When Erin Taylor, friend, mentor, and my favorite yoga teacher (founder of Jasyoga), told me she had a book in the works, I was thrilled for her on a personal level, and curious as to how that would work. Erin has been a pioneer in developing yoga for athletes, and from the first time I was introduced to her work in 2012, it was clear there was something very special about the work she was doing, (and the woman behind it).

13108985_1779629395604206_429387069_nAs a former NCAA Basketball player, Erin brought yoga to us in a language we understood, giving more depth to previously simple things like “stretching” (which in turn motivated me to do more of it); presenting things that previously felt out of my comfort zone like “breath work” or “meditation” which showed me how I was already putting them into practice as an athlete without realizing it. Erin weaved sports psychology, visualization, and other tools into her work in ways that always surprised me. She is the ultimate connector of dots.

Before Erin’s Jasyoga, I’d played with yoga in the past 10 years intermittently, and there was never any doubt that there were benefits for me in there, but it felt a little bit like having to sit through a full feature film when really all you needed was one specific 15 minute scene. It’s different if yoga is your primary activity, but for me it wasn’t, and probably never will be. For many athletes, that time commitment is what makes the benefits of yoga inaccessible to them.

In Erin’s book, “Hit Reset“, she brings her work to life in ways that connected even more dots for me. To be honest, I wasn’t sure how something so personal and experiential could be adapted to the page, but I never doubted that Erin had a clear vision for it. I spoke with her a few times during the making of her book, and enthusiastically agreed to be a model to illustrate some of the poses. Erin had a book inside of her, a movement really, and from what I have seen it has been propelled by an intense passion to bring something to the athletic world that only she can bring.

13102412_1720647271538497_2040062421_nI’ve now read the book, and from the perspective of an athlete and as a student of Erin, I have my own recommendation for how to use it. The book is incredibly visually beautiful, with lots of great photography and intuitive interior design. It is tempting to pick it up and start leafing through all the pages and dig into things randomly. The saturation in digital and print media of “yoga poses” or “core routines” has trained us to take a buffet approach to picking what we like at random, but doing this with Erin’s book would be to miss the brilliance.

Hit Reset isn’t just a book of poses. It is a method for finding imbalances in your own body, and learning simple tools for self-diagnosis and intervention. It puts the power in your own hands to learn to feel when balance needs to be restored, and in a way, prepares you to be your own yoga teacher. After reading the book and developing the framework, you’ll be able to use yoga as a tool for as little as a few minutes a day with real results.

Here’s my recommendation for how to use “Hit Reset” over 18 days and beyond to really get the most out of it.

Day 1: Read the first two chapters right away, “Intro” and “Rediscover Balance” so you get a handle on Erin’s philosophy before you go digging into random poses.

13408754_285421365126455_336660202_nDay 2-10: Over these eight days, dig into only one chapter each day and that’s it. Each chapter focuses on a different area of the body, and takes you from the intellectual, into the physical, and then finishes with personal application. Set aside about 15-30 minutes to work on it. Over the next 24 hours you’ll have an increased awareness of how you are using that area of the body in your daily life which will really make things land for you.

Day 11: Read the Epilogue and Routines pages, and make notes on the book on things that you know will be important for you, with the new awareness you have about your body’s imbalances and opportunities for improvement.

Day 12-18 Go to page 174 and use Erin’s recommended schedule for the next seven days and see what happens. I have a strong feeling you’ll want to keep it rolling.