The Physical Practice is part of the Personal Practice
The Physical Practice, the Ghost Chasing Practice, and the Connection Practice are of equal importance
Your brain is creating your life, but your body is carrying your brain.
- The Physical Practice is necessary to stay fit and able.
- The Physical Practice is a contract with yourself.
- The Physical Practice is a set of predefined activities you will engage in so to stay fit.
- The Physical Practice has a minimum amount of physical activity.
- The Physical Practice can be as short as three minutes a day.
- It is better to do less than not doing anything at all.
The key is to practice every day. Every day in real life means 5 to 7 times a week.
- Choose something rewarding and achievable yet challenging.
- The Physical Practice should promote strength and flexibility, the opening of the chest and support good posture.
- The Physical Practice must be painless and enjoyable yet it must be challenging so to promote improvement and provide achievement satisfaction.
- The Physical Practice is maybe the only part of your Personal Practice that can be done with a partner.
There are several levels of Physical Practice
- For those who have zero physical activity and unable to move much:
- Anything above zero is good. Proceed with caution. Go easy.
- For the young enough to still be fit yet inactive:
- Seek promotion of cardiovascular and strength.
- For the less young yet sort of fit and willing:
- Seek flexibility and strength training.
- For the ones engaged in active, physical jobs :
- Flexibility is the priority.
- For those with real sportive commitment:
- A balancing activity is to be sought.
- Those who are already engaged in yoga or Pilates or similar activity:
- Must ensure to have a minimum of daily practice outside of class.
Before engaging in a new physical activity or a new level of activity, please note professional athletes do not increase their training loads by more than 10% a year.
Going from nothing to anything is a 100% increase.
Proceed with caution.
Unless you are highly confident in your body abilities and have experience of practicing sports, check with a health professional to assess your ability to engage in any strenuous physical activity.
Do not delude yourself, otherwise, your body will punish you.
Rule #1 - Do not get hurt
A key rule: Do not get hurt.
- Most sports injuries are self inflicted.
- Cut back your load at the slightest injury.
- The beginning will always make you sore.
- Overdoing it will always make you sore.
- You are supposed to feel better, not hurt yourself.
- Improvement Requires Effort is good Practice.
- No Pain No Gain is bad Practice.
- There is no need to hurt yourself.
Rule #2 - Do not get hurt
Learn the difference between, Laziness, Discomfort and Pain. All three will call for you to stop
- Ignore laziness and continue.
- Be watchful of discomfort, it is both the indicator of improvement and the warning sign of hurt.
- Listen to pain and stop.
Rule #3 - Do not get hurt
If you get hurt.
- This is the way your Mind is telling you to stop. So stop or cut back.
- If you don't stop or cut back, a bigger injury is awaiting.
- It takes 2 to 3 times longer to completely heal than it takes for the pain and discomfort to go away.
- If it takes 1 week to stop hurting, you need to still take it easy for another 1 or 2 weeks before resuming previous intensity level of practice.
Do not cheat yourself
Any physical activity beyond the normal routine can become part of the Physical Practice but the line between Physical Practice and healthy habits can be blurred.
- Walking to the bus stop is a healthy habit.
- Walking to the bus stop instead of being dropped off could be considered a healthy habit or may count as part of the physical practice.
- Getting off two stops earlier to walk 20 minutes definitely counts as part of the physical practice.
- Walking around the block 20 minutes is pure physical practice
If your contract is to do 3 Sun Salutations every morning and did not do them that day, it's OK.
Taking the stairs instead of the elevator is a highly encouraged healthy habit, but do not use that to make up for the missed morning Salutations.
First, it is not the same exercise, second, it is a mental shortcut to brush aside the real reasons why you skipped the morning session.
Rather, try to be honest about that missed workout.
- Maybe you need to revisit your routine
- Maybe you were sore from the day before
- Did you mismanage your sleep?
- Were you embarrassed to practice in front of your spouse?
I personally recommend any form of Yoga, Pilates and associated disciplines for they are soft and promote flexibility, balance, strength, proper body alignment and counter the effects of daily life and other activities. They also can be practiced in small amounts and yet be effective.
One of the major drawbacks of these Practices is that they are not Ego friendly
- They solicit unused muscles so they are hard to do.
- To solicit unused muscles they call for unnatural poses.
- Unnatural poses make us look like a goof and feel awkward.
- It is difficult to do properly without paying attention, and paying attention is difficult.
- It is easy to do it wrong and get hurt.
My personal Physical Practice is composed of the following
- The 5 Tibetans, 7. 14 or 21 repetitions
- Sun Salutations of Power Yoga 3 to 12 repetitions
- Closing sequence of Power Yoga.
- Slow forms (Tai Chi style). I have many to choose from and pick one or two.
Depending on my mood and form I will make a mix of any of the above. It will take between 3 minutes and 45 minutes to complete. (most of the time 15-20 minutes)
At a higher level, the Physical Practice is linked to the Connection Practice, because it creates a new connection to your physical self.
Some would consider the Prostrations or the Bows of Gratitude part of the Physical Practice since they are quite rejuvenating and help maintain strong knees.