ChiRunning: How to Learn ChiRunning by Uncle Sam

Uncle Sam long time Beach Runner and Mentor shares his experience learning ChiRunning.

Uncle Sam (Jim) is in his sixties and is now medaling in his age group on hard races.

He’s truly an inspiration and a very good trail runner.

But it wasn’t always that way and the video tells you why running SLOWLY is the best way to learn ChiRunning.

Danny Dreyer would be proud of Uncle Sam just like we are.

Uncle Sam has also attended my Yoga Class week after week for over a year now. (And tries harder than anybody in that hard class).

Thanks Uncle Sam for all you do.

God Bless,

Coach Gary.

How to Determine Your Vision

Dear Friends,Ever felt like you needed a change in your life? Like you were stuck and wanted a new perspective?

I’ve been having lots of conversations with people about our futures lately. It seems with all the changes going on with the economy and technology an politics…people are trying to find their way.

The ancient way of finding your direction is to start with a fast or a cleanse. Like get rid of all those toxins in your body.

So I’m on day ten of a ten day cleanse. I ate raw food for like 7 days and felt very clean and very inspired.

I had many many visions of my future come to my mind in that time.

This is one of them.

Vision is a very very important part of the success journey. It is the sun setting on the horizon. So while you might never get there, it sets the course for your ship to follow the next day.

When ever you get that feeling of being ‘stuck’ I recommend this simple exercise.

Just write down your ideal view of the world…without limitations…like if it was all paradise and eden right here and right now.

What would that look like in your life.

You’ll be amazed if you just do this for ten minutes. What are you waiting for? Go ahead and do it.


“What is your vision for the world?” Take ten minutes to write your vision. We’d love it if you left it in the comment box below.

Got it? Cool.

Here’s what mine looked like.

Talk soon,

Coach Gary

Chi Running Shoe: Mid Foot Strike New Balance Shoe is Here!

Cancer expert warns employees on cell phones –

PITTSBURGH, Pennsylvania (AP) — The head of a prominent cancer research institute issued an unprecedented warning to his faculty and staff Wednesday: Limit cell phone use because of the possible risk of cancer.

Cancer expert warns employees on cell phones –

This is an area of research that I have been following for years.

As much as I can, I try to keep cellphones away from my head.

I’ve known of a few friends and friends of friends that have gotten brain cancer.

Not sure whether it was from cell phones, but I just can’t help to think
there’s a relationship here.

What do all of you think.

“Are you concerned about the relationship of cell phones to your health?”

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Developing Your Yoga Practice – How I Got Started

Gary yoga pose

My introduction to yoga came about five years ago when I went to a class at my local YMCA. Immediately I liked the stretching, as a runner, I had very tight hamstrings. Also as a runner, and I don’t know if all of you are the same, I have an overactive mind. So the sitting, counting of breaths, balance poses all helped to calm my mind.

I was learning to salsa dance at the same time. I was driving all over the city trying to find classes/partners/clubs etc. All that driving on top of an already busy commuting lifestyle was stressing me out!!! Though I didn’t quite realize it at the time.

So one night I went to a local yoga studio in San Pedro, and took a class. There I met my teacher, Rosie Good. Soon after, I began going to yoga classes instead of dance classes, and began to find some peace from my crazy life at the time. But more than anything, I began to feel comfortable in my own skin. And I began growing spiritually.

This to me is what we learn from yoga practice.

Yoga goes back centuries, certainly hundreds of years before Christ, and maybe much further than that. The first written record of yoga as a system was recorded by a scholar and teacher named Patanjali in the Yoga Sutra, written about the second century B.C.

Yoga is not a religion. Rather yoga is better viewed as a science of transformation. The transformation you will experience from your yoga practice is learning about and manifesting your true self. That true self according to the yogic texts is your spiritual self, the Atman. Because yoga is not a religion, it can be practiced by any religion, Christians, Hindus, Buddhists, Muslims, etc. In fact, you will find, as you practice more and more yoga, that it deepens what religious faith that you have.

