, reduce the distance you jog or forego jogging altogether, and just concentrate on the movement portion of the session.


Session #77 (Wednesday 15.09.21)


Morning Session


10 min - Breath and body check in: Lie on floor, face up. As you inhale, raise both your torso and legs off off the ground assuming a "V" shape. Exhale and release down to full relaxation. Repeat.


20 min - Mobility follow along: https://youtu.be/lPKRiU9u_Hc


10 min - Breath and body check in: Repeat as above.


Afternoon Session


30 min - Take a walk/jog. At each intersection do 10 exercises. Cycle through the 4 exercises ie. at the first intersection do 10 push-ups, at the next intersection do 10 sit-ups, so on and so forth. (Push-up/Sit-up/Squat/Leg raise). Repeat until you've reached the halfway point of your walk/jog.


Once you reach your half-way point, stop and circle down through your joints: Neck, shoulders, elbows, wrists, chest/torso/hips, knee, ankles.


While standing, have your feet a bit wider than your hips, reach your arms out to the sides, hands slightly above shoulder height. Develop a feeling like you're being pulled from your fingertips and from the crown of your head. Spend a few breaths stretching here, relax then repeat a few times.


For the walk/jog home, keep your spine tall/long, soften through your body, feel up and open. Focus on your breath: Light/Deep/Slow

Breathe Light - Reduce the volume of air you are taking in. Breathe so softly that you can barely feel the air moving in and out of your nose. You should just be able to see your abdomen rising and falling the breath is so subtle. Your objective here is to create a tolerable hunger for air. Make it feel like you want to take a large breath to alleviate the feeling.....but don't. If you struggle, breathe normally for 20-30 seconds to recover yourself. 


Breathe Deep - Bring your hands to each side of your abdomen at your lower ribs. Breathe Light as above. Feel as your lower ribs expand. Make this feeling stronger as you go, breathing deeply. As your breath becomes fuller, take fewer breaths.


Breathe Slow - Reduce the cadence of your breath to 6 breaths per minute. Breathe Light and Deep with hands on lower ribs. Inhale for 4 seconds, exhale for 6 seconds.


I for one can't wait until this lockdown period is all wrapped up and we can get back to group training. Make sure you're keeping your training going properly so we can hit the ground running once we return!! See you soon.


Session #76 (Tuesday 14.09.21)


Well, I had intended for this to be a rest day but I woke up early and ended up taking a 3 hour walk. Go figure. Rising with the sun, a strong connection with my breath and an easy pace; all-in-all it actually was quite restful.


Think about what might help you relax and rest. Do that thing and enjoy your day!!


Session #75 (Monday 13.09.21)


Morning Session


5 min - Warm through your joints, shake out, connect in with your breath.


Four exercises: Push-up, Sit-up, Squats, Leg Raise


Spend 15 minutes with each exercise. Get to know the exercise, and yourself, a little better.


For some of the work periods, focus on 'inhale up/exhale down'. Progress this to inhaling until the tension load of the movement has 'maxed out', then shift to exhaling through the rest of the movement. Work this in both the up, and down phases. This should allow you to eek out a few extra repetitions when the going gets tough!!


5-10 min - Shake through.


I added in a 30 minute walk after the session to really enjoy the warmth generated from this work!!

Afternoon Session


No timers for today's session. My session ended up being just over an hour. Shorter, or longer is up to you. Whatever length of time (FEEL for it...), try for continuous breath and movement.


We'll call this one: "By the Rule of 10".


Movements: Crawling, rolling, standing, laying down, walking, stretching, compressing, body weight exercises, etc, etc

Method: Complete 10 repetitions of any movement (ie. 10 steps, 10 push-ups, 10 rolls, etc...), or if stretching, hold the stretch for ten breaths.


Goal: Be present.


Have the goal of NOT planning anything. Try not to think of what you're going to do next. Be present in the movement/stretch. Wait until you've completed the 10 repetitions of any given movement, FEEL where your body wants to go next and slide into the new movement/stretch.


This is hard, patient drilling, be good to yourself. Enjoy.


Session #74 (Sunday 12.09.2​1)


Morning Session


Tension clear-out through soft ground movement - One movement/inhale, one movement/exhale. Use the ground to massage your body, focus on your breathing - Light/Deep/Slow. Aim for 30 minutes.


If you're feeling residual tension in your midsection from your 1000 rolls yesterday, spend some time stretching and opening through the front of your body:


Come to the top of a push-up

Allow your hips to sag down

Rest on your knees

Relax your lower legs fully

Stay tall in your arms (but not locked out)

Push your upper spine upwards to the sky

Hold your head in a neutral position

Chest up and open

Breathe and relax

Feel your abdominal region opening

Add to the opening by rotating through your neck to look over your shoulders, look for your feet.


Mobility follow alongs: https://youtu.be/R3WDe7byUXo / https://youtu.be/LLzJxAcZXE8 


Afternoon Session


Pack walk + exercises + focus on breathing - Light/Deep/Slow.


Load a backpack with some weight and walk for 1/2 hour.


Once you've reached your destination, complete 50 push-ups/50 sit-ups/50 squats.


Walk back home. Once home, complete 100 leg-raises.


5 min - Cool down movement/stretching.


Do the work, FEEL GREAT!!


Session #73 (Saturday 11.09.21)


Simple task today - 1000 rolls.


Forwards

Backwards

Across the shoulders

From flat - no momentum

From knees

From low squat

From standing

To full relaxation

Dynamically - linking multiple rolls together.

Mix it up, keep it fresh and alive.


Now, I would suggest that you wear a couple of layers on your upper half ie. couple t-shirts, t-shirt + sweatshirt, etc. The skin on your shoulders will wear the brunt of this extended exercise period. Make sure to clean + disinfect your shoulders well afterwards if there are any abrasions.


Get it done!! Enjoy.


Session #72 (Friday 10.09.21)


Morning Session


Another long walk with focus on your breath - Light/Deep/Slow.


My session consisted of a carrying 20kg (loaded in a hiking pack) for 1 hour 30 minutes. My focus was on keeping a quick pace and trying to soften and lengthen out my breath + breathing only through the nose.

Afternoon Session


15 min - Walking. Focus on your breath - draw deeply into your abdomen, allow your ribs to expand. Gently hold (NO forcing) at the top of your breath. Feel yourself as a bellows. Relax on the exhale - keep your spine tall . And, your posture - lifting from the crown of the head, shoulders dropped/blades drawn together softly, sacrum rolled under/forwards , hips and knees soft.


30 min - From standing, squat down and place your hands on the ground in front of yourself. Walk your hands out so you're in an extended plank position (EPP), hands shoulders width apart. Walk your hands back in, stand up. Repeat.


As you go, start to spend more time in the EPP, take 2 breaths, 3, 5, 10. Each time you stand shake yourself out. To add difficulty, once in the EPP, walk your hands out to the side so your arms are stretched out at shoulder "height".


15 min - Free movement - walk, stride, run, drop, roll, crawl, stretch, breathe!! Cool and calm yourself as this period goes no.


Times are moving, shifting, changing......this is what we train for, this is who we are. Adapt and thrive!!


Interesting clip here. Makes me think of why I like (...and miss) group training:


What Makes a Good Life: https://youtu.be/8KkKuTCFvzI 


Session #71 (Thursday 09.09.21)


Morning Session


5 min - Loosen/stretch through your body. Warming yourself. Connect with your breath.


10 min - Work SLOW push-ups. Do one at a time. Recover between each repetition. Each time you go in for the next one, SLOW down even more. Stay connected with your breath.


10 min - Sit-ups. As above.


10 min - Squats. As above.


10 min - Leg raise. As above.


5 min - Loosen/stretch through your body. Cool down.


Keep things moving along in your own training......NO ONE IS GOING TO DO IT FOR YOU!!


Afternoon Session


Repeat yesterday's session - GET OUTSIDE. Another blowy, rainy day out there. Get out and FEEL the elements!! Really terrific, powerful.


My version will be quick walking 25kg (loaded into hiking pack) for 1 hour 20 minutes then stretching for 10 minutes.


I hope that everyone is holding it together and dealing with things alright. Be well and stay healthy!!


Session #70 (Wednesday 08.09.21)


Simple task for today - GET OUTSIDE!!


The wind is blowing, the clouds are rolling in and it's raining off/on. What a great day to get out into the elements.


Work in the garden, take a walk, do an exercise or breathwork session, you choose. Don't shy away from being outside when the weather is not within your idea of 'ideal'. Find comfort in discomfort, a powerful skill to foster and develop.


Enjoy!!


Session #69 (Tuesday 07.09.21)


Morning Session


5 min - Pick a position: Lying down/sitting/kneeling, connect with your breath.


10 min - Free movement. Stay connected with your breath. One movement - inhale, one movement - exhale. Keep the movements simple so this is easy to keep track of. If you get lost, keep breathing and stop moving. Take a few breaths and when you're ready, get back to it.


10 min - Lying down (Front/back/side), tension/relaxation drilling. On the inhale, bring tension into your body, on the exhale relax your body. For the first half, think whole body tension - try to spread the tension evenly through your body. Play around with the amount of tension you are using - 25%/50%/75%.


For the second half, begin to isolate the tension to various parts of your body. So, for example, bring tension into your right leg only, your left arm only, etc.


10 min - Free movement. Stay connected with your breath. One movement - inhale, one movement - exhale. Keep the movements simple so this is easy to keep track of. If you get lost, keep breathing and stop moving. Take a few breaths and when you're ready, get back to it.


10 min - Pick 5 spaces in your body you want to stretch. Spend 2 min at each space.


10 min - Find your way down to the ground and back to your feet. Work patiently, soften yourself, take your time, relax.


