riyada in arabic means "training" or "discipline". It was used by the arabs in relation to horse taming. Sufis refer to their discipline as "riyadat an-nafs": disciplining the soul / training the ego. Today, the word riyada has come to mean "sports". There is an Arabic proverb that says: "The purpose of sports (riyada) is not to win cups, but to discipline the soul". This blog is here to help me discipline my soul and train my body.

Friday, May 05, 2006

Exercise and Spirituality

i really recommend reading this article on Paul Chek.
Very informative. ok well just the first part is about exercise and spirituality, the rest is about healthy nutrition.


As a mirror image of our scientific practices and people worshipping science, we've also compartmentalized our lives to such a degree that we actually segregate our weightlifting, exercise, and food from the church. Yet all the really ancient philosophies that still exist today – yoga, tai chi, chi gong, and many of the martial arts with deep spiritual foundations – those were all practices that integrated lifestyle, philosophy, religion, and exercise. They were complete holistic symptoms.



He does have some crazy ideas though.. for example:

When you're working on the knee of a Hindu, it might look like the knee of a Christian or a Muslim, but it isn't. The software that drives it is completely different. In order to be an effective therapist and trainer and coach, I've had to study world religion. The physical body is like a vehicle, but your spiritual beliefs are your software by which you navigate life.



well, who knows.


Anyway I really agree about this part:

I'm working to usher in what used to be. And that is to see the body as the church of health and well-being, and to see the gym as the temple where one exercises, listens to good music, thinks, and has commune with people of like mind.

I want to turn the gyms back into sacred spaces. The gym needs to be a spot where we merge science with spirit.



Also,

"You go back to the 1940s and a lot of your champion bodybuilders were also competitive weightlifters. They were Olympic lifting on Saturday and posing on Sunday.

Most bodybuilders were not only world class athletes, they were a health cult. There was a lot of spirituality in bodybuilding – that striving toward something better. We've lost that component of it."


And that wasn't only the 1940s... Frank Zane (Mr Olympia 1977-1979.. see pics in last post) is a very spiritual person and thought of bodybuilding as a very spiritual affair. In fact he was criticized for focusing too much on meditation and relaxation as part of bodybuilding and putting too many of his spiritual poems in his bodybuilding books instead of just talking about lifting weights like most idiots want.

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