108 Sun Salutations and More

Sindy, Anna, Steve, Jake and Gary at the Global Mala Project

The Autumnal Equinox took place last week. During the equinoxes and solstices, I seem to find myself busting out sun salutations, sometimes 108 of them. This time it was in association with the Global Mala Project, an all day yoga, meditation, peace promoting expo at the Los Angeles Convention Center. Gary was there for almost 12 hours and I was there for 8 hours. It turned out to be a meditative, inspiring day and evening.

About an hour after I got there we started with our 108 sun salutation practice led by Shiva Ray. We did them in sets of 27 with live music playing from the stage. Each set inspired a different meditation. The second set was dedicated to family and friends and I focused on each family member during each single sun salutation and by then end I included all of you too. By the fourth set I was in the flow focusing on my movements. I lost count. Dona DeLory played the chant Om Namah Shivaya and it almost seemed surreal as probably 200 –300 participated all around us. Next to me I had Sindy, Anna, Jake and Gary and it took over 2.5 hours

It ended with Shiva Ray inviting all the yoga teachers in the crowd up on stage to dance and celebrate with the participants. After that we were treated to fantastic speakers, more music and ended the night with a trance dance session. I don’t really consider myself a dancer yet once I let go of my ego, I jumped and moved my body indiscriminately. It was actually a fun release for me.

Once again yoga rocked my life in the moment with friends and awareness. Even if you aren’t into the whole meditation thing it is an awesome workout and expo. Join us next year.

Steve Mackel, Aspiring Yogi and Dancer

Look at all the People and Mats Around Us. It Was That Crowded All Around the Stage

O2 Max and Assemblies In Motion Present 2nd Annual Energy Rocks!

Free music and fitness festival to inspire L.A. teens to get healthy and stomp out youth obesity. Alyssa Milano serves as Honorary Chair.


• The 2nd Annual ENERGY ROCKS! spectacular, presented by O2 MAX and Assemblies in Motion, will kickoff in the Front Lawn of the Beverly Hills High School in LosAngeles, California at 12:00 PM on Sunday, September 30, 2007.

• Teen fitness experts, O2 MAX in conjunction with Assemblies in Motion, a non?profit program for at?risk youth, founded ENERGY ROCKS! in an effort to combat teen obesity.

• ENERGY ROCKS! will feature live music, Hoop Masters Basketball, competitions, prizes, a 1?mile Run?to?Rock, NIKE Trial Van (to demo Nike foot wear and iPod accessories) AYSO soccer clinics, Polar Heart Rate monitor demos, The Princeton Review health?related trivia, obstacle course, Budokon, workouts, free nutrition and
skincare consultations, prizes and giveaways.

• Participating companies and sponsors include Nike, Neutrogena, Polar, FUZE beverages, Naked Juice, E! Networks, LARABAR, Scratch DJ Academy, American Apparel and The Princeton Review

• After a successful first run last year, O2 MAX and Assemblies in Motion have partnered together for a second year to continue to spread their message of teen fitness and a healthy lifestyle in a light that is favorable to teens.

Re: A Very Special Message

diamond heart love
SoCalRunning.com mass email creates good feelings and stirs up some controversy.

Last Saturday was a magical day. It started the way 90 percent of my Saturdays start, leading the Beach Runners in their long training run. Last week they went 3-5 hours so we took it easy this week and only went one hour.

Driving to our meeting point it started raining and I was thinking who was going to be gutsy enough to show up. I have to admit that I don’t run too often in the rain but it never rains in So Cal anyway, so I don’t get that many chances. When I arrived at the parking lot the rain cleared, the air was fresh and people started showing up. It was probably our smallest turn out of the year and I don’t blame anyone for staying home in a warm bed. You had all Saturday to get your run in.

The sky was unbelievable. It felt like every cell in my body opened up and soaked in the energy. I ran with new Beach Runners and long time Beach Runners. I had a great run then Gary let me lead the group in “Parking Lot Yoga” since the grass was wet.