5 min - Pick a position: Lying down/sitting/kneeling, connect with your breath.

Afternoon Session


5 min - Warm through your joints, shake out, connect in with your breath.


5 min - Stand against a wall. Try to have your heels, glutes, shoulder blades, back of head (chin tucked down slightly) in contact with the wall. Be tall, decompress your spine. Engage through your body, but try to avoid any excessive (tiring) tension.


Four exercises: Push-up, Sit-up, Squat, Leg Raise


Spend 10 minutes with each exercise. Get to know the exercise, and yourself, a little better.


5 min - Shake through with movement on the floor.


5 min - Stand against a wall as before. What has changed? Anything? Nothing? Is it easier or harder?


As you finish, slowly step off the wall trying to keep the same sense of engagement and lengthening through your body. Carry this feeling for as long as possible using the least amount of tension as you can to do so.


Session #68 (Monday 06.09.21)


Jogging/Running/Jogging - Focus on your posture (upright, tall, open) + Light/Deep/Slow Breathing thru your nose only.


Without any warm-up, light jog for 10 minutes then jog back the same distance. (Total 20 minutes)


Next, run the same distance. Do it at a pace that will allow you to make it there and back in less than 20 minutes.


Final round, same distance. Back down to a jogging pace. Recovery - Allow yourself to settle down, get back to Light/Deep/Slow Breathing. (20 minutes)


Stretch out your legs and hips, THANK YOUR BODY!!


Reflect on your breathing - What was happening there? How did it feel? Were you able to breathe through your nose the whole time? Think of the gaps you'd like fill in next time you try this session for yourself. What needs to change?


What was happening with your posture/structure during the activity? Were you able to stay up and open? Where did tension want to reside in your body? Is this a common space for you to feel tension build up? Do you think it is related to excess tension or weakness in the space? What will you do about the tension?


Although some of these activities are pretty basic on the surface, you must look into yourself and the activity in a deeper manner. You must look to learn from these simple tasks, otherwise what's the point? KNOW YOURSELF.


Session #67 (Sunday 05.09.21)


5-10 min - Spend time warming up your joints. Circle thru: Neck (Base of skull/base of neck), shoulders, elbows, wrists, fingers, chest/ribs, spine/torso, hips, knees, ankles, toes.


30 min - Alternate between two positions: 1 - Low squat/duck walk, 2 - On all fours (hands/feet, this can be facing downward AND facing upwards)


Realize that each position is a "rest" position for the other. Meaning, when your legs get jammed up from the duck walk position, transfer to all fours, and allow your legs to relax, decompress, and 'breathe'. When on all fours and your arms get tired, switch back to the duck walk and shake your arms out and allow them to rest.


Back and forth, back and forth. Breathe. Try to work continuously.


5-10 min - Spend time cooling yourself down. Circle thru: Neck (Base of skull/base of neck), shoulders, elbows, wrists, fingers, chest/ribs, spine/torso, hips, knees, ankles, toes.


Manage your efforts, be sensitive to your current condition, and apply your Systema tools!!


Here's a short clip about Systema that HQ put together some time ago. Great for sharing with those that may be curious about what we get up to: https://youtu.be/vRzdZoEqrp4 


Additionally, a clip from the Systema school, IZVOR. Short, sharp, quick, no mucking around, a joy to watch: https://youtu.be/gFzNkA9-BwU 


Session #66 (Saturday 04.09.21)


Morning Session

".....the basis for mastering Systema is a deep restructuring of the body and psyche, starting with the rejection of the majority of old movement and thought patterns, with the return to one's origin - the natural child-like state."


The above quote can be found in the first chapter of Konstantin KOMAROV's Systema Manual. If you haven't had a chance to read this book, I would suggest that you look into it. The book goes into great depth in regards to the methods employed in Systema and provides ideas/outlines to aid your personal development/discovery within the art. Recommended.


During my morning session I kept the phrase "natural child-like state" at the forefront of my mind. I sought to monitor my inner state, manage my efforts, and push through my limitations. I tried to work continuously, and managed to only "need" a few breaks. I will do better next time.


60 mins - Free movement


Can you do it? You want to try? Let's go!!


Afternoon Session


Spend 5-10 minutes loosening up and getting your systems going.


For the session, Youtube search something along the lines of 'HIIT body weight exercise'. Choose one around 30 minutes long.


Here's the version I used:


https://youtu.be/0envLcyE2oU


Once finished, shake out, loosen up. If you've time, take a walk working for relaxation.


Stay healthy, be well.


Session #65 (Friday 03.09.21)


I was reminded by one of my mentors today that it is important to take a day off once in awhile. So, that's what I'm going to do!


Therefore, you are effectively off the hook if you so desire. Take a day off if you're keen. 


Otherwise, sift back through the previous sessions listed and choose one to complete. You could also use the previous sessions to come up with one of your own design. Give it a try, aim for 45-60 minutes of work.


I'll be back at it tomorrow, and should be in a good space to give myself a real thrashing!!


Be well and stay healthy.


Session #64 (Thursday 02.09.21)


Morning Session


Repeat Session #14 below - Walking and Breath focus.


Afternoon Session


5 min - Movement for warm through. Wake everything up, hook into your breath, settle your mind for the session.


15 min - Hold at top of a push-up. Working through your body, softening and moving: Heels/ankles, knees, hips, torso, shoulders, elbows, wrists. Spend a few breaths at each space. Once you've gone through sequence, restart and repeat until time has finished. Rest as you wish, especially if you feel more tension coming to your body rather than dissipating from it. Shake out and get back to it when ready.


15 min - Free movement on the ground: Crawling, rolling, threading, changing positions often.


15 min - Sit-ups. These could be very strict to form through to very lazy. Work continuously if you are able. Have periods where you are focused on keeping your shoulders/arms soft but moving all the time. Breathe freely. Sit up VERY tall at the top of each repetition. Feel your power grow with each rep.


5 min - Movement for cool down. Soften everything down - muscles relax, breath = Light/Deep/Slow


Session #63 (Wednesday 01.09.21)


Walking and breath focus for today's session.


- Chose a place to walk to that will take 20-30 minutes to get to.

- Work on your breathing 'ladder' (ex: 4 steps inhale/exhale, 5 steps inhale/exhale, 10, 15, etc...).

- For today, quickly work up to the first level that challenges you. You should feel a hunger for your next breath. Stay here and dwell in the slight discomfort.

- Take your time, no hurry.

- Once satisfied that your system has calmed down, add another step....and so on.


When you've reached your destination, complete 30 repetitions of each of the 4 exercises. Have a shake out before heading back home.


- On the way back, reverse the 'ladder' order.

- Start where you ended up earlier (ex: 20 steps inhale/exhale, 19, 18, etc...).

- Work your way back down to 4 steps inhale/exhale.

- Your breath should feel very easy, soft and be barely noticeable.


Once back home, roll your feet on a ball or stick for 5-10 minutes and stretch through your calves.


BREATHE / FEEL / GROW


Session #62 (Tuesday 31.08.21)


During an interview with Vladimir VASILIEV on the Systema for Life podcast, Vladimir mentioned the importance of SLOW exercises a number of times. So, here ya go, work slowly, patiently.


5 min - Loosen/stretch through your body. Warming yourself. Connect with your breath.


10 min - Work SLOW push-ups. Do one at a time. Recover between each repetition. Each time you go in for the next one, SLOW down even more. Stay connected with your breath.


10 min - Sit-ups. As above.


10 min - Squats. As above.


10 min - Leg raise. As above.


5 min - Loosen/stretch through your body. Cool down.


Keep things moving along in your own training......NO ONE IS GOING TO DO IT FOR YOU!!


Session #61 (Monday 30.08.21)


Morning Session


30/45 min - Rolling (Forwards/backwards/across shoulders). Do one roll then COMPLETELY relax. Take a few breaths. Next do two rolls linked together then COMPLETELY relax. Take a few breaths. Continue in the same format adding a roll each time. Allow the relaxation/recovery period to grow in relation to the amount of work (ie. number of rolls) you are doing.


10 min - Light/Deep/Slow breathing. Soften everything down, make it so you can barely feel the air going in and out. Enjoy.

Afternoon Session


30 min - Spend as much of the 30 minutes at the top of a push-up (leaning rest). Take breaks as required but make sure you are pushing through some limits. When you think you need to take a break, take 5 slow, even breaths before deciding to stop or not. When ready get back to it.


Tips: Engage through your core, tuck your tailbone slightly, draw your pubic bone up towards your ribs. Pack your shoulders down towards your waistline, slight tension between the shoulder blades. Hands are somewhere close to being under your shoulders. Elbows and knees are kept soft. Keep scanning your body from top to bottom, acknowledge areas where tension is building up, where you feel loose. If you need to move things around, try to do it subtly, minimize your energy expenditure. Feel your breath moving into and out of your body, filling you with power!!


15 min - Have a good shake out, move and stretch yourself.

5 min - Light/Deep/Slow breathing. Slow everything down, relax.

Keep your fires stoked, do something for yourself everyday!!


Session #60 (Sunday 29.08.21)


Morning Session


5 min - Breath Check-in + stretching through body/decompressing joints


100 times - Down to ground/Back to feet


50 - Forward rolls over shoulder


50 - Backwards rolls over shoulder


5 min - Cool down, soften. Breath check-in - Light/Deep/Slow


Afternoon Session 


Revisit of yesterday's wall session. Same work - explore and refine. Come out the other side feeling more relaxed, more connected, more focused.


Get out and take a walk afterwards if you're able. Breathe and soak in your surroundings.


Session #59 (Saturday 28.08.21)


You'll need a small section of wall for today's session. Just needs to be a little wider than your shoulders. If you don't have access to this, the same work can be done on the floor.


