Wednesday, March 9, 2011

I can see the strain on your face!

YOGA! July challenge
Picture by lululemon athletica

I make it a point to go to the Gym every day to do Yoga or my own routine.  Today I was doing my own routine, its quite amazing to watch other people work out.

Here is a couple of observations:

- There was one person on the elipiticals next to me, I could see so much strain on his face, pushing himself really hard, almost like he had a point to prove to himself, maybe others I am not sure.  I thought to myself, that can't be good for you.  I was doing the same exercise, expect I was working in 2 minute high intensity cycles, and 1 minute of low intensity, focusing pretty much on keeping a uniform breathing pattern throughout the exercise.  

- It seems most exercise is done from the point of view from the Ego, either we want to look good or we want to prove that we are good (to God knows who!).

- In addition exercise is usually done quite mindlessly.  I see more mental presence on the weights, probably because one does need to make sure one does not hurt oneself.  Also notice people are more mindful when they are in the zone, like good runners.

- I don't see any balancing exercises, the closest I see is the swiss ball.  I actually think the Swiss Ball is a very powerful tool, for many reasons, predominately because it allows you to hold particular stretches longer (without building the required strength in your upper body as in Yoga). Also because of the unstable base, you are actually forced to be more mindful.  I am going to look into this a bit more.

- I don't see any breath training, except really good runners on the treadmill, I guess they have to be in tune with the breath to run so well.

- I don't see enough stretching, I do stretching for at least 10 minutes before and after workout.  The stretching after Cardio is something I really look forward too, its almost like some valves are released so the qi and blood can flow through!  The feeling of blood rushing through your arms is really something else.  Good runners do stretch a fair bit, thats one makes them good, they are in tune with their bodies.

- I do not see any relaxation after a work out.  Usually I am the only one lying there in Corpse Pose after a workout.  That is the best part of it all!  I love the sound of the little cracks in your body, as it relaxes and adjusts itself.

- I do see lots of emphasis on the core muscles repetition like stomach curls etc, I am not sure about this, as core muscles are yin type muscle which requires more holding of a position rather than repeated quick repetitions.

- There is no-one closing there eyes in a workout trying to hone in to their bodies signal, and actually enjoy the workout, all I can see is usually the pain in their faces, not relief.

All of these are pretty much built into a a yoga or Qi Gong session that is:
- Being Mindful
- Uniform or Deep Breathing
- Relaxation
- Enjoyment

It is quite obvious that Ego permeates everything we do including exercise.



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