Civilize the mind but make savage the body.” – Chairman Mao
I often find the traditional workout routines somewhat boring, so I do my best to make my workouts as dynamic and enjoyable as possible. Gone are the days when I would spend two hours or so in the gym 3 to 4 times a week pushing weights and running the treadmill… How tedious! How boring! Don’t get me wrong – a part of me love’s Pumping weights and suff, but I didn’t feel it was holistic enough. I can’t sit their Pumping up my muscles for hours on end while my mind goes numb, but off course it’s a personal choice born out of my current lifestyle and Goals.
In my late teens and early twenties, I Pumped up my muscles like the hulk… a part of the reason, was to attract girls and increase self confidence. Pumping weights or more to the Point… LOOKING HENCH also served as a visual warning saying that I am not to be messed with. I was a meat head; I spent much of my free time in the gym or at night clubs, so naturally my training ethic was about looking good… That was my reason back then.
Now I aim for workout routines that cover’s mind, body and spirit with a focus on vitality and health, cultivating a strong dynamic expression to meet the demands of a busy lifestyle.
It help’s to define exactly why you’re working out. In defining you’re WHY you can tailor a workout routine to meet your lifestyle Needs and Goals.
My workout routine is influenced by the Principles of the classical elements, earth, wind, fire and water. I use the Philosophy behind the elements as a kind of Check list as to what attributes. I want or need to cultivate physically.
This is the core of my discipline along with the related corresponding Element.
If you lead a vary active windy life style, meaning that you are always on the go, doing a lot of walking travelling or just generally rushing around you may want balance this out with earthy strong exercise’ , yoga some weight’s
If you lead vary relaxed life style this would relate to the water element you need balance this out with this strong earthy strong exercises
if you lead earth fiery style mean that you do a lot of physical active caring and logging thing around your may want to balance this out by doing some thing watery.
The understanding is that all elements in nature are found in the body, earth, air, fire and water. The elements also correspond to your movements or physical expressions.
So it goes without saying that the elements are also expressed in our psychologies and in our characters. The dominate elements at any given time can be seen in a persons behaviour.
So from the perspective of the correspondences the nature of your exercises will have a Physical correspondent to body and a corresponding physiological effect on the mind.
My research has leaded me to develop practices and disciplines that balance out and correspond to my lifestyle and goals. These practices cover a whole rang of exercises aimed at balancing emotions, developing focus and concentration and discipline etc.
For instance when I was teaching myself to read after years of failure to do so at school, yoga and meditation was the focal point of my routine, the goal … to develop my concentration and calm my mind and emotions. So looking at this from the elemental perspective you can say that I was calming the wind or steadying the air principle in the mind and calming the waters.
The emotions are representative of the waters and the Thoughts are representative of wind or air in the way that thoughts blow around in the mind. You can speed up or slow down the movement of thoughts in the mind with meditation. If you over stand the principle of fire and how it relates to meditation you can sharpen your concentration.
At this time, I have several practices based around my goals and lifestyle; this morning is a good example of my typical routine. Although this morning or rising as I prefer to call it I didn’t do what I had planned, which was to workout in Peckham Rye Park. I was running late.
My planned run / jog to Peckham rye would have looked like this….. At a slow or casual phase the run would have taken me 20-30 minutes their and back Occasional I do what I call the lion run which is a combination of walking jogging and sprinting.
Peckham Rye Park is wonderful because it has an out door gym and the best thing is it’s free and it has a whole range of out door gym machines to exercise on. Personally I prefer the gymnastic equipment. I would have spent 10 – 15 min using the bars to exercise abs, arms and upper body with pull-ups and dips it looks very gymnastic, I call it monkey yoga. I also like to use the setup bench after doing a workout in the outdoor gym I’ll find a spot and I do 30min mixed yoga Qi gong followed by marital art exercises kicking punching Rolly Polly ( forward rolls) and cartwheel I normally mix this season with juggling followed 30 min meditation. I find this workout is a great set up for the day.
My morning didn’t go as planed so the above didn’t happen So I freed my plan for Peckham Rye Park because I woke up late, naughty naughty me I’m A Bad Boy but anyway I remained on purpose went for a quick 20min jog to up Dog Kennel Hill full load with weights in my back pack while doing some vocal exercises. . The vocal exercises consists of singing doe ray me fa so la Te doe throughout the course of the run. You may get some funny looks while singing, but you wont get as not as much as if you were doing joggling and singing if you don’t know what joggling is it is juggling and jogging…. its cool! Maybe I’ll blog about it tomorrow, anyway singing and running is great exercises……Anybody who is looking for a clearer more confident stronger speaking voice should try singing while jogging.
If you’re embarrassed about any body seeing you running down the road singing just do what I sometimes do ignore them or lower the volume which is again a great vocal exercise it exercises your breath control.
So personally I believe that the key to working out and enjoy it is about making your routine as rich and dynamical holistic as possible mind, body and spirit you wont have to work hard to stay fit, you just need to be consistent in a daily practice, making the call to do a workout or exercise when the time comes.
Having a varied list of routines that you’ve personally tailored to your needs will give you the flexibly to be consistent in exercising regularly so be willing to learn new exercises or practices to add to your exercise toolkit. On daily basis you can pick something out of your toolkit to suit your mood of the day and the amount of time you can dedicate.
In my experience at times I feel the need to be fiery and energetic, when this need calls I do strong exercises, the maybe mixture of gymnastic martial arts movements and training exercise’s, when I feel tight or tense I do yoga and \African dance exercises, when I feel I need to increase my vibrancy and energy I may do Qi gong, when I want to stimulate the mind and body physically I juggle, when I wish to still/balance the mind I do meditation ect
In the above way I have managed to be consistent in the discipline of keeping fit working with my moods, doing something every day and maintaining the basics yoga exercises and basic push-ups. It is important to listen to the body so you know what it needs and when to make the call in giving it what it needs, energetically the bodies needs can vary from day to day on some days a simple massage with breathing exercises will go down well at other times to do something so basic wouldn’t satisfy the energetic needs of the body, mind and spirit.
Keep it moving, doing something everyday.