10 min - Place your back onto the wall. Alternate between walking your shoulders or walking your hips up and down on the wall.


10 min - Step away from the wall and practice 'falling' backwards onto it. Start your work relatively close to the wall, depending on your comfort level - the closer you are the easier the contact will be, further away you are will start to generate some good impact. Engage the wall with the meat of your back, your lats + back of arm + erector spinae group to a certain extent. Try to keep impact away from your spine. Roll across your shoulders and pop back off the wall. Repeat.


20 min - Face the wall, bridge out into a 'push-up' on the wall. Work on your fists. Alternate between a static hold/bridge to more dynamic 'push-ups'. Change where your hands are - close together, staggered up and down, one in/one out, rotate through your arms to change the orientation of your fist.


10 min - In 'push-up' position, this time with each 'push-up' pop yourself up off the wall. Aim to have your arms completely relax and fall to your sides after pushing yourself off the wall. Fall back towards the wall, catch yourself on your fists, Here your arms act as shock absorbers. Repeat.


10 min - Have a good shake out through your body, a bit if free movement + stretching out what feels like it needs it.


The wall, same as the ground, can be a great teacher. Listen to what it is trying to tell you. Enjoy!!


Session #58 (Friday 27.08.21)


Sorry for late post, on the go today, hands in the garden dirt. All cleaned up and fed, now time for session:

10 min - Connect with breath. Lie on the floor (front/back/side). Breathe deeply, pull your breath down into abdomen, lengthen your breath phases. With each exhale, let go of tension, sink into the floor. Scan your body for spaces that aren't 'letting go', don't try to changes these spaces, just acknowledge them.


10 min - Connect with your heartbeat. Continue with your deep breathing. Try to pick up your heartbeat. Put your mind in your fingertips, feel your heart beating there. Take your time, establish a good connection. Every ten breaths or so, move your focus to another space - feet, belly, neck, chest, etc...FEEL!!


20 min - Contraction/Expansion (on floor). On the exhale, make your body as small as possible. Draw everything inwards working towards the 'fetal' position. On the inhale, open your body by stretching your hands and feet as far away from your core as possible. Make sure to time this applying and release of tension to your breathing. Breath comes in and out slowly, so should the tension. Feel free to change positions here. Make the expansion/'tension' phase stronger and stronger as you go (making sure that you are letting go properly on the exhale). Add, twisting through your limbs on the expansion phase.


10 min - Down to ground. Back to feet. Exhale down, inhale up. Very relaxed, efficient. Every time you get up, leave tension on the floor. Stand with more and more power. Cleanse your body/mind of excess tension. LET IT GO.


5 min - Soft breathing on the floor (front/back/side).


Session #57 (Thursday 26.08.21)


5 min - Breath Check-in. On the floor, on front/back/side. Light/Deep/Slow breathing. Keep eyes open.


10 min - Stand on one foot, maintain balance. If you lose your balance, catch yourself and stand on the other foot. While keeping your balance, start to see what kind of movements you can complete - Reach to the floor, move the lifted leg, lower/rise on support leg, etc. Shake out as you need to.


10 min - Top of a push-up. Work at developing a strong structure. Once your structure is in place, start to bring one of your hands or feet off of the ground. Move the freed limb if you'd like to. Replace on ground. Work through all limbs. Do not allow your body shape to deform when bringing contact point off of the ground ie. try to remain in the push-up position.


10 min - Free movement and stretching. Stretch through your movement, do not hold static stretches.


5 min - Stand tall. Close your eyes. Rise up onto the balls of your feet. Balance there. Breathe.


5 min - Repeat Breath Check-in. On the floor/back/side. Light/Deep/Slow breathing. Keep eyes open.


There ya have it. Keep your mind and body connected. Take a walk, feel the breeze and sun!! Cheers.


Session #56 (Wednesday 25.08.21)


20-30 min - Walking. Lengthen spine, shoulders drawn back slightly, open chest, soft knees/ankles. Extend breath phases (10+ steps inhale/10+ steps exhale). Keep breath Light/Deep/Slow.


20 min - Rolling over shoulder - forwards/backwards/shoulder-to-shoulder. Start with work focused on softening/relaxing. Move towards more dynamic work as time goes on - linking rolls, rolling from standing, rolling to get off the ground, etc


20-30 min - Walking as above.


Get some fresh air, take a breath, soften, open, FEEL!!


Session #55 (Tuesday 24.08.21)


Warm-up and cool-down as you wish, shake out your muscles, get your joints moving, check in with your breathing.


Simple task for today =

  • The Four Exercises (Push-up/Sit-up/Squat/Leg Raise)
  • Do at least 100 reps of each (FEEL FREE TO DO MORE!!........a roll of the dice has set it to 300 of each for me).
  • Get through it however you wish to break it up......just get through it!!


Enjoy, and see you on the other side.....


Session #54 (Monday 23.08.21)


10 min - Warm through with down to ground/back to feet. Try to do it a little differently each time. Go to front, back or side. Work very small at times, to very large movements at others. Make restrictions for yourself, tuck an arm or leg away, etc. NO breath holds - breathe freely, breathe all the time.


??? min - Lying on the floor. Inhale and stretch from your fingertips and heels, try to get these as far from you spine as possible. Once the tension is established, start to breathe. Keep track of the tension, don't lose it. If anything, with each exhale make the tension stronger. Start with 5 breaths. Shake out and repeat. Now for 10 breaths, 15 breaths, 20, 25, 30. Shake out between each set, get rid of the tension you've previously created. Pay attention to the spaces that won't let go properly, make a note of these in your mind.


10 min - As before, down to ground/back to feet. 


??? min - Take your mind to the spaces in your body that wouldn't let go in the previous drilling. Start stretching through these places. Think about where the muscles attach at either end. Get these ends as far away from one another as you can. You should be looking for a 6/10 on the ol' stretch-o'-meter. Enough for you to feel a challenge, not enough to where discomfort comes in and you want to stop. Breathe softly.


10 min - As above, down to ground/back to feet.


5 min - Relax on the ground, face up. Collect your breath and take control of it. Aim for Light/Deep/Slow.


Be kind to yourself, do something everyday if you are able. Breathe and feel.


Session #53 (Sunday 22.08.21)


5 min - Check in with your breathing (seated or lying down). Take control of your breath, making it steady and even.


5 min - Spend time warming up your joints. Circle thru: Neck (Base of skull/base of neck), shoulders, elbows, wrists, fingers, chest/ribs, spine/torso, hips, knees, ankles, toes.


30 min - Alternate between two positions: 

1 - Walking in a low squat position aka duck walk

2 - Walking on all fours (hands/feet, this can be facing downward AND facing upwards, knees stay off the ground)


Realize that each position is a "rest" position for the other. Meaning, when your legs get jammed up from the duck walk position, transfer to all fours, and allow your legs to relax, decompress, breathe. When on all fours and your arms get tired, switch back to the duck walk and shake your arms out and allow them to rest.


Back and forth, back and forth. Breathe. Try to work continuously.


5 min - Spend time cooling yourself down. Circle thru: Neck (Base of skull/base of neck), shoulders, elbows, wrists, fingers, chest/ribs, spine/torso, hips, knees, ankles, toes.


5 min - Check in with your breathing (seated or lying down) - Move towards: Light/Deep/Slow breathing.

Secondary - Take a walk, feel the breeze on your face, take in the fresh air. Enjoy!!


Session #52 (Saturday 21.08.21)


5 min - Free movement. Warm your body through, hook into your breath, stretch and twist through your limbs and torso.


10 min - Bridges. Lie on your back, raise your knees, both feet drawn in towards your buttocks, flat on the ground. Raise your hips as you inhale, relax down as you exhale. Raise onto both shoulders evenly. Squeeze through glutes and hamstrings.


5 min - Free movement.


10 min - Bridge onto one shoulder. Work as above but as you rise turn through your hips/torso come up onto the outside of one shoulders (inside shoulder). The outside arm crosses the face and threads, palm down, into the space under your neck. The opposite foot from the inside shoulder drives into the floor for power. Engage through your core and tuck your tailbone to allow the upper and lower body to stay full integrated.


5 min - Free movement.


10 min - Hip thrusters. You'll need something to elevate your shoulders on, 12 inches to knee height (small bench, coffee table, step, chair). Shoulders elevated, go through the same bridging action as above. Add resistance with weight at lower abdomen/hips.


5 min - Free movement. Soften your body down.


5 min - Breathing. Sitting or lying down. Light/Deep/Slow as described in Session #2 below.


There you have it. 30 minutes of bridging will keep you challenged, healthy and honest!! Enjoy.


Session #51 (Friday 20.08.21)


Buteyko Breathwork - Complete in upright, seated position or lying on back. Breathe through your nose only.

(As presented by Patrick McKEOWN in The Breathing Cure)


Breathe Light - Reduce the volume of air you are taking in. Breathe so softly that you can barely feel the air moving in and out of your nose. You should just be able to see your abdomen rising and falling the breath is so subtle. Your objective here is to create a tolerable hunger for air. Make it feel like you want to take a large breath to alleviate the feeling.....but don't. If you struggle, breathe normally for 20-30 seconds to recover yourself. Aim to develop the ability to breathe lightly for 4-5 minutes without stopping.


Breathe Deep - Bring your hands to each side of your abdomen at your lower ribs. Breathe Light as above. Feel as your lower ribs expand. Make this feeling stronger as you go, breathing deeply. As your breath becomes fuller, take fewer breaths. Continue for 4-5 minutes.


Breathe Slow - Reduce the cadence of your breath to 6 breaths per minute. Breathe Light and Deep with hands on lower ribs. Inhale for 4 seconds, exhale for 6 seconds. Continue for 4-5 minutes.


