Tag Archives: Yoga

Yoga Redux: How Comfortable are you with your Metrosexuality?

I haven’t gotten to the point that I’m ready to wear compression tights to my twice weekly yoga classes, in part because I’m not sure I’m ready to reveal the front bulge.  Mind you, wearing loose and baggy yoga wear can be frustrating because far too many poses leave you tangled up and tripping on yourself.  And then there’s rolling on double massage balls and losing one’s pants to the point of not just risking plumber’s crack but moving precipitously to Full Monty.

Unlike my twice-daily foray to do cardio in the gym, yoga means bare feet and flip flops.  I have no issue baring my toes because I’m comfortable with pedicures.  And nothing screams freedom more than when you can walk out of the condo wearing leather flip flops.

James’, youngest son, taught me a lot about being comfortable with being well groomed.  We tease him, calling him “Metro Man”, to which he usually responds by turning in profile, head up starring into space, arm bent at a 90-degree angle, fingers pointing to the sky and answering sing song, “Metro Man”.  It’s one of those, “yes, this is me” declarations.

My children have each taught me something about what is right as opposed to what is acceptable for a near-60 man.  Rather than being embarrassed by the parental and his antics, my children not only support me in my efforts, but embrace it, sharing with me their own personal journeys.

I grew up with the epithet, “stop that, what will people think?”  Not calling attention to myself is something that has been strongly drilled into me.  I’ve missed out on a lot because I was overly concerned by what other people think.  And I can tell you honestly:  conformity left me overweight, unhappy and unhealthy.

This morning I posted an article from Canadian Living, your years beyond middle age can be the most fulfilling, that struck a particularly respondent chord.  And maybe with a little more work I’ll be ready to wear tights to yoga.

#yoga #fitness #workout #health #life #meditation #relaxation #therapy

David Chellew and Linda Odnokon have been life partners and in business together for almost 19 years.  During that time, they have mellowed into their respective roles and enjoy working with individual investment clients. Dave is a Portfolio Manager and Linda is an Investment Advisor with iAS and work out of the co-work space Brightlane on King West in downtown Toronto.

Industrial Alliance Securities Inc. (IAS) is a member of the Canadian Investor Protection Fund (CIPF) and the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC). iA Securities is a trademark and business name under which Industrial Alliance Securities Inc. operates.

This information has been prepared by David Chellew, Portfolio Manager for Industrial Alliance Securities Inc. (IAS) and does not necessarily reflect the opinion of IAS. The opinions expressed are based on an analysis and interpretation dating from the type of publication and are subject to change. Furthermore, they do not constitute an offer or solicitation to buy or sell any the securities mentioned. For more information about IAS, please consult the official website at www.iasecurities.ca. David Chellew can open accounts only in the provinces where he is registered.

Yoga: love the idea, but not sure it’s for me.

Yoga:   love the idea, but not sure it’s for me.

Tonight, is the night.  I’ve decided to break the seal and attend my first yoga class.

I don’t have to tell you that every bit of my acquired masculine identity is screaming “no, no, no.”  As much as I want to suck it up and get on with it, the gulf between the first step and where I am now has been as wide as the Grand Canyon.  Failing sprouting wings and being able to soar across, that divide has been far too wide.

So, what’s changed my attitude?  Well, I’ve decided that since I’ve survived putting flax seed in everything (what I jokingly call Chia Pet to Linda; there’s a story in that) I can risk alfalfa sprouts and Thai pants.

On the road to where I want to be

I’m fitter than I was but I still sport a rather robust girth.  The image I have of myself does not match the reflection in the mirror and quite frankly I am ashamed.  On the other hand, if I can wear compression wear doing aerobics in the gym, I can suck it up and roll around with all the grace of a python than has swallowed a pig.  That, like the pig, shall pass.

I’m ready to swallow my shame and get on with it.

Go big or go home

I go for the gusto.

Everything that I do, if I cater to both my competitive nature and need to succeed, I do to the extreme.  I find it hard to break down an entirely new activity into manageable, progressively more challenging parts.  Instead I go overboard.

