When I hear the term, mind-body connection, I think of using one’s thoughts to enhance one’s physical performance. But, in her new book, The Nalini Method: 7 Workouts for 7 Moods, Rupa Metha, a new definition of mind-body connection and introduces a mind-body fitness program I find very helpful.
I’ve been a fan of Rupa’s for the past couple of years*. Whenever I leave her exercise classes, I always feel at ease. Despite the challenging workout–which I still have a hard time keeping up with–I rarely feel sore the next day as I do with just about any other exercise. Reading her book, I have a better understanding of her thinking behind the workouts and why they are so special.
Key Take-Away #1: Emotional Vs. Physical Weight
Rupa believes our society and most fitness programs are concerned too focused on physical weight, ignoring emotional weight:
“It’s important to reaffirm that you can be physically fit yet still emotionally overweight, just as you can be emotionally fit and physically overweight…. When you are emotionally out of shape and overweight you feel the same effects of being physically overweight. You feel stuck…. The ultimate mind/body connection is about getting to that deeply satisfying place where your emotional weight and physical weight are in perfect balance. When you feel good about your mind and body, you feel good about your life. You feel whole. You’re more confident and able to follow your heart, leading you to a better life, full of passion and full of possibilities.”
Key Take-Away #2: Assessing Your Current Mood
Rupa recognizes that no one can be happy 24-7. She therefore provides 7 workouts for 7 different moods: anger, energy, stress, chill, happiness, doubt and anxiety. Before each workout, she provides an opportunity to assess your mood. This is helpful because it forces you to not only be more aware of the current state of your mind and body, but also be more accepting of yourself too.
“Being fully present and at peace with yourself–without any pressure to feel a certain way or to present a certain face because you think it’s expected of you–is a much easier goal to strive for than many of the other goals we set for ourselves. We shouldn’t feel as if we need to dedicate our lives to always feeling light because all moods make the world go around.”
Key Take-Away #3: The Power of Words
As with many fitness books, this book has numerous photos detailing each step of the seven workouts. But in order assist you with your emotional, Rupa provides a mantra for each mood workout and an accompanying personal story to explain the reasoning behind the mantra.
“One word has the power to weigh us down much more than a single scoop of ice cream, or to lift us up like fresh squeezed orange juice. There are healthy and unhealthy words, just as there are healthy and unhealthy foods…. How you piece together words that are in your control and out of your control (other people’s words that you listen to) become the thoughts and sayings you live with and by.”
How might you rethink or tweak your mind-body fitness program?
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