The human race is at the top of the food chain. We are arguably the most gifted creatures on the planet with regards to intelligence and the ability to make complex decisions. We have the most intricate and evolved nervous systems on the planet, which allows us to think, move and respond in ways that no other earthly creature can. Hundreds and thousands of years of evolution have blessed us with an extremely capable brain that is elastic and capable of learning and adapting to innumerable stimuli.
Unlike other creatures that are governed solely by their genetics to act and behave in certain ways, much like a computer programme, we humans have the ability to step outside the “lines” of instinct and respond in a more conscious manner. Few of us, choose to exercise that freedom to respond and rather end up reacting to situations and events much like our animal companions.
Our potential as human begins rests in learning to harness the ability to respond vs. react to situations. We can either succumb to the whims of our instincts and emotions and live haphazardly or rise above them and respond with a clear mind and strong heart.
It is our level of awareness that dictates our capacity to respond effectively in the world. The skill of awareness can be honed through various disciplines that train the body and mind, such as the martial arts, yoga, meditation and even strength training. Although the methods may differ, the tenets that each system employs shares a common view of the relationship between body posture, breath, attitude and their affect on cultivating awareness.
The Components of Developing Awareness
1. The Breath
The breath is intricately related to the mind. Different states of mind correlate with different breathing patterns. When our minds are disturbed and when we feel fear, anxiety, anger or depression, our breathing takes on a certain pattern and when we’re happy, excited or peaceful that too is reflected in our breathing.
In a very literal sense, we can induce certain altered states of mind through changing our breathing patterns and experience peace and calm in the midst of great mental chaos and anxiety. The ancient yogis of India, China and Japan, studied this relationship between the breath and the mind and formulated various techniques through which we train the mind to relax and experience lasting mental peace and joy.
For starters, anyone can learn to synchronise their breath with movement whether during exercise or while doing daily activities and realize greater performance as well as a heightened awareness of each activity.
2. Body Posture
Many of us may have seen idols of the Buddha in meditation or may even own various idols of different figures sitting in meditation. What all these idols have in common is that they all sit with erect spines. While they may look rigid and awkward to many of us westerners, their posture is the most conducive to meditation.
Good posture is not merely about sitting upright or walking tall; it’s about our bodies relationship with gravity. Think of the spine as our axis; just like the axis of the Earth that is inclined at a certain angle to achieve proper spin, our spine or axis is the fulcrum about which we operate. By strengthening our spines and learning to keep them balanced at all times, we can become more efficient as well as experience greater health, joy and much less discomfort.
It’s no surprise that our breath and posture influence our attitude. When we learn how to breathe properly while maintaining the right posture we obtain the right leverage to negotiate the world with the least friction.
We all want to succeed in our given fields, earn more and live better lives, but we forget that the quality of our lives isn’t enhanced by how much we accumulate, but by how we live. In learning to live with greater ease through practising awareness our lives our enriched several times over.
Author Bio: At aimworkout.com we share a firm commitment to inspire and empower people to live more wholesome lives by developing better exercise and eating habits.
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