Minutes of Magic

I just finished reading “7 Minutes of Magic” by Lee Holden a few days ago and it has prompted me to do a couple of things. That is a mark of a very good book, it prompts you to take action. First, I have tried the routines Holden outlines in this book, and I do agree with another review of this book that it does take longer than 7 minutes to do the routines when you are first learning them. However, that is okay, I am used to spending longer than 7 minutes each morning. I really like the routines, and I feel that by themselves for most people they will be very beneficial.

However, for me, I am incorporating Holden’s flows from this book with the morning exercises I already do that are based on teachings of Dan Millman, Pavel Tsatsouline, and other martial art/qi gong instructors I have had. Holden’s workouts fit very well with the kinds of exercise flows I’ve already been doing. (In fact, some of the same things he teaches have been in my routines) So, for me it has been invigorating to try different routines and to incorporate them into what I’ve been doing. My goal for the morning exercises is to loosen up my joints, warm up my core, especially lower back, and to energize myself for the day ahead. This is just what Holden’s routines do! I really like how Holden incorporates Qi gong, Tai Chi, Yoga and Western exercises into his routines, since that is how I approach things as well.

Normally my evening or after work routines incorporate aerobic exercise, weight lifting, martial art practice and a variety of other exercises. I will often do a little stretching late in the evening and a breathing or meditation session. I’ve been incorporating Holden’s PM routine into my training and enjoy it as a nice way to calm down late in the evening before retiring for the night. I’ve also looked at Holden’s other products and intend to learn more from him in the future, so yes this is a book I recommend.

The book starts out with a little about Holden’s training. I enjoyed this short chapter. As someone who has also lived in Asia to further my training, I found his story very interesting. I also liked the second chapter on East Meets West: Your Body, Mind and Spirit. It corresponded well with my own philosophies and I liked how Holden put it simply and to the point.

The next part of the book teaches the flows, or exercise series. There are several flows for the morning. Core Flow, Upper Body Flow, Lower Body Flow, Full Body Flow, Energy Flow, Breath Flow, and Mind Flow. Then the PM flows: Spinal Flow, Upper Back and Neck Flow, Lower Back Flow, Downward Flow, Seated Flow, Lying Flow, and the Joy and Gratitude Flow.

I really feel that incorporating these flows, or even modifying them if need be, will help a person have increased health, energy, and fitness. With this comes reduced stress levels and the avoidance of the illnesses that come with increased stress and inactivity of the body.

Part three of the book focuses on Living with More Vitality, and in this part Holden gives some good advice for living a more healthy lifestyle. He discusses exercise, especially walking. He has a short chapter on breathing. Chapter 7 is a short chapter on eating, not what to eat, but how to eat, especially chewing food more and eating less to lose weight and live longer. He also includes a quick chapter on drinking water. He finishes with chapters on meditation and sleep, and then throws in a bonus 7 minute routine for health and vitality.

All of the chapters are short, direct and easy to read. They do not include in depth information on the topics, but give enough to get most people started along a healthy way of living. For some, this book will act as a catalyst to send readers to further study the topics here, through more of Holden’s works or those of others on the same or similar topics.

This is a great start for many people, and following the routines will help anyone improve their health. For me and others, it is a good book of information to further our studies and incorporate new approaches into our own routines. I’m glad I bought this book and look forward to doing these routines and learning more from Holden in the future.

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