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
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