Archive for April, 2008.

BrickhouseBodymind Blueprint 001

Written by Philip Walter on Apr 28 at 5:03 pm.

Brickhouse Bodymind Blueprint 001 - Approaching Alignment from the Inside Out

Designed by philip.

Okay, so this is a post announcing the first of what I hope will be many BrickhouseBodymind Blueprints. These are pdf documents and will be of the same nature as my posts here on the blog. The blueprints are printer-friendly, miniature e-books that are aesthetically designed and contain high-quality images where appropriate. They will cover subjects I consider to be core elements of the Brickhouse Bodymind integral fitness lifestyle. I hope these will be more user-friendly to readers than filling a long blog post with a bunch of pictures. We all know what a nightmare those can be to print.

This first one will be freely available at the link below for as long I feel like leaving it there. In the foreseeable future, these blueprints will remain free of charge to those who subscribe to my e-mail feed, so go ahead and jump on board if you like what you read. If you’re subscribed already via a feed reader, I’m going to try and figure a way to make these things available to you as well. I’ll let you all know how that goes.

This blueprint is a detailed discussion of the use of the yogic bandhas to insure proper structural alignment in posture practice, in general exercise, and in life. These techniques are best explored with an instructor to give you immediate feedback, but this document should give you a good idea of what’s happening and why it’s to your advantage to explore these actions in depth. They are obviously part of the yoga tradition – and as such have innumerable applications within the practice of hatha yoga – but their practice and benefits extend far beyond yoga asana. I practice these techniques lying in bed at night to calm my mind and first thing in the morning to loosen up and energize my core. I find they are fantastic tools for building and controlling sexual energy and for increasing sexual longevity. They are great for helping maintain proper alignment while lifting weights in a gym setting as well. The applications really are unlimited.

So, here is the link to BrickhouseBodymindBlueprint001 – Approaching Alignment from the Inside Out. Please comment below if you have any thoughts on the material or how I might improve the presentation. And don’t forget to subscribe today so you’ll have full FREE access to the next blueprint as soon as it comes out!

BrickhouseBodymind TV Episode 2 – Mobilizing Your Morning Commute

Written by Philip Walter on Apr 21 at 5:09 pm.

Okay, below is the second episode of BrickhouseBodymind TV. The movements demonstrated are designed to help you turn your morning (or afternoon) commute into a more positive experience. You may be intuitively doing some of this stuff already, and that’s great. This process is supposed to be an improvisational, intuitive practice that evolves as you identify areas of tension in your own body. The steering wheel can be a great tool, providing leverage for increased muscular traction during mobility exercises, but please remember to keep your eyes on the road. And special thanks goes to my cameraman, Robert for the use of his convertible!

As always, please comment below if you have any thoughts or suggestions. Hope you all enjoy!

Running the OT50 – What a difference a trail makes!

Written by Philip Walter on Apr 20 at 9:47 pm.

My dad and I summit Pinnacle Mountain during the Ouachita Trail 50k race on April 19, 2008

Photo courtesy of
black dog photo productions

First off, a quick apology for letting nearly two weeks go by without a post. I have been earnestly training for this race, as well as getting together material for a string of features over the next couple of weeks. There’s a new episode of BrickhouseBodymindTV going live tomorrow, followed closely by a long article on using the yogic bandhas to enhance core strength and ensure proper alignment in all you do, then I’ll be releasing the BrickhouseBodymind Blueprints for effective warmups and cooldowns that go along with the intelligent stretching articles. So again, sorry for the lengthy absence.

That said, the OT50 is actually two races, one that is 50 km (approximately 31 miles) and another that is 50 miles, both of which started at Maumelle Park just outside Little Rock at 6:00 a.m. on April 19, 2008. The bulk of the distance in both races ran along the Ouachita Trail from its trailhead at Pinnacle Mountain State Park and followed it around the north side of Lake Maumelle. The outbound leg included a jaunt up the east side of Pinnacle Mountain, which is a steep climb from about 400 feet above sea level to the summit at 1011 feet. Here’s a map of the course with landmarks and mile markers, or you can download this kmz file to scope out the Ouachita Trail 50k course for 2008 in Google Earth.

Read the rest of this entry »

Prasara Yoga – An Integral Yoga for a Postmodern World

Written by Philip Walter on Apr 8 at 5:36 pm.

Editor’s Note – What follows are my personal impressions and interpretations of Scott Sonnon’s latest book, Prasara Yoga: Flow Beyond Thought. My use of the term “integral,” both in the title of this article and throughout the body of it, to describe Coach Sonnon’s work is not meant in any way to confuse it with nor to marginalize Sri Swami Satchidinanda’s Integral Yoga Hatha or Sri Aurobindo’s The Integral Yoga, both of which stand on their own as seminal works. I only mean to indicate how Scott’s approach employs the primary integral strategy (which produces the All-Quadrant integral model described in my article on Integral Fitness) of assimilating truths from all sources available, whether ancient, modern, or somewhere in between, in order to present the most complete picture of human development possible.

Photo courtesy of
the flow academy

I’d like to start by thanking one of my readers, Duff (of and, for turning me on to the work of martial arts champion and Circular Strength Training® developer Scott Sonnon. For a voracious seeker of light like myself, personal development can be charted along a path upon which the most significant twists and turns are tied to landmarks such as the reading of a specific book or the discovery of a specific writer or teacher.

At age 29, my own path has several of these major landmarks – Roshi Philip Kapleau’s The Three Pillar’s of Zen; the wonderful fiction of Tom Robbins, which led me to Alan Watt’s The Book on the Taboo Against Knowing Who You Are; my first yoga teacher, Matt Krepps, who pointed me toward Godfrey Devereux’s Dynamic Yoga, and the work of Jed McKenna; the fiercely voluminous library of Ken Wilber; and now Scott Sonnon, who has empowered me to take yet another turn in my personal journey.

What Scott Sonnon presents in his latest book, Prasara Yoga: Flow Beyond Thought, is a digitally digestible, postmodern path to enlightenment. With the human body as the vehicle, it is an exquisitely sophisticated, integral approach to Hatha Yoga.

Read the rest of this entry »

The Truth About Stretching Part 2 – Aspects of the Intelligent Stretch

Written by Philip Walter on Apr 5 at 5:51 pm.

Photo courtesy of

So in Part One we learned about proprioception and how the myotatic stretch reflex helps us do a great number of things. We also learned that most muscle and tissue tear injuries (including strains and sprains) occur not as the result of a singular stretch beyond maximum threshold, but because of a combination of extreme stretch on one hand and sudden contraction due to the stretch reflex on the other hand. Finally, we discovered that the sensitivity of the stretch reflex varies according to several factors that affect its “gain.” In this part of the discussion we will establish the basic tenets of intelligent stretching in a practical setting.

The Aspects of Intelligent Stretching

An intelligent stretch accomplishes four main things: 1) it reduces the likelihood of injury, 2) it mitigates residual tension and pain by reducing compression in the various joints of the body and decreasing myofascial density, 3) it gives us access to a greater range of motion, and 4) it increases our neuromuscular connections. All of these things are accomplished by remaining active throughout the stretch.

Read the rest of this entry »

Videos to Enhance Your Life

Books to Boost Your Evolution

Valid CSS!