There are many different definitions of yoga but the one I love the most is Union. The very word “yoga” refers to this as the root “yuj” meaning unity or Yoke. We are always trying to unify in our practice, our goal is to get two or more things working together peacefully and elegantly.

That is why in our classes the teacher will constantly remind you to breathe and to move with your breath. This is an important point. Yoga is not just physical exercise. The poses, called Asanas, are only one of eight parts of the royal yoga path. In Los Angeles there are many teachers and schools and even the media likes to portray yoga as exercise. You can understand why when you see the bodies of Madonna, Jennifer Aniston, and Jennifer Lopez, all yoga practitioners. And while you will lose weight, gain muscle, and improve your body through yoga, this is not the goal.

The ancient texts all teach us that we should practice our yoga throughout our day. Not just on the mat or after a long run. And I have two simple exercises that will help you with that.

1. Set your intention. Before you do anything, wash the dishes, walk the dog, work on a computer, go for a run, take a second to set your intention. Take a deep breath or two, and ask yourself or God, what would you like to accomplish before you take the action. Then close your eyes, and visualize that manifesting. Examples of intentions could include: a clean kitchen, fresh air, having fun, writing a poem, or improving your arm swing (ChiRunning). Then keep that goal in mind as you do your action. Your mind will drift. You will get distracted. But just keep returning to your intention. Then do what it takes to finish the action. Don’t quit. Never give up. As Steve’s teacher tells him, “If you fall off the bike, just get back on”. So when we unify our intentions with our actions we are practicing yoga.

2. Tune into your breathing. Just take long slow deep breaths continuously throughout the day. Especially when you are doing exercise. And start to turn your mind’s attention to your breath instead of to all your mind waves (chitta vrittis). When we do this, we are practicing yoga. Yes, yoga can be that simple.

The poses are fantastic also. Patanjali also taught us that by calming our bodies through the poses, we calm our breath and our minds. Then we can sit quietly and observe who we really are.

So for this reason, be sure to attend a yoga class once a week. Look around, visit different studios and teachers, until you walk into an ashram (place of teaching) speak to the teacher, and immediately get a deep sense of love and belonging, and this is where you should learn and practice. Keep on looking you will find it.


p.s. If you liked this post please do one of two things for me ok?

a. Go to one of Rosie Good’s classes at Yoga Bindu in San Pedro.

b. Please a comment saying “What does Yoga mean to You?”

Yoga for Runners by Coach Steve Ilg

I just read this post by my coach, Steve Ilg Read the Entire 7-20-08 Post

“precisely why most yoga teachers prefer to distance themselves from
the notion that distance running is yoga! “Running ruins yoga,” i’ve
been told by yoga ‘teachers’ since the eighties. not in this Tribe,
baby. in this Tribe? we uphold running as did the Ancient Masters; we
consider running for what it truly is…an unequaled pilgrimage of
sweat, self, and the long, silent distance. by the time i got back to
Flagstaff at the end of my two consecutive days of racing against the
Hopi’s on their ancestral, sacred lands my battered feet looked the
worse for their wear. within five days, i would take these feet and run
them up the Sacred Peak, producing three layers of blisters. Yoga is
intended to be self-confrontational. For until you confront your
various ‘selves’, transformation – let alone transcendance – is
impossible. that is why, in WF, everything that the human body is
capable of is considered yoga practice. in WF, nothing is ever pushed
away from yoga. it’s all yoga. especially triple-layered blisters
begotten from confronting ones limits during endurance footracing.” – Coach Steve Ilg

The New Balance ChiRunning Shoe Mystery – Part 2

Part 2 of my investigative report on the hot rumor that New Balance is releasing a mid-foot strike shoe for ChiRunners.