30 mins - Move on the ground, crawling, rolling, 4 exercises, hip pivot, thread legs, thread arms, etc. Try to keep your breath as above - Light, Deep, Slow. Anytime you feel your systems getting ramped up, soften, slow and minimize your movement until recovered. If you struggle to recover on the move cease your movement, and recover on your front, back or side. When recovered back down to Light, Deep, Slow breathing, start to move again.


All this drilling is for Awareness and Internal Control. FEEL what is taking place in your mind/body. Where is there freedom, where is there restriction? Take your time, don't rush. FEEL and ENJOY!!


Session #50 (Thursday 19.08.21)


Simple start for today's session. This will get you moving, breathing, and warmed through:


5 mins - soft, free movement on the floor - crawling, rolling, stretching.


Next, as we've done in class recently, go to your 4 Exercises (Push-up/Sit-up/Leg Raise/Squat):


Complete one repetition of each exercise. Link the exercises together smoothly. You should find that each exercise in the order listed above will feed nicely into the next. If you get lost, reset at the Push-up in the down position.


Focus on a soft, smooth breath throughout. Try for 10 mins / 20 mins / 30 mins / etc.....Continuous work, no stopping.


After your time with the four exercises, move freely for a 10 minute period, cooling down, stretching and thanking your body for all its effort.


Finally, lie on your back, relax your body and breath. Spend 5-10 minutes softening down your breathing until you can barely feel it happening.


Feel great and ready to engage with the world around you!! Cheers.

COVID Level 4 Lockdown starting 17th August 2021 (sessions above)

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Session #49 (Friday 05.03.21)

Treat yourself to some solo massage work today. Take your time, hook into your breathing. Feel what is taking place in your body, where the tension and weakness lies, where you feel free and strong.


The ground is your massage therapist today. Trust it. Give in to it. Be present and FEEL.


On the ground, crawl/roll/move on your front/back/sides. Turn yourself over, lift yourself, drop yourself down, greet the ground. Breathe freely, elongate your breath phases as you move, no forcing. Feel the "bellows" of your natural movement. Feel it is your movement drawing the air into, and pushing the air out of, your lungs.


Initially, work at a pace and intensity that will allow you to find your "groove" for the day, your optimum space - the place where challenge and comfort embrace one another. As you progress, play with this, experiment - allow yourself to work faster, allow yourself to peak out, get puffed, struggle. Now find your way back to your optimum space. Repeat this numerous times, make sure to allow time for the "recovery" phase.


The length of time you do this is up to you. I'll tell you though, you'll never feel things properly if you don't allow the time for your brain/body to understand what it is you're trying to accomplish ie Internal Control, Relaxation, Working Dynamically.


Once finished, feel recharged, ironed out, and ready to breathe in the world!! 


Session #48 (Thursday 04.03.21)

Revisit with our old friend the "Leaning Rest" aka holding at the top of a push-up.


5 min - Free movement/stretching through the body. Get your breathing working for you. All smooth, no gaps, feel power with every movement and breath!!


30 min - Spend as much of the 30 minutes at the top of a push-up (leaning rest). Take breaks as required but make sure you are pushing through some limits. When you think you need to take a break, take 5 slow, even breaths before deciding to stop or not. If you stop, shake out and when ready, get back to it.


Tips: Engage through your core, tuck your tailbone slightly, draw your pubic bone up towards your ribs. Pack your shoulders down towards your waistline, slight tension between the shoulder blades. Hands are somewhere close to being under your shoulders. Elbows and knees are kept soft. Keep scanning your body from top to bottom, acknowledge areas where tension is building up, where you feel loose. If you need to move things around, try to do it subtly, minimize your energy expenditure. Feel your breath moving into and out of your body, filling you with power!!


10 min - Free movement. Use this time to work through your body and free up any areas that were problematic during the hold period.


5 min - Relax on the floor, on your back. Breathe and let go. After the 5 minutes is up, rise to your feet refreshed!!


Session #47 (Wednesday 03.03.21)

Straight forward work for today's session. Apply yourself, get through it, and feel great on the other side.


5 min - Warm through your joints, shake out, connect in with your breath. Moving on floor, up and down, stretch, light easy work.


5 min - Stand against a wall. Try to have your heels, calves, glutes, shoulder blades, back of head (chin tucked down slightly) in contact with the wall. Be tall, decompress your spine. Engage through your body, but try to avoid any excessive (tiring) tension.


Four exercises: Push-up, Sit-up, Squat, Leg Raise


Spend 10 minutes with each exercise. Get to know the exercise, and yourself, a little better.


5 min - Shake through with movement on the floor.


5 min - Stand against a wall as before. What has changed? Anything? Nothing? Is it easier or harder?


As you finish, slowly step off the wall trying to keep the same sense of engagement and lengthening through your body. Carry this feeling for as long as possible using the least amount of tension as you can to do so.


Session #46 (Tuesday 02.03.21)

15-30 min - Walking. Focus on your breath - draw deeply into your abdomen, allow your ribs to expand. Gently hold (NO forcing) at the top of your breath. Feel yourself as a bellows. Relax on the exhale - keep your spine tall . And, your posture - lifting from the crown of the head, shoulders dropped/blades drawn together softly, sacrum rolled under/forwards , hips and knees soft.


15 min - From standing, squat down and place your hands on the ground in front of yourself. Walk your hands out so you're in an extended plank position (EPP), hands shoulders width apart. Walk your hands back in, stand up. Repeat.


As you go, start to spend more time in the EPP, take 2 breaths, 3, 5, 10. Each time you stand shake yourself out. To add difficulty, once in the EPP, walk your hands out to the side so your arms are stretched out at shoulder "height".


15 min - Free movement - walk, stride, run, drop, roll, crawl, stretch, breathe!!


Times are moving, shifting, changing......this is what we train for, this is who we are.


Adapt and thrive!!


Session #45 (Monday 01.03.21)

10 minutes - Moving and stretching on the ground. Compress (exhale) and expand (inhale) - follow the natural "bellows" of your body's movement. Stretch from your finger tips, heels/toes. Twist through your limbs and torso.


20 minutes - The Four Exercises (push-up/sit-up/squat/leg raise). Work from exercise to exercise, no particular order. Do any number of repetitions, linking the different exercises smoothly in any order you wish (don't get locked into any patterns). Work at a pace that allows you to work continuously. Your goal is to work VERY LIGHTLY. When you feel any excess tension building up in your body/mind, switch to the next exercise. Avoid "peaking" your systems. See if you can go the full 20 minutes without stopping. Feel how relaxed and full of power you can feel with a little awareness!!


5 minutes - Relax and breathe. Lie on your back, facedown, or on your side. Switch positions when you feel the need. Bring no excess tension into your body, stay relaxed during both the inhale phase and exhale phase. Let go.


10 minutes - Moving and stretching on the ground. Compress (exhale) and expand (inhale). Stretch from your finger tips, heels/toes. Twist through your limbs and torso.


Now that you're nice and relaxed, apply yourself to a simple task or two - could be further exercise, riding a bike, walking, household chores, gardening, etc. Try to keep that sense of relaxation and fullness throughout. Enjoy the rest of your day!!


Session #44 (Sun 28.02.21)

Choose a distance to walk. 20-30 minutes. Aim to have a halfway point at a park or school, etc.


As you walk to your destination, every time you come to an intersection (whether X or T), do 10 push-ups and 10 squats. Keep track of the number of each you do.


USE THE TIME BETWEEN INTERSECTIONS TO RECOVER YOURSELF.


When you've reached the halfway point, do the COMBINED number of your push-ups and squats in sit-ups.


Roll and stretch for 5 minutes.


Walk back home doing the same as before - 10 push-ups and 10 squats at the intersections.


Once back home, do the COMBINED number of your push-ups and squats in leg raises.


Roll and stretch for 10 minutes.


Stay engaged with yourself, be well and stay healthy!! See you tomorrow for the next one.....

Covid Level 3 Resurgence Lockdown (sessions above)

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Session #43 (Mon 25.05.20)

5 min - On the floor, stretching, moving, compressing/expanding. Work softly, get your joints moving, opening.


15 min - Four Exercises. Do 1 of each exercise. Next round, do 2 of each exercise. Next, 3...4...5...etc. Keep going until you max out one of the exercises, once maxed out, start to come back down the ladder.


10 min - Tension/Relaxation drilling. On the floor, assume a comfortable position. On the inhale, bring tension into your body. On the exhale, release the tension. Work with "full" body tension/spread the tension evenly through your body. Scan down through your body as you work. Feel for what engages easily and what is harder to engage, what releases easily and what is stuck.


10 min - Think back to the previous drill and do focused stretching through the spaces that aren't doing what they're told!! Whether stuck or not engaging......


5 min - On the floor on your back. Breathing and relaxing. Let go! Keep your breathing soft. Be present, don't drift, keep your mind on your breath.


Stand, shake out, and feel refreshed and loose!! Enjoy.


Session #42 (Sat 23.05.20)

Missed the Thursday session, most of the crew tied up with work and getting schedules sorted out. So instead, treated the member that did show to Pravilo Suspension Training session - always a good result!!


So, now for Saturday's session. We continue to tackle holding at the top of a push-up for as much of a 30 minutes period as possible as our Saturday session.


This continues to be a straight forward method for checking down through our bodies, managing stress/discomfort, and developing spirit/resilience.


Give it a try. Engage through the core, slightly tuck your tailbone, soften your knees and elbows relative to the load, pack your shoulders down, and gently move your head/neck to tension check through your shoulders. Tension check, soften/move what you can. Work SUBTLY.