Gary was in a great mood that day and very proud of the group based on last week’s effort. He was also on his way to help create peace at the Global Mala Project. I was going to meet him there and had to go home first. After doing some projects around the house I checked my email and found a “Very Special Message” from Steve and Gary at SoCalRunning.com. It was a, “We love you” letter pointing out what a beautiful day it was and how thankful we are to have your support and it was sent to all our members.

Just before I was getting ready to leave to meet Gary, I checked my email and found dozens of replies. I was amazed. Some of the email read like this,

“Gary and Steve,

You just don’t know how much your message meant to me. I ran today all by myself, and made it a little over 10 miles!

All last week I was so busy with work and family life, by the time I wanted to run it was late at night and no one else was available to run with me. I was not that worried, because I was very tired and I had almost no energy.

But something came over me on Friday, I emailed my sisters and told them that I would run in Long Beach on Saturday, at 6:00AM so that I can finish early. Well, this morning at 5:00 AM it thundered and rained so hard that I just knew no one would be running in this weather. Around 8:00 AM I got myself together and drove to LB. By the time I got there everyone was returning from the run. I was embarrassed and did not want run by myself so I left.

Determined to still run today I went to the Manhattan Sand Dunes and ran from that point along the strand (to the end of the path…the wall) and back. Towards the end I had so much energy, and it began to rain very hard.

The joy I felt at that moment of running without stopping and feeling great was amazing! Your teachings and techniques I will treasure.

Thank you for making my running journey so much fun.”

“Steve and Gary,

You have no idea how much I needed to hear that today!

I’ve always believed that you get back what you put out – so my life is equally enriched by each of you–it was a blessing and gift to find Beach Runners three years ago!”

“Steve and Gary,

Thank You!

To hear kind words no longer astounds me, since I have found the company of Beach Runners.

I cannot eloquently express what the Saturday runs have meant to me. Just know that my spirit is transforming in the journey…. I do look up at the sky more often, I breathe in the moment and the crazy thing, I’m lots happier!

Kindness, knowledge, compassion, strength and a little bit of quirkiness. You both are amazing teachers! I am so grateful for your guidance.”

At the same time, there are some SoCalRunning.com members that we have never met or just thought this was over the top or corny. They were a little perplexed by this email and thought that it was not clear enough that it was a mass email and misinterpreted. Gary and I feel that that is an excellent point and will when we send another email like that consider ways to make things clearer.

One thing I can promise, we will not stop sending the love. If this offends any of our members/readers, we are sorry you feel that way, yet we feel love is the only way we can change our community and world into a better place for our families and friends. Days as beautiful as last Saturday just trigger feelings of love and appreciation. Why not share them.

Lastly, thank you for all the kind replies. I was excited to open each of your emails, sharing them with Gary and feeling your love. We have the power to change the world. I think the Black Eyed Peas lyrics for the song Union represent some of my feelings.

Union by the Black Eyed Peas

One for all, one for all
It’s all it’s all for one
Let’s start a union, calling every human
It’s one for all and all for one
Let’s live in unison, calling every citizen
It’s one for all and all for one

We don’t want war- can’t take no more
It’s drastic time for sure
We need an antidote and a cure
Coz do you really think Mohammed got a problem with Jehovah
We don’t want war imagine if any prophet was alive
In current days amongst you and I
You think they’d view life like you and I do
Or would they sit and contemplate on why
Do we live this way, act and behave this way
We still live in primitive today
Coz the peace in the destination of war can’t be the way
There’s no way, so people just be ’em wanna be a man
Realize that you can change the world by changing yourself
And understand that we’re all just the same
So when I count to three let’s change

Got no time for grand philosophy
I barely keep my head above the tide
I got this mortgage, got three kids at school
What you’re saying is the truth, but really troubles me inside
I’d change the world if I could change my mind
If I could live beyond my fears
Exchanging unity for all my insecurity
Exchanging laughter for my tears

