24 July 2009

The Spirit of Fitness

Saturday 25th July 2009

I started running a couple of weeks ago. I cruise through the streets at night, running for a couple of blocks then walking a little. There’s no desire to get fit, no goals, I’m just enjoying the process, the feeling of freedom and the revitalisation of lost youthfulness.
The solitude of running is intoxicating…there’s just me, the streets, the night, the rhythmic pounding of my steps and my heart, all merging into the quieter pulse of night.
I’m loving it.

Fitness Magazine, quite coincidentally, sent me an email through this blog last week about their current feature on yoga (my apologies to the editors but I’ve never read or even heard of your magazine). I reprint it here without alteration:

Dear Nobhodi,

My name is Nathan and I work with the publisher of Fitness Magazine. You have some very interesting things to say about yoga and life in general.
I thought you might like to know, and might like to let your readers know, that FitnessMagazine.com is currently featuring a complete guide to yoga, including workout videos, photos of many yoga positions, answers to common yoga questions and more.

Have a look at:

The AcroYoga extreme yoga poses, a unique new practice that cultivates trust, connection, and playfulness to bring individuals into a state of union with themselves, each other, and the divine.

The complete yoga video workout, a video by Cyndi Lee, founder of Om Yoga in New York City .

The yoga for better sleep poses, an 8-minute workout of five yoga poses that can be done in bed.

Yoga for back pain, a video showing yoga poses that release tension from the back.

To thank you for helping us promote this information, the FitnessMagazine.com blog will link back to your blog.

I am attaching a couple photos, if you want to include them in your posting. I also have videos I can send if you want to include them.

Let me know if you would like other photos or want any additional information.

Many thanks in advance,

Nathan Groom
For FitnessMagazine.com

Running is a fitness activity– no question about that, but yoga for fitness?

Ashtanga vinyasa yoga is probably the most aerobic of all the physical yoga practices but it is an intensely purifying practice for all layers of our physical/mental/emotional/ spiritual being, not just an exotic fitness regime for the consumer muscle market.

So promotions such as the above for AcroYoga that promise how it can “bring individuals into a state of union with themselves, each other, and the divine” do not go down well with me (again, my apologies to the editors of Fitness Magazine).
A state of union with themselves????? Who wrote that?

As human beings with bodies we are meant to be active, hunting and gathering, running, playing, roaming through the natural landscape in search of food and shelter. Contrast this to our stagnant western lifestyles where hours/days/weeks/years are spent in front of computers and televisions. Many of us have forgotten how wonderful it feels to be physically active out in Nature, to have the life force and endorphins flooding through us, overflowing with natural childlike joy.
For me, running and yoga are not in opposition, but rather they complement each other, combining to elevate the spirit. And if we can live permanently from a higher consciousness, we can be like a lamp unto others, uplifting the energy of those around us and serving a higher divine purpose. Christian Larson describes this as “living in the upper storey”.

Better to be physically fit and active than not.
Better to run/ride/lift weights/hit the gym than do nothing.

But how much better it is to enliven the spirit as well as the body.

Bhagavad Gita
I’ve picked up the Bhagavad Gita a few times over the years but never read it through seriously.
This time round it’s different. I'm enthralled with every sentence.
The words are like sharp arrows armed with wisdom; the target is the centre of my heart.

From Chapter 6: Meditation and Self-Control:
“Let the student of spirituality try unceasingly to concentrate his mind, let him live in seclusion, absolutely alone, with mind and personality controlled, free from desire, and without possessions.” (6.10)
“The wise man who has conquered his mind and is absorbed in the Self is as a lamp which does not flicker, since it stands sheltered from every wind.” (6.19)
“This inner severance form the affliction of misery is spirituality. It should be practiced with determination, and with a heart which refuses to be depressed.” (6.23)


undercoveragent said...

Some addition words of Wisdom for you from the Bhagavad Gita....

"Man is made by his belief. As he believes, so he is."

"Action is greater than inaction. Perform therefore thy task in life. Even the life of the body could not be if there were no action."

"The serenity of mind, gentleness, silence, self-restraint, and the purity of mind are called the austerity of thought."

So, as you delve more deeply into the depths of the Bhagavad Gita Nobodhis... what else have you uncovered....

The Fitness Diva said...

I'm just curious. I also have received these types of solicitations from a supposed rep of fitnessmagazine.com.

Did they link back to your blog afterwards as they stated?