Make sure to push through adversity - simple method is: When you're hitting the wall, calm yourself and take 5 smooth, long, soft breaths. Then, if needed, rest down on your knees and have a shake out. When recovered and ready return yourself to the top of the push-up. If after the 5 breaths you have calmed enough, push on through and continue to hold.


Once finished, stand, walk, shake out. Feel the warmth and strength throughout your body and mind.


Enjoy this, it is a great way to have a deep look into yourself!!

Session #41 (Wed 20.05.20)

Session Revisit (#4)


No timers for today's session. My session ended up being just over an hour. Shorter, or longer is up to you. Whatever length of time (FEEL for it...), try for continuous breath and movement.


We'll call this one: "By the Rule of 10".


Movements: Crawling, rolling, standing, laying down, walking, stretching, compressing, body weight exercises, etc, etc

Method: Complete 10 repetitions of any movement (ie. 10 steps, 10 push-ups, 10 rolls, etc...), or if stretching, hold the stretch for ten breaths.


Goal: Be present.


Have the goal of NOT planning anything. Try not to think of what you're going to do next. Be present in the movement/stretch. Wait until you've completed the 10 repetitions of any given movement, FEEL where your body wants to go next and slide into the new movement/stretch.


This is hard, patient drilling, be good to yourself. Enjoy.

Session #40 (Mon 18.05.20)

Lie on your back with your knees slightly raised, head on the ground. Gently rock yourself from side to side. Relax and sink into the ground. Start the movement from different parts of your body - head/neck, shoulders, ribs/spine, hips, knees, feet. Breathe freely. Allow yourself to be massaged by the ground.


Keep the movement very soft/subtle in the beginning. Over time allow the movement to become bigger and bigger until you are turning onto your side. You can add in reaching your top arm upwards to the sky, stretching from your fingertips. Try to increase your level of relaxation as the movement becomes bigger. Really sink into the ground, allow gravity to take over. Breathe freely.


Additionally, you can start to hold tension in part of your body, an example being your left arm. Load tension there, isolate it. Try not to allow the tension to travel to the rest of your body. Keep rocking yourself side to side. Breathe freely. Shift the tension to another area, an example being your right leg, etc.


If keen, you can turn yourself over and go through the same sequence on the front of your body.


Spend some time with yourself. Breathe for yourself. Move for yourself. Encourage others to do the same. There is a saying attributed to the Hopi that states, "Go to your sacred caves, for what you see will drive you mad." This drilling makes me think that as things around us seem out of control, if we allow it, we can find a quiet moment to slow things down and remind ourselves that we are -

our breath, our movement, our present. 

Session #39 (Sun 17.05.20)

Lie down on your back. Inhale slowly. Pull your breath deeply into your abdomen. As your diaphragm maxes out on its range of motion, allow your chest to rise and your ribs to open. Allow a natural shift to the exhale, and let go of everything that feels taut, and relax. Try not to add anything to the exhale, no forcing, no pushing, just release.


As you proceed, start to lengthen out the inhale phase. Again, no forcing, just slowing down.


Next, on the exhale turn yourself over. Use minimal effort. Initiate the movement from different parts of your body by imagining yourself being pulled along by the chosen part. Back to front, front to back, over and over. Take you time. Stationary on the inhale, move on the exhale.


Now do that for 20, 30...60 minutes and tell me you've ever felt more relaxed!! Enjoy.

Session #38 (Sat 16.05.20)

Standing order for Saturday session = Hold at the top of a push-up for as much of a 30 min period as you can.


Challenging exercise you can use for a weekly check-in with yourself - physically, mentally, emotionally. Push through discomfort, safely. Rest and shake out as required.


Use the time to analyze where your excess tension lies, and find where their are holes/gaps in the integrity/strength of your body.


Can you stay fully present or does your mind wander? Where is your mind? In your breathing, your muscles, your discomfort, etc?


Are you alone? Is it easy enough to quit if no one is looking? Or can you push past the limitations/restrictions you feel?


There is a lot happening in this 'simple' drill. Be good to yourself and make sure to shake out before and after working through this drill.


Short and sharp, a tidy measure.

Session #37 (Thurs 14.05.20)

Sorry again for the late posting. Couple appointments today and a bit of running around.


So, maybe for today, I'll give ya something to watch to spur you on for your training session tomorrow. This comes from a great resource generator, Rob Poynton, Cutting Edge Systema, UK. Rob has a lot of tremendous videos covering varying aspects relating to Systema and training.


YouTube title: Systema Vlog May 20 - Motivation & Mindset


Link: https://youtu.be/8l91q-pcsHs


So, for tomorrow, your task is to harness your motivation and mindset, and come up with a training session for yourself. Think and feel for what it is you need - flexibility, strength, mobility, skill, etc, etc. Come up with a 1 hour session that explores what you FEEL you need to focus on.


Do the work, feel great, thrive!!

Session #36 (Wed 13.05.20)

Session Revisit (#14)


100+ x Push-up

100+ x Sit-up

100+ x Squat

100+ x Leg raise

100+ x Rolls (forwards/backwards over shoulder)


Get these done however you wish, just get them done!! Smash them all out in one go, break them up (5s, 10s, 20s, etc...) during your day, focus on one exercise + once completed move on to the next, eyes closed/eyes open, breath holds + recovery, wearing a weighted backpack, etc


20-30min - Stretch and/or foam rolling to say a big "thank you" to your body/mind/spirit!!


Just finished up, nice and warm even though got a good soaking out in the wind and rain. Feels great to stir up the damp earth and get the senses going.


Keep pushing team, keep doing well, and let's all keep our eyes on the prize, ay!!

Session #35 (Mon 11.05.20)

Pick up something 'heavy' and carry it around for 1 hour - Walking, up/down, ground movement.


The item you carry should be manageable but also challenging tp hold. Ex: Duffle bag with loose items, duffle bag with sand (filled to 50% capacity), kettlebell, fence post/piece of wood, weights plates, box of random loose items, etc. Better to use something that forces you to constantly have to adapt to in terms of how you have to carry it.


This is a drill that makes you focus in on: developing strong structures, to use functional tension, to relax/rest the 'free'/unburdened parts of your body, to harness your breathing to help keep your systems calm, to work on your endurance/spirit.


Once you've finished up your hour's worth of work, recover yourself with some soft, loosening movement; stretching, opening, feeling great!!

Session #34 (Sun 10.05.20)

Sorry for the late posting. Hope you didn't wait around for me!!


Did you get yourself outside? Moving? Breathing? Growing? I hope so. Sometimes you've got to take the reins, come up with a plan, implement that plan, and come out the other side smiling!!


For myself, this last week was a good thrashing, so today was a gentle, recovery session.


Movement, stretching, twisting, soft breathwork, calming my systems, freeing the stuck spaces, thanking my brain and body, feeling the sun, feeling the breeze.


Be well, stay healthy. See you soon!!!

Session #33 (Sat 09.05.20)

Time for your weekly check-in with the Push-up.


Hold at the top of a push-up for as much of a 30 period as you can.


Focus in on your breath, allow that to be your gauge. Keep your breath phases long and controlled.


When things start to ramp up, do a few push-ups to calm yourself down, then back to leaning rest.


If you hit a 'breaking' point, take 5 slow breaths, then stand, walk, shake out. When ready, get back to it.


15 min - Get yourself down on the ground and move. Wash away any excess tension developed during the previous drill. 

Contract/expand. Stretch/twist. Breathe/move softly,


5 min - Lie on back, stay relaxed and breathe deeply. Feel for your heart beating.


Good work!! Now have a good day.


COVID Update: Looks like things are shifting towards level 2. All indications show that we should be able to return to group training when this takes place. I hope everyone is as excited as I am!!.....and ready to get back to it!! Stay tuned for details.

Session #32 (Thurs 07.05.20)

15 min - Free movement, crawling, rolling, up/down, stretching yourself. Breathe freely and continuously through the full period. Work at an intensity that allows your to work for the full 15 minutes.


30 min - Breathwork + the Four Exercises (Push-up, Sit-up, Squats, Leg Raise):


Lie on the floor, hold your breath (inhale fully, exhale slightly and hold), when you can't hold your breath any longer go into your recovery breathing (soft, shallow breathing at fast pace until you feel you can naturally slow down to 'normal' breathing).


While recovery breathing, perform the Four Exercises - any number of repetitions each, any order, mix them around. Perform the exercise in a way that will help you SLOW your systems down.


When you feel FULLY recovered, hold your breath again and repeat the sequence.


10 min - Free movement, crawling, rolling, up/down, stretching yourself. Breathe freely and continuously through the full period. Work at an intensity that allows your to work for the full 10 minutes.


5 min - Lie on your back, breath and relax, SLOW everything down. When the timer goes off, take 5 slow, deep breaths, staying relaxed. On the last exhale, stand to your feet, refreshed and ready to face the day!!

Session #31 (Wed 06.05.20)

Session revisit:


Straight forward work for today's session. Apply yourself, get through it, and feel great on the other side.


5 min - Warm through your joints, shake out, connect in with your breath.


Four exercises: Push-up, Sit-up, Squats, Leg Raise


Spend 15 minutes with each exercise. Get to know the exercise, and yourself, a little better.


For some of the work periods, focus on 'inhale up/exhale down'. Progress this to inhaling until the tension load of the movement has 'maxed out', then shift to exhaling through the rest of the movement. Work this in both the up, and down phases. This should allow you to eek out a few extra repetitions when the going gets tough!!


5-10 min - Shake through.


I added in a 30 minute walk after the session to really enjoy the warmth generated from this work!!