I don’t know, y’all, we in a real tough position
In the midst of all this negative condition
Divided by beliefs, different sink and religion
Why do we keep missing the point in our mission?
Why do we keep killing each other, what’s the reason?
God made us all equal in his vision
I wish that I could make music as a religion
Then we could harmonize together in this mission
Listen, I know it’s really hard to make changes
But two of us could help rearrange this curse
Utilizing all the power in our voices
Together we will unite and make the right choice
And fight for education, save the next generation
Come together as one
I don’t understand why it’s never been done
So let’s change on the count of one

It takes one, just one
And then one follows the other one
And then another follows the other one
Next thing you know you got a billion
People doing some wonderful things
People doing some powerful things
Let’s change and do some powerful things
Unity could be a wonderful thing

One for all, one for all
It’s all it’s all for one
Let’s start a union, calling every human
It’s one for all and all for one
Let’s live in unison, calling every citizen
It’s one for all and all for one

Train Focused, Steve Mackel Co-Founder SoCalRunning.com

Saturday-Global Mala Project

Dear Yogis,

Saturday is a global effort to promote peace in the world through yoga.

A mala is a prayer. So Saturday will be a prayer day. You might have
noticed the wonderful energy in the sky this week already.

Lots of God energy flowing through Los Angeles right now.

To be part of it of this wonderful effort you can do the following…

1. Come join Steve and I at the LA Convention Center. We will be there all day.
After running. Come down for just the evening dance if need be.
It is a twelve hour event from 10:30 to midnight or so.

2. Do 108 Sun Salutations as part of your yoga practice that day.

3. Say your prayer 108 times.

4. Say “I love you” 108 times that day.

108 is a Sacred number for the following reasons…

The number 108 carries spiritual, mathematical, and astronomical significance:
108 is the number of names for Shiva in Hindu philosophy.
108 is the number of Upanishads comprising Indian philosophy’s Vedic texts (depending on how you count).
108 is used in Islam to refer to God.
108 is six times the number “18” which is a Jewish good luck number.
108 is the number of names for Buddha.
108 is the number of beads on a Catholic rosary.
108 is twice the number “54”, which is the number of sounds in Sanskrit.
108 lines of energy are said to converge to form the heart chakra.
108 has numerological significance in that 1^1 x 2^2 x 3^3 = 1 x 4 x 27 = 108.
The diameter of the sun is approximately 108 times the diameter of the earth.

See you there,


Running on the Road

Looking For Davey Crockett at the Alamo

Some of my favorite runs have been when I am on vacation. I end up seeing things I could never see on a tour bus, car, bike, scooter or walking. Each of those allow you different views, yet for me running puts me right in the middle of the scene. In only running clothes, and a few bicks, I become vulnerable to my surroundings and the other people around me. I tend to have a keen sense of direction so getting lost is usually not a problem but sometimes that can make for a really fun run on vacation too.

So, today I write to you from the city of the current NBA World Champions, San Antonio, with my picture in front of the Alamo, wearing my Beach Runners shirt, feeling slightly land locked. Where’s the Beach? Actually there is some great water here. The River Walk is a little crowded to run on but we did it anyway. It opens up toward the end as you run river side with trees, crickets and beautiful colors all around you. At the end of the path you can sit on a stone wall and watch the reflections off the water as ducks swim by.

As long as you are here, “Remember the Alamo!”

Train Focused, Steve Mackel – USA Triathlon Coach

Disney Race Report by Beach Runners – Diane

Hi Steve!

Don and I did Disney for the second time. I was nervous this year – didn’t sleep well the night before and couldn’t eat. I’ve always been afraid of running in heat and while we’ve been training on some hot days with the Beach Runner’s, I knew Monday was going to be super hot and beyond anything I had experienced. I thought about you and tried to re-focus my thoughts into positive ones. By the time we started the race, it was already 76 degrees out, but I was pumped and ready to go! We both felt great the whole race. Yeah, it was hot, hot, hot, but to be honest with you, we didn’t notice or at least didn’t dwell on it. Kind of strange after spending so much energy worrying about it the night before. Good lesson learned right there. Instead, I should have had faith in what you’ve always told us to do – focus on form, do body sensing and focus your thoughts on something positive and wonderful (“cool tropical breezes!”), – in other words – run smart and have fun!

