Whole body mindedness and working out in the gym
I watched Serge Benhayon’s interview on Whole Body Intelligence recently, probably for the third time all up, and it struck me that each time I watch it there is more I consciously hear, seemingly for the first time, and that there is always more to ponder on, feel and experience in my own body and have fun trying out.
And thus, when I was at the gym this morning, it occurred to me that this would be a great opportunity to put what I had heard Serge explain about whole-body-mindedness into practice and start experimenting with doing things differently. To start with, I decided to set the treadmill at a slower pace than I normally would and what I experienced was very interesting – my focus totally shifted from how far and fast I could go in a certain time and whether that was better or worse than the last time I had done it, to being not just available for my physical body but much more present to and aware of it, my own body. It was as though in the past I had been working out mainly as a mental exercise, a mind-full kind of practice that had rendered me inattentive and far removed from this body I take with me everywhere.
As odd as it may sound, concentrating on the readings on the screen in front of me – the outcome and projected goal of my workout – had been taking me away from what it was I wanted to achieve, i.e. work out for the benefit of my physical body. Taking the focus away from how fast? how far? and how intense? on the other hand now provided the space to be with and in my body – after all the apparent focus and intention of the whole exercise – much more than ever before.
Not only that, I started enjoying what I was doing and I wasn’t moving like a robot, the proverbial hamster on a wheel or a wind-up toy. Nor did I get bored, tired or think about what I would be doing after my visit to the gym.
From time to time I was still glancing at the readings on the screen in front of me, but rather than focussing on how to interpret them, i.e. making a quick assessment of how well or poorly I would judge myself to be doing, I noticed and enjoyed the various constellations of numbers, as in 05:55 minutes or a heart rate of 88 bpm. And I could feel my body, all of it. My awareness was all over me, so to speak. I was aware of the whole of my legs including the buttocks, my feet in the shoes and on the moving surface; there was a beautiful flow to the way I moved and I even managed a playful wiggle and jiggle of my hips. My shoulders and arms felt loose and flexible, there were no awkward jutting angles. My head sat just in the right place on top of my neck, as did my neck feel just right on top of my torso. My mind was not full of whatever (eureka!) but attentive and present with my body, its movements and the feelings and sensations in the body.
When I had finished on the treadmill I moved to the power mill and again I decreased my usual speed and incline and did not focus on any readings. Instead I put one foot in front of the other and focussed on not scuffing or shuffling, on lifting my knees properly and I observed how my thighs and knees aligned with my lower legs and ankles.
Again, I didn’t work out as ‘hard’ as I normally would but the sense of being present with my body was amazing and very powerful.
I covered less distance on the treadmill and climbed fewer floors on the power mill than I normally would, but I enjoyed myself greatly. Not only that, but I also noticed that my body felt like it had had a workout; not because there was any soreness or discomfort, but because it felt alive and subtly energised and revitalised.
What I also noticed was that being with my body, my way of enjoying the whole-body-mindedness, kept me out of this bubble that I feel at other times, when it is about my workout, my speed, my repetitions, my heart rate and nothing else. I felt a lovely warmth and spaciousness and that I was part of something bigger and more encompassing.
And I thoroughly enjoyed the bounce in my steps when I left the gym; it didn’t come from my mind and had nothing to do with satisfaction or elation – the bounce came from feeling alive and vital and at one with my body.