Session #30 (Mon 04.05.20)

10 min - Connect with breath. Lie on the floor (front/back/side). Breathe deeply, pull your breath down into abdomen, lengthen your breath phases. With each exhale, let go of tension, sink into the floor. Scan your body for spaces that aren't 'letting go', don't try to changes these spaces, just acknowledge them.


10 min - Connect with your heartbeat. Continue with your deep breathing. Try to pick up your heartbeat. Put your mind in your fingertips, feel your heart beating there. Take your time, establish a good connection. Every ten breaths or so, move your focus to another space - feet, belly, neck, chest, etc...FEEL!!


20 min - Contraction/Expansion (on floor). On the exhale, make your body as small as possible. Draw everything inwards working towards the 'fetal' position. On the inhale, open your body by stretching your hands and feet as far away from your core as possible. Make sure to time this applying and release of tension to your breathing. Breath comes in and out slowly, so should the tension. Feel free to change positions here. Make the expansion/'tension' phase stronger and stronger as you go (making sure that you are letting go properly on the exhale). Add, twisting through your limbs on the expansion phase.


10 min - Stand, walk, shake out through your body. Breathe. Again, scan your body. What has loosened, what is still tight? Focus some shake out on these stuck spaces.


10 min - Down to ground. Back to feet. Exhale down, inhale up. Very relaxed, efficient. Every time you get up, leave tension on the floor. Stand with more and more power. Cleanse your body/mind of excess tension. LET IT GO.


5 min - Soft breathing on the floor (front/back/side).


Rise, feel full of strength and power, relaxed and ready to face the day(s)!!


Bonus: Book recommendation - The Oxygen Advantage by Patrick McKeown

Session #29 (Sun 03.05.20)

15 min - Stretch/loosen/warm through


45 min - Walking while working breathing ladder (1 step inhale/1 step exhale......10 step inhale/10 step exhale.....etc).


15 min - Free movement. Expand/contract. Twist through your body. Up/down. Add in the Four Exercises. Breathe freely. Try to work continuously through the 15 minute period.


100 repetitions - Lie on your back. On the inhale, raise your upper body and legs off the ground. (Think a loose version of the 'V Sit-up') Keep legs and arms relaxed, balance on your backside. On the exhale, relax and lower back to the ground. If you lose the breath pattern, stop, regroup and press-on once sorted.


Get outside, work through, feel the wind and rain on your face. Enjoy the elements!!

Session #28 (Sat 02.05.20)

Regular Saturday session = As much of a 30 minute period holding at the top of a push-up + warm-up/cool-down.


Really struggled here today, both physically and mentally. Pushed through though. Spent a good half hour afterwards stretching/moving afterwards in an attempt to wash out some tension left over from the push-up hold.


Just gotta keep pushing forwards, accept failure, process, re-tool, adjust.


Change can only come from me.......no one is gonna do it for me!!


Onwards and upwards.

Session #27 (Thurs 30.04.20)

Work the same session as yesterday - Focus on Sufficiency of breath.


There is a depth to this work and it should be looked at with respect to that. So, take your time, FEEL, be patient.


Great resource for this work is Vladimir's 'Breath for Internal Control' download/dvd. Check it out if you can.


Added: 50 min - Targeted stretching + foam rolling (quads/hamstrings/adductors/calves)


I will being doing the same session tomorrow also. Maybe you'll do similar.....


Feel good.

Session #26 (Wed 29.04.20)

Reading through Vladimir VASILIEV's "Let Every Breath"......again. Really fixated on the section in Chapter Three - The Seven Principles relating to Sufficiency. I'm really taken by the sentence, "Try to be sensitive to what your body is really asking for."


I think about how much I over breathe in general, and at times, even at rest. I think about the needless energy expenditure, day in and day out. I can feel my overworked breathing-accessory muscles, I can feel the tension there. I can feel how this pulls my body out of balance.


I took the opportunity today to slow my breath down as much as I could. I simply kept my mouth closed when possible (I wasn't working breath holds or anything). When I was able, I would do a slow-count in my head, gently lengthening out my breath phases.


I chose to extend this into the exercise period of my day, as a way of loading on some good stress. It was EXTREMELY challenging, not without it's multiple missteps.


So, for today's session (and subsequent!) - focus on sufficiency. We always say, 'breathe, breathe, breathe' in class. OK, everyone's breathing, but.......how are we breathing? Is there control there? Are we taking just the 'necessary amount of air' or are we being greedy? Are we keeping our body relatively relaxed while breathing? Etc, etc...


During rest, acknowledge your breathing. While you're active, acknowledge your breathing. Start to analyze what is taking place with your breathing. Keep in mind, you will have your own breathing issues, different than mine. Now is the time to FEEL what is happening with YOU?


10 min - Stretch through your body. Twist your limbs. Lengthen out your breath phases. Breathe with ease and efficiency.

30 min - Free movement. Rolling, crawling, up/down, falling, make yourself small/make yourself big, etc. Try to keep your breath phases long. Breathe with ease and efficiency.

10 min - Stretch through your body. Slow everything down. If your breathing is out of control, reel it back in, take control of it. Lengthen out your breath phases. Breathe with ease and efficiency.


On our return to regular classes, we will course correct and be focusing alot of time on the quality of things rather than just doing the things.


Be well, see ya soon!!

Session #25 (Mon 27.04.20)

Straight forward work for today's session. Apply yourself, get through it, and feel great on the other side.


5 min - Warm through your joints, shake out, connect in with your breath.


Four exercises: Push-up, Sit-up, Squat, Leg Raise


Spend 15 minutes with each exercise. Get to know the exercise, and yourself, a little better.


5-10 min - Shake through.


Feel the warmth.


Session #24 (Sun 26.04.20)


I was reminded by one of my mentors today - "Take a day off once in a while."


So, taking his words to heart, today's session is a 'non-session'.


Read a book, watch a movie, cook a meal, fly a kite, take a bike ride, go for a walk, sit in the sun, etc, etc......


We're back to it tomorrow. Be ready to put in some work!!


Enjoy your day.


Session #23 (Sat 25.04.20)


Sorry for the late post......thought I'd forgotten ya, ay?!......NO such luck!!


Warm-up as you see fit (I chose to mow the lawns). Shake out, and give your joints a quick run through for loosening.


Drill = Spend as much time as you can, during a 30 minute period, holding/resting at the top of a push-up.


Check back through the previous Saturday posts for tips/guidelines. We've all done this a few times now, so time to start to push into our barriers, through discomfort, and any negative spiral/feedback loops. Push and grow.


Have a good shake out once finished. Feel strong, resilient, full of power.


Stay positive, be well. Thank you for your continued efforts!!

Session #22 (Thur 23.04.20)

15 min - Walking. Focus on your breath - draw deeply into your abdomen, allow your ribs to expand. Gently hold (NO forcing) at the top of your breath. Feel yourself as a bellows. Relax on the exhale - keep your spine tall . And, your posture - lifting from the crown of the head, shoulders dropped/blades drawn together softly, sacrum rolled under/forwards , hips and knees soft.


15 min - From standing, squat down and place your hands on the ground in front of yourself. Walk your hands out so you're in an extended plank position (EPP), hands shoulders width apart. Walk your hands back in, stand up. Repeat.


As you go, start to spend more time in the EPP, take 2 breaths, 3, 5, 10. Each time you stand shake yourself out. To add difficulty, once in the EPP, walk your hands out to the side so your arms are stretched out at shoulder "height".


15 min - Free movement - walk, stride, run, drop, roll, crawl, stretch, breathe!!


Times are moving, shifting, changing......this is what we train for, this is who we are.


Adapt and thrive!!

Session #21 (Wed 21.04.20)

5 min - Shake out/warm through.


Today's workout comes to us from our Systema friend in Israel, Sharon FRIEDMAN.

Sharon hosts a Facebook page called "Training Without the Crap" and a website <vigilanceandtranquility.com>.

Both are well worth a good look through!! I love his "The Daily Basics".


Drilling:

1 Pushup - 60 breaths up and 60 breaths down

60 breaths holding on your fists with legs in the air straight out in front of you (From a seated position, hands next to your hips)

60 breaths in the hand bridge (face up (tabletop or rounded), face down)

60 breaths holding in the bottom of a squat


This is a gnarly bit of work, be good to yourself, be patient, push yourself but not to harm, enjoy/smile/breathe!!


Took a nice long walk after finishing this up. Used some ideas Sharon shares on his website.


Have a good day, we're doing well team, things are shifting, let's all play ball so we can move past all this mess and have things back to normal......well, the new normal anyways!!

Session #20 (Mon 20.04.20)

Physically - Have a good stretch out, nothing strenuous. Analyze your body, feel where the work needs to be focused. Mobilize your joints. Work some stretching from the extremities (tips of fingers + toes/heels), move them out from your core using functional tension. Add twisting through your limbs as you stretch. Change up the angles as you work.


Mentally - It can be a strange feeling to lose control of so many things we take for granted. Trying to hold on to this control can be quite stressful, frustrating, and, to speak frankly, a real drag!!


In these regards, I have found the following drill to be quite helpful during these stressful periods of my life. It is a simple meditation on letting go. The drill comes to us through Vladimir VASILIEV's book: The Russian System Guidebook.


Set down a period of time at the end of your day (I chose 20 minutes). Take a piece of paper and write down everything you can remember from the time you woke up in the morning. Describe what you did during the day, what/where were your feelings, was your mind elsewhere, are some parts very clear, are others a blur, etc, etc.....as much detail as you can within the time you've set down. Don't worry if you don't get through the full day. Doesn't matter.


After you've finished writing, read through what you've written one time.


Now, take the paper and burn it. LET IT ALL GO.......Onward and upwards.

Session #19 (Sun 19.04.20)

60 minutes - Falling from various heights/positions.


