Thanks Coach Divine (SEALFIT) for sharing these insightful thoughts. Very close to my heart and practice. ~jgirl
Know the Elements
The other day I was contemplating the saying, "still water runs deep" - one of my favorite quotes from my martial arts mentor Kaicho Tadashi Nakamura of Seido Karate.
The still water of the deep section of the river runs pure, slow and silently, like a calm, deep mind. The choppy, shallow rapids are murky, turbulent and dangerous, like a sloppy, undisciplined mind.
I am so grateful for Kaicho Nakamura for teaching me to access the still water and avoid the rapids. Osu!
I then started to think of how the metaphor of the elements is so powerful, and came up with some thoughts on how we can use the elements for optimal health. Here goes:
1. Water: Train your mind to be like still water. Let your energy and attitude flow like water, around and over obstacles rather than through them with force. Detoxify your body with fresh water daily and immerse yourself into the comforting water of the ocean or a lake to create a peaceful re-connection with the earth-mother.
2. Earth: Eat foods that are close to the earth, such as organic veggies, grass fed beef, etc. This food has more nutrients, a higher energy and is not contaminated with the hormones and chemicals often used in the preparation of processed foods.
Ground yourself by walking in nature and barefoot, if possible. There is a grounding current that comes from the earth, making you actually feel more "grounded" once out of your clumsy footwear. I know it may not be practical in the city or in cold environments, but if you can, give it a try. This is one of the many benefits about living in that I am grateful for.
3. Wind: Learn to breathe properly! We train breath awareness and control at length during our SEALFIT Academy. It is one of the most beneficial skills to learn and develop - basic yet not easy to do. Also I highly recommend a physical practice that flows your internal wind (energy), such as yoga, qui-gong and the like. Our Warrior-Yoga program integrates breath control, physical poses, qui-gong and functional fitness into a nice tight package. A video educational tool for warrior yoga is coming soon!
4. Fire: This element is powerful. First, get outside and into the sun. I love to spend about a half hour (minimum) in the sun daily. We are like plants and need the sun for optimum health. If you live in a sun-deprived area, then book a flight to SEALFIT HQ for some training in the sun. Also, creating fire in your body is a key aspect of yoga for the detoxifying effect on your internal organs. Ashtanga yoga (my teacher Tim Miller from Ashtanga Yoga Center in is world class) or any good vinyasa (flowing) yoga program will create a fire in your body. Another option is a good sweat a couple times a week with hot yoga or a sauna. Before I practiced hot yoga, I would do yoga in a sauna - and got some strange looks I admit. The idea is to flush and detox your system with an incredible sweat, then replenish with a ton of fresh water. This practice is very rejuvenating and will also keep you flexible in body and mind.
Finally, having a "fire in your belly" means you have kindled your warrior non-quitting spirit and will fight for things that are good and purpose driven in your life. Hooyah to that!