This is a guest post by the talented Anuja Rajendra who is the creator and CEO of BollyFit, the Fitness through Dance™ sensation illuminating Michigan.
Does being fit require dreaded workouts with clenched teeth and a no pain, no gain attitude? Does being healthy in life mean slogging the self to the gym daily and then squelching out, Just do it; just do one more!?
Whether trekking it out on the treadmill or pounding the pavement, a conventional notion of being fit and healthy is that working out is necessary to achieve these states of wellness. We often dread the workout before, count the minutes to go during, and breathe a sigh of relief after. Whether or not we actually do it, we know we are supposed to because experts tell us so.
So, work out today finds its way onto a checklist of things we have to do. Does the mind experience this line item as a welcome addition? How often do we hear people say, I cannot wait to force myself out of bed at 6:00 AM and pump iron!
In reality, whether it is from the anxiety of losing a few pounds, fitting into a certain outfit or being confident at an upcoming event, voices often exclaim,
Oh, I do not want to go to the gym today but I have to go!
Is work out amidst the items on your daily checklist?
If so, why? If not, why not?
If it is usually on your list of stuff to do, how often do you actually do it?
***When you do work out, what is the experience before exercise, during the routine and afterward?
***If you do not work out on a particular day, what is that experience like?
***What is the experience when just reading the word now, workout?
It is a fact that most people do not exercise regularly. Skyrocketing obesity in various parts of the world and resulting diseases and related fiscal and societal costs are in the news, spawning a support industry to try to inspire people to work out. Some are truly motivated from within, which is fantastic.
For most the external Rah-Rah cheerleading works from time to time and they grudgingly force feet atop the treadmill; or, with a heavy heart, haul the sedentary soul into the gym. For these people, sweating from the self literally requires wholesome will from within! For some, the internal mojo to just do it is sadly never achieved.
For everyone without internal alignment between physically active thoughts and actions, workout is a wandering word nomadically traversing the to-do list from day to day. It is part of a community of sub-list of shame, items that are supposed to be done daily but are not. Eventually, due to frustration and internal defeat, these items cease to make their way to external lists, but continue to hover over an unsettled mind.
But does being fit and healthy require an I have to work out attitude? Is that frame of reference even helpful? What do you think? When you see the word workout, does it elicit inspiration, lightness and welcome you with open arms like a Bollywood hero or heroine on a grassy meadow with the wind blowing through the hair?
By definition, workout, is something dreaded, almost unnatural, and required.
Hmmn…what if the quandary is just a packaging issue? You might have heard the adage:
No pain no gain.
Yes, pain has a purpose and can be beneficial. As Eckhart Tolle brilliantly explains in A New Earth pain and suffering can fuel the light of consciousness and help awaken the soul. But if fitness and health are approached as something dreaded we have to do, versus something natural, comfortable and, on the other end of the spectrum, something we long to do, might we approach this aspect of wellness differently?
Does anyone really say,
Oh geez, I have to go to the spa, I do not want to but I have to! OR
I do not want to wake up early for that massage but I just have to do it!
What if exercise was the same way?
What if the dreaded workout disappeared with the poof of a wand and instead sparkles and twinkles from within invited us to be joyful and, by the way, naturally shed weight inside and out?
Can you imagine a world where fitness and fun are symbiotic? Where exercise experiences are craved like spa appointments for the soul?
Where peace, love, joy and sweat string together like a blissful Sa-Re-Ga-Ma- Pa melody? And these states are experienced before, during, and after exercise?
Might more of us shed serious sweat and weight within and around and be light?
Fitness that is fun and natural is not just fictional and imagined like a faraway hero who holds our embrace only in Bollywood dreams. Follow this blog for ideas on how to emanate energy, be fit and well, and naturally experience peace, love and joy in the reel of real life!