Fall from: Sitting, kneeling, low squat, half squat, standing.


Greet the floor with softness. Inhale up/exhale down.


Work slowly in the beginning, allow yourself to relax completely on the floor. Over time use less control on the descent, fall, let go.

Feel how your body moves through the transitions. Feel less burdened by tension each time you get up. Feel stronger as the minutes tick along. Feel how your breath draws you along like an engine pulling train carriages. FEEL.


And there you have it. Seems simple.........try it, and find out that it is not!!


If you want to go on and do some exercise while you're nice and relaxed, do 30-60 minutes of walking carrying something that is heavy and awkward to hold. Shake out once finished.


If this activity has brought tension into you, go back to falling. You've practised for an hour, see how fast you can rid yourself of any accumulated tension - 1, 2, 5 minutes, how long does it take to feel as relaxed as you were after falling?


A well-formed body: "a body that is ready for - and experienced in - hard, long term work." K KOMAROV


I hope everyone is well, and to be seeing you in person soon!! Cheers. 

Session #18 (Sat 18.04.20)

Time for your weekly check-in:


Spend as much time holding at the top of a push-up during a 30 min period as you can.


This is an challenging and interesting drill. Accept the struggle, face the doubts, frustration, discomfort. Settle yourself, and your breathing. Examine your emotions (it is about acknowledgement initially, don't try and change anything...). Feel in through your body. What is happening? Where is your tension seated? Where are you free? What are the differences between the spaces? Can the free spaces teach the restricted spaces? What is there to learn?


As always, be respectful of your limitations. When you feel you want to stop, take 5 slow breaths. "Shake hands" with this drill, don't jump out of it. If after the 5 breaths you are comfortable with it, don't stop, continue. You may find that the 5 breaths have given you space to calm, settle, and accept. If after the 5 breaths, you feel you still need to stop then slowly release out of the position, rest on your knees and shake out. Stand and walk if you need. When you've processes, get back to it.


Please keep in mind, we are walking a thin line here. We want to challenge ourselves, but we don't want to set off any negative emotions that can arise when we feel we need to compete with ourselves. Deny the negative spiral any fuel. Progress in your own time. Take time to FEEL - the good, the bad and the ugly!!


Have a good shake out once you have finished. If you're not outside already, get outside and take in some fresh air. Cheers.

Session #17 (Thurs 16.04.20)

Have a warm through, mobilize your joints, connect with your breathing, shake out.


Find something to carry. I chose 2 x 10kg weight plates today, suited what I was after.


Other examples =

- A box (taped up for strength) containing loose objects weighing up to 20-25kg

- Sandbag(s)

- Slosh tube (length of PVC pipe sealed at the ends, water filled to 75% capacity)

- Kettlebells


45-60mins - Walking holding the weights. I used a football field and walked lengths. I would hold the weights at the levels listed below for one length of the field, rotating through the 3.


Hold at hips (farmer's carry)/Hold racked at chest/Hold pressed above shoulders


If you're stuck with nowhere to walk. Work with the weight and complete the 'go down to the ground/back to your feet' drill. Hold the weight close to your body, away from your body, above your shoulders.


Always feel out your capacities for the day. Respect any limitations in terms of injury management. Spend time settling your nervous system to the task. Really connect with your breath. Mind your posture. Establish strong structures. Engage your core. Sink into your steps and roll through them. Do the work. Enjoy!!


Shake/stretch out once finished. (DON'T SKIP THIS PART!!)

Session #16 (Wed 15.04.20)

".....the basis for mastering Systema is a deep restructuring of the body and psyche, starting with the rejection of the majority of old movement and thought patterns, with the return to one's origin - the natural child-like state."


The above quote can be found in the first chapter of Konstantin KOMAROV's Systema Manual. If you haven't had a chance to read this book, I would suggest that you look into it. The book goes into great depth in regards to the methods employed in Systema and provides ideas/outlines to aid your personal development/discovery within the art. Recommended.


During my morning session I kept the phrase "natural child-like state" at the forefront of my mind. I sought to monitor my inner state, manage my efforts, and push through my limitations. I tried to work continuously, and managed to only "need" a few breaks. I will do better next time.


60 mins - Free movement


Can you do it? You want to try? Let's go!!

Session #15 (Mon 13.04.20)

If you made your way through yesterday's session, you're probably feeling it!! No worries.


Spend your time today giving yourself a good loosen up. Spend some time in your breathing, get yourself moving, and stretch/twist through any blockages.


I personally find that going to the ground and back to my feet works very well for this. For this type of session (loosening), I work at an easy pace, maintaining an upright posture for as much of the transitions as I can, and really LETTING GO once on the ground. I work as efficiently and continuously as I can, trying to reduce strain and effort. RELAXING.


If needed, use massage tools: stick, massage ball, foam roller, the ground.


As you loosen yourself, do some more push-ups, sit-ups, squats, and leg raises. Use these exercises to RELAX yourself. You did the hard work yesterday, today it's all gravy - soften, flow, and be buttery!!


If you did not manage to get through all the reps from yesterday's session, finish them up now.....YOU OWE!! Then loosen up as above.


If you did not try yesterday's session.......GET TO IT!!.......Then, of course, loosen up as above.


Shake hands with these exercises and drills.....say "thank you" to them.....they are your new best friends!!

Session #14 (Sun 12.04.20)

100 x Push-up / 100 x Sit-up / 100 x Squat / 100 x Leg raise / 100 x Rolls (forwards/backwards over shoulder)


Get these done however you wish, just get them done!! Smash them all out in one go, break them up (5s, 10s, 20s, etc...) during your day, focus on one exercise + once completed move on to the next, eyes closed/eyes open, breath holds + recovery, wearing a weighted backpack, etc


10-20min Stretch and/or foam rolling to say a big "thank you" to your body/mind/spirit!!

Session #13 (Sat 11.04.20)

Time for your weekly check-in with yourself. Feel, explore, be patient.


30 min - Spend as much of the 30 minutes at the top of a push-up (leaning rest). Take breaks as required but make sure you are pushing through some limits. When you think you need to take a break, take 5 slow, even breaths before deciding to stop or not. When ready get back to it.


Tips: Engage through your core, tuck your tailbone slightly, draw your pubic bone up towards your ribs. Pack your shoulders down towards your waistline, slight tension between the shoulder blades. Hands are somewhere close to being under your shoulders. Elbows and knees are kept soft. Keep scanning your body from top to bottom, acknowledge areas where tension is building up, where you feel loose. If you need to move things around, try to do it subtly, minimize your energy expenditure. Feel your breath moving into and out of your body, filling you with power!!


Bonus Session:


Next time you need to go to the grocery store, treat it as a session. Use the time to explore your patience, calmness, efficiency, breathing (keep it VERY subtle), structure/posture, etc.


Lots of lessons to be learned, take time to know yourself in ALL situations.

Session #12 (Thurs 09.04.20)

Short and sharp today folks. Listening to an interview with Vladimir VASILIEV on the Systema for Life podcast, Vladimir mentioned the importance of SLOW exercises a number of times. So, here ya go, work slowly, patiently.


5 mins - Loosen/stretch through your body. Warming yourself. Connect with your breath.


10 min - Work SLOW push-ups. Do one at a time. Recover between each repetition. Each time you go in for the next one, SLOW down even more. Stay connected with your breath.


10 min - Sit-ups. As above.


10 min - Squats. As above.


10 min - Leg raise. As above.


5 min - Loosen/stretch through your body. Cool down.


Enjoy the rest of your day!!

Session #11 (Wed 08.04.20)

Household chores. Pick a chore, whether today or tomorrow (mine was weeding the garden beds + mowing the lawn (1.25 hours)), pick a task that will take at least 30 mins.


Approach your chore as if you were attending a class. Give yourself a short warm through, get in contact with your breath, and go to work. Cool yourself down at the end with a little shake-out/stretch.


As you complete your chore: Stay connected to your breath, manage your levels of tension/relaxation, pay attention to how you are moving, work to establish strong, pliable form, structure and posture.


Additionally, get creative and add in some sort of extra challenge. Mine was to complete the task with my mouth closed, allowing only breathing through my nose. (Was harder than I thought it would be!). Could be any type of restriction you can think up - blindfold, hand/arm restricted, using your non-dominate side as your primary, walking backwards only, etc, etc......

Session #10 (Mon 06.04.20)

5-10 min - Spend time warming up your joints. Circle thru: Neck (Base of skull/base of neck), shoulders, elbows, wrists, fingers, chest/ribs, spine/torso, hips, knees, ankles, toes.


30 min - Alternate between two positions: 1 - Low squat/duck walk, 2 - On all fours (hands/feet, this can be facing downward AND facing upwards)


Realize that each position is a "rest" position for the other. Meaning, when your legs get jammed up from the duck walk postion, transfer to all fours, and allow your legs to relax, decompress, breath. When on all fours and your arms get tired, switch back to the duck walk and shake your arms out and allow them to rest.


Back and forth, back and forth. Breathe. Try to work continuously.


5-10 min - Spend time cooling yourself down. Circle thru: Neck (Base of skull/base of neck), shoulders, elbows, wrists, fingers, chest/ribs, spine/torso, hips, knees, ankles, toes.


Bonus: Excellent ideas shared by friend of Systema Auckland and Senior Systema Instructor Kwan LEE (Vancouver)


https://youtu.be/GwPN20pWORw


Manage your efforts, be sensitive to your current condition, and apply your Systema tools!!

Session #9 (Sun 05.04.20)

5 min - Pick a position: Lying down/sitting/kneeling, connect with your breath.


10 min - Free movement. Stay connected with your breath. One movement - inhale, one movement - exhale. Keep the movements simple so this is easy to keep track of. If you get lost, keep breathing and stop moving. Take a few breaths and when you're ready, get back to it.


