I’m traveling so get ready for some wild moves. Our proprietary “Alex-is-traveling” indicator has a 100% hit rate. The logic behind this particular indicator is that the Market Gods are vengeful and never miss an opportunity to punish me for leaving my desk. You’ve been forewarned.
On a positive note, the tape and indicators have been turning more constructive over the last week. So maybe this vol will come in the way of an upside surprise? Watch BTC as the lead.
I write this while on a train from Copenhagen heading into Sweden. I’m going to a 10-day yoga/meditation retreat at the Haa International Retreat Center. This is something I’ve wanted to do for years but just haven’t. With the launch of our new fund I figured it’s now or never as I’m going to hit the ground running when I get back, and we’ll be putting in long hours over the next couple of years.
I’ll be completely unplugged for 10-days. They take all your electronics when you arrive. This terrifies me a little.
I’ve gotten really into yoga over the last 2-years. That sentence is something I never thought I’d say. Definitely not with a straight face.
But before you think I’ve gone all granola and dreadlocks, let me make a few things clear. I know what probably comes to mind when you think yoga; bored housewives, lots of lululemon, and bodily contortion
This is not what I’m talking about.
Yoga, real yoga, is so much more. The “yoga” that has been popularized in the West is considered a warm-up routine to doing actual yoga in the traditional sense. See, the goal of traditional yoga is to yoke the individual consciousness with the greater universal one. It means to create harmony with mind, body, and spirit.
This is attained through preparing the body and its energies so it and the mind can sit for extended periods of time, in perfect unbroken concentration.
The yogis of old who developed and refined these techniques over literally thousands of years, realized the truths of the mind-body connection. They knew that a sick unhealthy body makes for a sick and busy mind, and vice-versa.
So they developed a number of exercises (asanas), breathwork (pranayama), and meditative practices to prepare the body and mind for the more advanced meditative practices. All so the yogi can peer further into his or her consciousness, explore reality, and realize greater truths.
Yeah, okay, that’s pretty hippy-dippy… So I’ve gone off the reservation a little, big whoop.
Anyways… one of my obsessions over the last few years has been studying things that survive through time and geography. There’s this concept called the “wisdom of time” or something like that. I actually don’t remember the exact name or where I came across it. I know Taleb talks about it some when he advises reading old classics over new books, because if a book has been able to survive hundreds of years then it must contain some imperishable truths.
The idea is that time acts as a great filter for what’s true and useful. Things, knowledge, practices, etc… that are able to survive the ages, do so for good reason.
Yoga definitely falls under this category. It’s been practiced in the Indus valley for at least 5,000 years, probably longer. There’s strong evidence that similar, if not identical practices, were also prevalent in ancient Egypt, pre-Columbian Americas, and within various ancient African cultures.
When a practice such as traditional yoga, which on the surface appears odd and gives zero evolutionary advantage. Survives for this long and spans so many geographies, cultures, languages, etc… It tells me that there are some deeply inherent truths and benefits to it.
The last couple of years I’ve been diving into it to see if there’s anything useful there. I’m still very much a noob, in every sense of the word. But I’ve journeyed far enough to say that yoga — again, traditional yoga — is unequivocally the best system or grouping of knowledge on human development that I’ve ever come across.
One of the things that I most enjoy about it (and there are many), is that it’s based completely on experiential truth. There’s zero faith, no ideology or belief system necessary. No hierarchy or power structure telling you what you should think or believe. You simply practice the techniques, learn to hone your concentration, and through that, much is revealed.
Simply put, yoga is the best performance hack I’ve ever come across. And I’ve explored many.
Since MO is not just about trading and investing in markets, but also learning, growing, and evolving into the best versions of ourselves (real success in markets and life cannot be attained independent of one another), I’m going to start regularly sharing with you the practical tools and methods I learn as I venture along on this journey of yoga.
I’ll report back in 10-days on how the retreat went. Don’t break the markets while I’m gone.