Day 3 – November 1, 2009
Yesterday was a relatively quiet day at home, eating simple (noodles, rice, pickles some veggies), reading, writing and being on the computer. I have been dealing with Trojan Horses, malware and phishing attacks on my computer. I am still in the process of cleaning them up as I write this.
In the evening I went with a friend to the Earth Dance Studios for a “Dance Jam” of contact improvisation. It was my first time there and essentially my first experience of a Dance Jam. I had a great time and so did my friend.
Contact Dance Improvisation is a great way to be in touch with one’s physical body and to work through issues of self-esteem, intimacy, fear and boundary issues. There is no purpose to it other than to be in the moment and have fun.
I have been thinking about the value of exercise and physical activity lately. We tend to think of most physical activity as goal-oriented like losing a certain amount weight, achieving a certain amount of strength or building stamina to run a marathon. However, because we tend to set unrealistic goals for ourselves then taking on a routine can be self-defeating and perpetuate and enhance feelings of inadequacy, low self-esteem and depression – the very issues we wish to overcome in doing the exercise in the first place! We set ourselves up for failure even before we begin!
However, there is a more basic value to physical activity that is often overlooked which is it’s function as a diagnostic tool for our health. Just by moving our bodies and observing where our in-flexibilities are and where we lack strength is, in my opinion, a far greater and immediate value to exercising than achieving any type of goal. The kinds of exercise suited for self-diagnosis include dance, yoga, swimming and stretching (not to mention Do-In) as opposed to repetitive motion exercises like running, cycling, weight training or basic calisthenics which, if done in excess, can be detrimental.
It helps to also know about acupuncture meridians and macrobiotics so that one can correlate stagnated areas in the body with specific organs and then address those problems through dietary change. For example, upper thigh muscle tightness can indicate a stressed stomach and digestive system from over-eating. Tightness in calf muscles can be a sign of excess fluid and salt. Essentially, in-flexibility and tightness in any area can be correlated to some internal stress which can then be relieved by addressing our dietary habits.
So, my advice: if you have difficulty in maintaining an exercise routine, then simply move your body once in a while for self-diagnosis purposes rather than to achieve any type of goal. And, by all means, have fun!