MIND AND BODY

In the third of a five-week se­ries on how to re­ju­ve­nate your mind and body dur­ing and af­ter Ra­madan, health and fit­ness per­son­al­ity Wael Al Sayegh fo­cuses on upping our mo­tor skills

Friday - - Contents -

In an ex­clu­sive col­umn, health and fit­ness per­son­al­ity Wael Al Sayegh writes about the rel­e­vance of mo­bil­ity.

You have the free­dom to be your­self, your true self, here and now, and noth­ing can stand in your way.’ Richard Bach, Jonathan Liv­ing­stone Seag­ull. Ro­bot­ics is mak­ing a lot of head­line news lately. Im­ages and video clips on so­cial me­dia show­ing ro­bots of var­i­ous shapes and sizes mov­ing from point A to B are wide­spread. Large cor­po­ra­tions are back­ing sci­en­tists to pro­duce ro­bots that can skil­fully and in­tel­li­gently nav­i­gate in­de­pen­dently across var­ied ter­rains and ob­sta­cles. Any­one study­ing ro­bot­ics knows there are six de­grees of move­ment. Heave (up and down), Sway (right and left), Surge (front and rear), Pitch (tilt up and down), Roll (bend­ing right and left) and Yaw (twist­ing right and left).

The hu­man body is far more so­phis­ti­cated than any robot, but the ways in which it moves are sim­i­lar. So it makes per­fect sense, by the pure na­ture of our de­sign, that we au­to­mat­i­cally ex­er­cise our bod­ies in ac­cor­dance with those six de­grees, right? Wrong. What if I said most fit­ness regimes only ad­dress three of the six de­grees? Or that the level of health and fit­ness you cur­rently en­joy is, at best, a mere 50 per cent of your in­her­ited right? To reach our op­ti­mal level of fit­ness we must de­velop mo­tor skills for the de­grees of move­ments we are miss­ing. If all you do in the gym is ‘push’ and ‘pull’ or ‘up and down’ then to act on this re­al­i­sa­tion will have a huge ef­fect on you in a pos­i­tive way.

My search for self-de­vel­op­ment through the mar­tial arts has taught me how to ac­cess my full range of phys­i­cal move­ment across all the pos­si­ble de­grees ac­cord­ing to Scott Son­non’s Six De­gree Flow pro­gramme. Briefly, it’s a pro­gramme di­vided into three work­outs, which ad­dress each of the di­men­sions of pos­si­ble move­ment. At the end of each ses­sion a ‘flow’ is per­formed, a se­ries of move­ments linked to­gether in a smooth se­quence. Each ses­sion takes about 60 min­utes and dur­ing that ses­sion you are burn­ing fat, build­ing mus­cle and re­con­nect­ing with your flow. The move­ments are yoga-based, specif­i­cally prasara yoga, and are per­fect for Ra­madan in terms of the ap­pro­pri­ate level of in­ten­sity. Mar­tial arts, yoga and dance have stood the test of time largely be­cause they get the body to move in more ranges of mo­tion than other ac­tiv­i­ties.

The mag­i­cal part, for me, is not what hap­pens dur­ing the work­out ses­sions, but af­ter­wards. Once our joints are mo­bilised and our bod­ies are moved in all de­grees, our phys­i­cal free­dom starts to un­lock it­self and with it, our nat­u­ral flow of en­ergy.

Re­mem­ber dear reader, our bod­ies are not sep­a­rate from our minds and souls. They are a ve­hi­cle to help us ac­cess higher vi­bra­tions within us, not iso­lated from the rest of us.

I can only speak from my own ex­pe­ri­ence, but once the body starts to feel what free­dom means, your whole be­ing will want to fol­low suit. Your life, just like your body, will no longer be sat­is­fied with just ‘get­ting by’, but will soar, glide, twist, twirl and do loops in the air of your meta­phys­i­cal realms.

Don’t be con­tent with just two or three de­grees of move­ment in your phys­i­cal train­ing. As time goes on ro­bots will start to re­place many hu­man jobs. We can­not stop this evo­lu­tion, but what we can do is adapt to it by mov­ing more ‘hu­manly’ and by ex­er­cis­ing more ‘hu­manly’. That is, train­ing and liv­ing in such a way that al­lows our flow, our in­tu­itive ge­nius, to sur­face.

Your free­dom has al­ways been wait­ing for you; noth­ing but your own self can stop you. But to truly be able to live a life of flow, we must link our phys­i­cal move­ments to some­thing no robot could pos­si­bly do, the divine fac­tor we all carry in us re­gard­less of race, re­li­gion, colour or creed: our breath. That is my topic for next week, in­shal­lah.

Un­til next Fri­day.

Your life, just like your BODY, will no longer be SAT­IS­FIED with just ‘get­ting by’, but will soar, glide, twist, twirl and DO LOOPS

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