When it comes to fitness, I’ve been there, done that.  I have paid exorbitant sums in the past for a personal trainer, struggling with the limitations he placed on me rather than letting me beat the machines, or hit yet again another personal best.  And the same PT was determined to follow his own agenda and despite my concerns and objections I found myself in a situation where I got hurt.

I’m going to work overtime to take a measured approach.

Attitude

I grew up straddling more than one socioeconomic class and the great generational divide between Hippy and Disco.  Yoga practitioners were the alfalfa-sprout-eating long-hairs that I was too young to be but wished I was.

Too, generationally as a late-boomer, I’m not as open to alternative lifestyles, as much as it is acceptable to those younger than me.  I struggle with my sons’ embracing not only chest thumping, grunting weight training and exercise but their determination to live a healthier lifestyle through diet and, yes, yoga.

James, the youngest, taught me something about personal care.  It isn’t that he is flamboyant, but that he is willing to embrace metrosexual.  He taught me it was okay to feel comfortable wearing flip flops.

Rob, the oldest, is more direct in his approach, and unapologetically pursues a healthier alternative way of life.  He taught me that it was okay to be in your face about what works for him.  For Rob, more than any else, I owe him to give yoga a shot.

And I owe it to myself to be open.

Need

I am starting to push up against limits both in physiotherapy and in aerobics.  I need an answer to the surprising tightness and soreness of muscles increasingly liberated.  I want to continue to step up my efforts because frankly I enjoy my twice-daily 40-minute workouts.  And I’m ready to begin challenging myself with cable and free weights.

To do that though, I must start to address a decades-long aversion to disciplined stretching coupled with a pathology of over and under-developed muscle groupings after 39 years coping with a leg injury.

I find it interesting that that one thing, need, overcomes the weight of inertia, closing that chasm and making the step across manageable.  Not easy mind you.  But manageable.

Investing

Managing your finances is little different than any other endeavor in life.  It is only when need overcomes the baggage you carry that you can actively deal with it.  And the older you are, the tighter your attitudes.

I’m not suggesting that Linda or I have the answers you need to be more successful as an investor; that comes from within.  But we’re both good at being a coach to help you sort out what barriers have stood in your way to past financial success.  And we both can help you break things down into manageable bites.

To find out more, give me (437 266 1125) or Linda a call (437 266 1126).

David Chellew and Linda Odnokon have been life partners and in business together for almost 19 years.  During that time, they have mellowed into their respective roles and enjoy working with individual investment clients. Dave is a Portfolio Manager and Linda is an Investment Advisor with iAS and work out of the co-work space Brightlane on King West in downtown Toronto.

Industrial Alliance Securities Inc. (IAS) is a member of the Canadian Investor Protection Fund (CIPF) and the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC). iA Securities is a trademark and business name under which Industrial Alliance Securities Inc. operates.

This information has been prepared by David Chellew, Portfolio Manager for Industrial Alliance Securities Inc. (IAS) and does not necessarily reflect the opinion of IAS. The opinions expressed are based on an analysis and interpretation dating from the type of publication and are subject to change. Furthermore, they do not constitute an offer or solicitation to buy or sell any the securities mentioned. For more information about IAS, please consult the official website at www.iasecurities.ca. David Chellew can open accounts only in the provinces where he is registered.

The Changing Face of Consumerism and Technology: Disruption, Diminishment and Disappearance

 

mini-wheats

Linda and I were talking two days ago about losing our Saturday morning delivery of the national newspaper. For all the comfort of having it in your hand and sipping coffee while outside its storming, more likely than not I’ve already read the articles online and the paper moves from front door to recycling. I think the bigger issue is a business model that is falling by the wayside and the effective diminishment of the very thing that newspapers are all about, the newsroom, while the organizations struggle to continue to offer a product that fewer and fewer of us care about. Is the cancellation of our home delivery merely one more sign of a troubled company?

One of my favorite Sunday morning recreations is walking up and down Queen Street West counting the number of stores and restaurants that have gone out of business. Rent is often blamed for the demise of many of these businesses, some open for little more than weeks, but in my opinion it has more to do with relevance in the online age. After all ordering on Amazon is far more convenient and more price competitive. When I go into one of these retailers my experience had better be superlative given the options available to me, and all too often it falls short of even adequate. More importantly, in a rapidly changing landscape, evolve or perish, and many of them are fixed in their perception of what the market is rather than letting the market dictate what they should be.

