Learning to Use Your Body
Your body is a collection of muscle tissues and organs which you pilot using something that we call the mind. The mind is a language based command tower that seems to exist somewhere behind your eyes, but there is a great problem for us: the body does not understand the language of the mind. You cannot converse directly with your body and ask it to become more muscular, tell it to stop hurting or for it to straighten your back.
Your body is reactive and so responds to your behaviour not your requests, it wants to work with you and become strong but it simply cannot understand words of angry requests, all it understands is the anger and so becomes tense and clumsy. To change your body you need to alter the style in which you communicate with your body. To do this you need to change your behaviour consistently in your life. This is why your collective behaviours are called your lifestyle.
This article is going to discuss how changing your relationship with your body over time will help the pair of your become a stronger, sharper and healthier unit.
What a Body Remembers
Firstly you need to remember that everything you are is contained in your body. Your body will remember that bad fall when you were thirteen by displaying a scar for your whole life, if you simulate your body with intense exercise your mood will improve and if you spend the best part of your day banging your head against the wall: your mind may start to change.
Your body is an outward document of your life experience. It is a product of time, and like anything that grows in nature it takes time and nourishment for it to reach its potential.
To make the most of yourself you must get in between this process of time and nourishment and use it to your advantage. You must align your lifestyle so that it sets you on a trajectory of greatest flourishing. The important skill that you must learn for this is training.
What is training? Training is commitment to a behaviour over a period of time. You do this so that the behaviour begins to have an effect upon your body. You train so that your body remembers the experience and displays the results. Much like how it remembered that fall in your youth and now displays a scar. Your body also remembers those two years of tango classes that you took and displays your excellent posture thanks to it.
A large time commitment seems like hard work doesn't it?
Granted hard work is... well hard, and nothing great comes without hard work, but I am going to discuss how to play smart to save your from the hard. To do this you develop a relationship with your body so you can work aligned with its natural parameters in order to get the most out of it, you learn to communicate with your body. You do not have to be a slave to it's weakness, fatigue or pain, you just need to understand that you are in symbiosis with your body and that both parties want to thrive.
Take these following principles and use them to get more in touch with your body. Together you and your body will change your life.
Define Your Goal
This is the most important step. Why? Because this is where you tell your mind that you are making a commitment over a period of time. This is so your mind learns to obey and not quit halfway through the journey. This is the most important exercise, the exercise of will and it happens all inside your head. Tell your mind that you are committing to a lifestyle change for a period of time, between now and your goal you won't criticize yourself until you give up. This is where you induce dedication in your mind and tell it that it now works together with your body.
Set a goal, but bear in mind that it must be specific to your needs. Look at your body, what does it need to develop? A boxer will have a far different goal than a person with a damaged neck. Connect your goal with your current starting point.
Assess your Tools
These are the things available to you in your life for achieving your goal. These will vary from things like skipping ropes, to local gyms or even an old bike you can use to get to work. List what you have so you can figure out how to use it.
Understand: the most important tool is information. Information will teach you how to eat right, and how to avoid mistakes that others have already made on their path to where you want to get. Devour as much information as you can find and explore new ways of getting this. You can use the internet to research the best possible way in which to approach your goal.
But I will save you all the hassle of research, just follow this advice:
Get yourself a human trainer. Be it a Yoga teacher, a membership at a local MMA club or even a more experienced running partner, any person who is passionate enough to pursue a training long enough that they can teach it will be the most useful and informative tool you will ever find.
This is especially important for those into modern gym culture: Talk to the personal trainers, these guys will help you avoid hundreds of silly mistakes!
Focus on Technique
This is the hardest but most rewarding part of the whole procedure. Actually taking action and going for it, but as a beginner all the excitement may lead you to get way ahead of yourself. Using your human trainer accept that you are going to have to take it really slow at first and learn the basics right. This is so important i'll say it again.
Learn the basics right: If you look at any master, they are flawless with the basics.
You can learn the basics wrong if you want, but this road only leads to frustration and failure. Be persistent, learn how to move your body in the right motions and in time all the flexibility and strength will come effortlessly.
Do it. Go out and get back in touch with that mass that carries you around, you would be amazed with the potential stored within your very own body. All you need to do is unlock it using Willpower, Knowledge and Technique.