Run with Joy, Gary (looking for a new last name) Smith

ChiRunning: How to Learn Chi Running

How to Learn ChiRunning
Thousands of runners across the world are learning ChiRunning every year.The ChiRunning book by Danny Dreyer has been the best selling running book for the last three years on

What is ChiRunning? And what is the best way to learn it? ChiRunning is a running form, system, and philosophy devised by Danny Dreyer. Danny was a longtime ultra marathoner. Ultra marathons are longer than the marathon distance of 26.2 miles with some races as long as 100 miles or more. So ultramarathoners have to very efficient in their running form in order to save energy.

Danny also took interest in Tai Chi. Tai Chi is an ancient Chinese movement science based on the observations of how animals move. Animals move from their core and their spine with relaxed arms and legs…the principle of cotton and steel. So Danny combines his knowledge of ultra marathoning and Tai Chi into a running system he called ChiRunning.

He taught thousands of people across America how to run using these principles.In a recent study of 25,000 runners who have learned ChiRunning, over 90% say it has significantly reduced their running injuries and made running easier.So how do you best learn ChiRunning? As a three year instructor of ChiRunning personally certified by Danny Dreyer and with over a thousand satisfied clients, I ‘ve observed the best learning strategies used by runners.

1. Read the ChiRunning Book. 71% of runners surveyed said that they learned ChiRunning in part or whole from the book. Reading the book is important because you will learn the principles behind why ChiRunning works so well for reducing injuries and improving your running form. I recommend reading the book at least three times using a highlighter to mark important sections.

2. Do the Exercises in the ChiRunning Book. The ChiRunning book is filled with useful and essential exercises for the learning this running form. You must do the exercises…especially in chapter four. Do the exercises every day. That way you will build muscle memory so you begin doing Chi Running automatically.

3. Buy the ChiRunning DVD. You can buy the DVD off Danny’s website at In fact, they have an economical pack where you can buy the book, DVD, and metronome (highly recommended) at a great price. Watching the DVD is important as it gives you a visual image of what ChiRunning should look like. That way you can shoot for that every time you go running.

4. Go to a ChiRunning Workshop. There are ChiRunning workshops around the United States and now some in other countries. Going to a workshop with a certified instructor is probably the best way to learn ChiRunning. The reason is because a certified instructor will guide you step by step through all the exercises. You will learn how to do them correctly AND learn the Tai Chi principles behind every exercise. Then you will learn how to do the ChiRunning running form including alignment, posture, lean, mid foot strike, heel lift, and relaxation.Working with an instructor is a highly efficient and effective way to learn ChiRunning as you get immediate feedback from an instructor so you learn how to do the running form correctly. Sometimes you might be doing something wrong and you just can’t see or feel by yourself…that’s where a good instructor and teacher can shorten the learning curve.

5. Practice, Practice, Practice. Once you’ve learned the basics of ChiRunning through one of the methods above…then you must practice. You should practice ChiRunning every time you go to run. Run slowly at first, that way you can focus on making your running softer and easier without the distractions of speed and heavy breathing.Take your time, be patient, and you’ll learn this running form that is changing the way runners move across the world.Try it out and see if makes a difference the same way it has for thousands of people.

About the Author: Gary Smith is a certified ChiRunning instructor, yoga teacher, and marathon coach. He writes for the Internet, speaks to organizations, and teaches groups of all sizes how to make running an enjoyable part of your life. He can reached through his website at or through his email

Doggie Dash – Splash and Dash

You gotta watch this video.

Once they lined up, I knew I had recorded gold. This was a great way to wrap up our 5k day.

Please share this video with others and spread the word. Thanks!

Dog Focused, Steve Mackel – Animal Trainer

The Complete Lens of Running Books

If you’re a runner, chances are you’re a reader, too. And if you’re a runner and a reader, chances are you’re a reader of running books. And if you’re a reader of running books, this is the lens for you!There are currently 104(!) books on this list, with a few more to come.

The Complete Lens of Running Books

Great resource of running books for those literary reading types of runners out there.

There’s no doubt I’ll be reading a few of these.

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