Changing buying habits of the millennials are also held up as a reason for the rapid shifts in our consumer society. If anything they’ve taught me to be more astute and demanding; all my habits and preconceptions about how my world works have been turned on its head as I’ve looked more closely about how shifts in consumerism have affected everything from media to retailing, manufacturing to logistics. I am not sure it is the generation itself or the fact that they are more closely allied to technology driving the change.

Vegas

I didn’t realize how significant my urban lifestyle has informed me until a recent trip to Las Vegas for the Life is Beautiful Music Festival. Over the course of six days I grew more and more frustrated looking for a satisfying foodie experience (funny how fast foodie has entered my MS Word dictionary). Our experience on Fremont Street was something generationally challenging – often heard was how cheap the food was (it wasn’t) and how large the portions were (I’m sure I could have fed a family of six on what would appear on one plate), as if my physique which is more akin to Humpty Dumpty than Adonis and white hair meant that I was generally interested in trough feeding. We did find some King Street West experiences to satisfy our palate and conscience but frankly would have ranked the fare bottom tier compared to what I’m used to. We also heard from many about the great food on the strip but frankly for the price point versus offerings, I would rather wander around my city. I didn’t go there to eat.

A couple of road trips during our stay meant a ubiquitous trip to Walmart to buy a cooler and food and frankly as disconcerting as the shopping experience was at least we were able to cherry pick some decent and healthy options. The bigger shock was the plethora of convenience single serving foods we saw and how the price points were more amenable to budgets than was healthy eating.

Consumer Spending

Consumers are responsible for the majority of economic spending and growth. Leaving aside the obvious excesses, there is little doubt in my mind that the competition now is not amongst companies in the same industry fighting over a slowly growing market share, but rather new competition for the aggregate consumer dollar.

I will admit to spending on convenience. We have a cleaning service come in once a week to do our condo. I like to be able to order my groceries online. And who likes laundering sheets and comforter covers – we send those out at the same time our dry cleaning is picked up. On those occasions we haven’t planned the night’s meal we’re as likely as anyone in our neighborhood to go out and either buy take out or eat in at one of the local restaurants.

What dictates how we spend our discretionary dollar now has everything to do with the duality of convenience and excellence. And we grumble every time one of those two dimensions fail; as soon as a better opportunity presents itself we’ll embrace it. And if that opportunity is online (like our groceries or dry cleaners) then that will be our preference.

On Sugar and Cereal

I recently made the weekly trip to our local Shopper’s Drug Mart to pick up some staples – milk, bananas, etc. I snagged a box of sugar cereal and without thinking boldly carried it to the cash. Lots of yoga-wear sweaty people were in the store that Saturday morning and the looks I received left me feeling sheepish, until, that is, I looked behind me and saw several of them with the same box of sugar carefully hidden in their arms.

I have no doubt that a smaller market will exist for these former stalwarts of the weekday breakfast table, but more as a guilty pleasure than as a significant staple. And as the next generation comes of age never having known the ubiquitous presence of some crisp or pop, even that diminishing market will disappear.

Bringing it Home

Technology makes embracing a new way of living easier and the adoption faster. It also creates a new definition of what a market is. In business school I learned about both the economics of substitution and competition, but I have never seen how pervasive the competition is for the consumer dollar. It is no longer from competitors in the same industry.

What I know for sure is how to spot companies that are going to excel – those that focus on speed of convenience, price and excellence are going to win. The rest are merely grist for disruption, diminishment and ultimately disappearance.

Industrial Alliance Securities Inc. (IAS) is a member of the Canadian Investor Protection Fund (CIPF) and the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC). iA Securities is a trademark and business name under which Industrial Alliance Securities Inc. operates.

This information has been prepared by David Chellew, Portfolio Manager for Industrial Alliance Securities Inc. (IAS) and does not necessarily reflect the opinion of IAS. For more information about IAS, please consult the official website at www.iasecurities.ca. David Chellew can open accounts only in the provinces where he is registered.