10 min - Lying down (Front/back/side), tension/relaxation drilling. On the inhale, bring tension into your body, on the exhale relax your body. For the first half, think whole body tension - try to spread the tension evenly through your body. Play around with the amount of tension you are using - 25%/50%/75%.


For the second half, begin to isolate the tension to various parts of your body. So, for example, bring tension into your right leg only, your left arm only, etc.


10 min - Free movement. Stay connected with your breath. One movement - inhale, one movement - exhale. Keep the movements simple so this is easy to keep track of. If you get lost, keep breathing and stop moving. Take a few breaths and when you're ready, get back to it.


10 min - Pick 5 spaces in your body you want to stretch. Spend 2 min at each space.


10 min - Find your way down to the ground and back to your feet. Work patiently, soften yourself, take your time, relax.


5 min - Pick a position: Lying down/sitting/kneeling, connect with your breath.

Session #8 (Sat 04.04.20)

Back to our Saturday morning check-in session. Refer to Session #3 for details. Essentially, spend as much time of a 30 min period at the top of a push-up (leaning rest). Focus in on your breath, feel strong and full of power!


Additionally: Cool-water dousing


Some have been asking about my cold-water dousing. So, here is my little routine.


I fill up 2 buckets (10L each) at night and leave the buckets out overnight.


In the morning, I go to the backyard, with the buckets in tow. I strip down to my grundies, and stand on the grass, barefoot.


I take a few slow, deep breaths and come to terms with what it is that I'm about to do/endure.


Once settled, I take the first bucket and hold it above my head. I SLOWLY pour the cold water over my head. At about halfway, I shift the water from my head to upper back and chest. During the pouring, I am using burst/recovery breathing as required. When empty, I drop the bucket on the ground. I stand and breathe.


I hold the second bucket above my head. I take a few breathes, at some point I take a deep inhale. On the exhale, I pour the whole bucket over my head, emptying it quickly.


I drop the bucket, stand and use recovery breathing as required. Once I've settled, I take 5 long, deep breaths to say "thank you".


So there you have it, my little routine. I try to do this 4-5 times per week, if not everyday. I seem to do it every day when times are stressful. It is an interesting practice and is very challenging. This WILL boost your discipline, and resilience against adversity. Give it a try!!

Session #7 (Thurs 02.04.20)

Hi there, how's everyone getting on? Hope everyone is keeping healthy and safe. Big shout out to those that are working out on the frontlines during these challenging times. Know you are appreciated!! Thank you.


5 min - Warm yourself up, get your blood moving, establish a connection with your breath. Rolling, crawling, lying down, sitting, kneeling, low squat, standing, etc. Keep free and loose, just warming yourself.


Undetermined time period - Think to our Four Exercises (Push-up/Sit-up/Squat/Leg Raise)


Hold your breath and complete one repetition of each exercise. Once completed, breathe and recover yourself.


Repeat each "level" until you are very comfortable with it before moving on. Don't rush. FEEL, and analyze what is happening in your body/mind. Where does the tension build up, what are the challenging spaces you're moving through, what positions/movements make it hard to relax, to hold your breath, etc.


Hold your breath and complete two repetitions of each exercise. Recover yourself.


Hold your breath.....3 reps......4 reps.....etc.


Once you've "maxed" out, recover yourself properly. When ready, come back down that ladder......5 reps......4 reps......1rep.


5-10 min - Cool yourself down, keep your blood moving, maintain the connection with your breath. Rolling, crawling, lying down, sitting, kneeling, low squat, standing, etc. Keep free and loose, start slowing yourself down.


20 breaths lying on the floor (front/back/sides). Relax. Feel in control, full of power and accomplishment. Great job!!

Session #6 (Wed 01.04.20)

10 min - On floor (front/back/side - change position as you feel the need), stretching from the extremities. Imagine someone is pulling you from the crown of the head, the finger tips, and the feet (alternate between heels and ankles). Apply enough tension to feel it is challenging, but make sure there is a comfort there too.....10 mins is longer than you think! Hold each stretch for 5-10 breaths. Add in twisting through the limbs as time goes on.


10 min - Free movement on floor. Use this time to rid yourself of any excess tension you are holding after the previous drill.


100 repetitions - Body/leg raise. On your back, raise both your upper body and legs off the ground at the same time. You should be able to find a balance point at the top. You're looking for a loose interpretation of a "V Sit-up". Keep your body soft. Inhale up/Exhale down.


10 mins - Free movement on floor. Use this time to rid yourself of any excess tension you are holding after the previous drill.


10 min - On the floor (back), relax and breathe. Feel the air slipping in through your nose and out through your nose. Make your breath more and more subtle, lengthen out your breath phases. With each exhale feel as your body releases and lets go. Feel so relaxed that you could fall asleep......but DON'T......keep your attention on your breath.


Rise, feel refreshed and loose!!

Session #5 (Mon 30.03.20)

Short and simple.....Remember: Simple does not mean EASY!!


Have a short shake out, warm your body for a few minutes.


Stand with your back against a wall.


The ultimate goal is to have the following in contact with the wall: Heels, calves, glutes, mid-back, shoulder blades, back of head.

This is a challenging drill. You are having to let things go AND strengthen other things at the same time. Be patient with yourself. Think of this like a "reset" button for your posture.


Start with a few minutes each day.


For a training session: Shake out/warm up. Stand against wall as above. 5 minutes. Shake out. 10 minutes. Shake out. 15 minutes. Shake out!!


For shorter "reset" sessions (a few minutes), try to carry the feeling of lengthening/opening off the wall with you into your day.


Stay healthy, be well.

Session #4 (Sun 29.03.20)

No timers for today's session. My session ended up being just over an hour. Shorter, or longer is up to you. Whatever length of time (FEEL for it...), try for continuous breath and movement.


We'll call this one: "By the Rule of 10".


Movements: Crawling, rolling, standing, laying down, walking, stretching, compressing, body weight exercises, etc, etc

Method: Complete 10 repetitions of any movement (ie. 10 steps, 10 push-ups, 10 rolls, etc...), or if stretching, hold the stretch for ten breaths.


Goal: Be present.


Have the goal of NOT planning anything. Try not to think of what you're going to do next. Be present in the movement/stretch. Wait until you've completed the 10 repetitions of any given movement, FEEL where your body wants to go next and slide into the new movement/stretch.


This is hard, patient drilling, be good to yourself. Enjoy.

Session #3 (Sat 28.03.20)

5 min - Free movement/stretching through the body. Get your breathing working for you. All smooth, no gaps, feel power with every movement and breath!!


30 min - Spend as much of the 30 minutes at the top of a push-up (leaning rest). Take breaks as required but make sure you are pushing through some limits. When you think you need to take a break, take 5 slow, even breaths before deciding to stop or not. If you stop, shake out and when ready, get back to it.


Tips: Engage through your core, tuck your tailbone slightly, draw your pubic bone up towards your ribs. Pack your shoulders down towards your waistline, slight tension between the shoulder blades. Hands are somewhere close to being under your shoulders. 

Elbows and knees are kept soft. Keep scanning your body from top to bottom, acknowledge areas where tension is building up, where you feel loose. If you need to move things around, try to do it subtly, minimize your energy expenditure. Feel your breath moving into and out of your body, filling you with power!!


10 min - Free movement. Use this time to work through your body and free up any areas that were problematic during the hold period.


This session will be your standard work for Saturday mornings. Use it as a gauge to feel your development. Use it to put to test all your hard work from the week prior.


Now, set your timer and get to work!!


Breathe and enjoy your day.

Session #2 (Thurs 26.03.20) 

10 min - Free movement on the floor. Transition between lying down/sitting/kneeling/low squat (duck walk). Try to work without breaks, move smoothly, effortlessly.


10 min - Tension/Relaxation drilling. On floor, on your front/back/side, take a minute or so and breathe. When ready, begin to bring tension into your body as you inhale. Let the tension go as you exhale. Play with the strength of the tension you are generating. Scan and monitor your body - what engages well, what lets go well, what does not want to engage or hold strength, what does not want to let go. Note the problematic spaces.


10 min - Stretching. Begin with general stretching/twisting through body. Last 5 minutes, focus stretching into problematic areas you discovered in the previous drill.


5 min - Free movement on the floor. Transition between lying down/sitting/kneeling/low squat (duck walk). Try to work without breaks, move smoothly, effortlessly. Manage your effort and breathing.


5 min - For relaxation, on the floor in a comfortable position, breathe softly and deeply. With each exhale allow your body to really release, let gravity pull you into the floor. Feel your breath going in and out of your nostrils. Slow everything down, listen to your body. Enjoy.

Session #1 (Wed - 25.03.20)

10 min - Down to ground/Back to feet. Firstly, go to COMPLETE relaxation. Slowly work through to dynamic work, spending as little time on the ground as possible.


5 min - Relax/Breathe on floor (front/back/side) + self-monitoring. Analyze from top of head down through body to feet. FEEL what is happening in different spaces in body. Subtly move/shake out any "stuck" spaces.


5 min - Push-ups / 5 min - Sit-ups / 5 min- Squats.


5 min - Relax/Breathe on floor (front/back/side) + self-monitoring. Analyze from top of head down through body to feet. FEEL what is happening in different spaces in body. Subtly move/shake out any "stuck" spaces.


5 min - Stretching/twisting through body, open up any "stuck" spaces.


Finish up with 10 slow, deep breaths while relaxing on the floor. On the last exhale, stand up in one smooth, efficient movement within the exhale.


Feel refreshed and open. Have a great day!!

Initial Covid Level 4 Lockdown (sessions above)

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