We came in at 2:35:21, 8 minutes slower than last year, but we probably should have slowed down a bit more to adjust for the heat. While I probably will never boast a finish in the top three, I can at least claim that in my women’s 50 – 54 age group, I finished in the top 20 percent – 105th out of 430. I know I can do better!

Finishing this race was an important one, at least for me. After years of telling myself that I couldn’t run in the heat, I proved that I could – and I did it for 13 miles and felt great. Amazing. That is one of the things I love about running. It’s the learning about yourself and the control and power you have over your mind, body and spirit. Thank you Steve and Gary for being an important part of this journey with us. I know I couldn’t have done it without you.



RunCast 21 Mt. Baldy Run-to-the-Top

This is my first time using YouTube and the picture quality is not quite what we had at blip.tv. It is still a lot of fun. You be the judge.

Train Focuesd, Steve Mackel – Beach Runners Head Coach

Beach Runners and SoCalRunning.com Athletes Invade Mt Baldy’s Run-to-the-Top

At the Top L-R Brandon, Monet, Steve, Sara, Vern, Matt, Michael, Nichole, Jake, Me, Gary, Doug, Mina, Sandy, Anna, Jon – not shown Carolyn, Sindy and Barb

Mt Baldy Run-to-the-Top is more than a Labor Day tradition, it is a test of your inner strength as well as physical strength. I call it my baby run, because I always forget just how difficult this run is and how painful it is until I am out on the course, then it all comes back, yet the reward of finishing somehow dissolves all the pain. This is a race starts at 6,000 ft and finishes at 10,000+ ft in just 8 miles. That’s 4,000 ft of elevation gain really fast, at altitude.

Since we started the Beach Runners and SoCalRunning.com this race is always on the schedule. After two years of talking about it, our turn out was bigger than ever. Many members spent the summer training with Gary for this race by running the hills of Palos Verdes. Many of our members are also training for marathons or half marathons. It is difficult to really describe the difficulty of this race. It is just something you have to do, to understand and it has to be one of the most difficult races in the country at or around its distance. So anyone who even attempts it deserves his or her stripes.

Last year, click here to read last year’s race report, article I had the best race, in my life. I ran a 1:22:08. It still feels like and outer body experience. This year, after a serious back injury, the race was just going to be a test of my current fitness. I had not done the hard training that I did last year yet I have been mounting up the long miles and my endurance seems to be at a lifetime high. So, I have lost some speed but I can go longer, easier.

My philosophy is to grind out the first 4 miles on the fire road then hang on for dear life when it gets really steep. Gary got out front, right out of the gate. I turned my metronome at 87 or 174 strides per minute and decided to just keep a steady pace. I was in 71st place at the halfway point. A mile later I saw Gary and slowly caught him. I just kept getting stronger. I pulled away from him and a few others. The final half-mile is straight up and walking. I used the ChiRunning® uphill principles. I had a gap between the people behind me and the people in front of me. I couldn’t catch the people in front of me and kept it steady because as soon as I pushed it my heart rate was maxing out. I came in 57th with a 1:33:53 which was my 3rd best time and 6th in my AG. Not bad considering what I have had to go through this past year.

Even more impressive were the efforts of the rest of our group. We had many first timers. Our group met early and warmed up. It is nice to have some familiar people around you before a race. The group support was phenomenal. We cheered for each other at the top and waited for everyone. My favorite part of this race is watching first timers cross the finish line. It can be as emotional as finishing a marathon and many our members thought this race was tougher than a marathon. Oh yeah, you have to walk 4 miles back down the mountain to get to the chairlift to get back to your car.

I want to congratulate every participant and thank the volunteers. If you woke up and got to the starting line of this race, you are a warrior. Mark this one on your calendar for 2008.

Look for more Race Reports and RunCasts on the Mt Baldy Run-to-the-Top soon.

Race Focused, Steve Mackel – SoCalRunning.com Co-Founder

Steve and Birthday Girl Carolyn