Sunday, October 22, 2006


In the laundromat, there are magazines you can read while waiting for your clothes. The one I picked up was Prevention. There was an article that said there was a new gym in Los Angeles that had treadmills, heated pools, and personal trainers. It said this would not be news, except that the clients would be working out on four legs instead of two. It was a gym for pets. The author of the article at first found it absurd for dogs to go on a treadmill when there was a whole world outside. Then the author realized the same applies to humans. The article said the following. The first sentence is a quote from a poet, and then the rest is by the author of the article.

Sometimes it is necessary to reteach a thing its loveliness. The reason to move is to reteach our bodies their loveliness. We live most of our lives in our minds, but the fact is that we are spirits clothed in flesh and blood and bones. By not moving our bodies, we are depriving ourselves of connecting to that long-ago child who loved running, dancing, and jumping in the sun and air.

I do like the sentiment, and it reminds me of the kind of thing my Nia teacher talks about: the joy of movement, life as a dance, that in Nia you don't worry about how many calories you are burning and you don't say "no pain, no gain." Instead, Nia is about connecting with your body and having fun.

I think that people affected by illness, injury, or disability may not be able to enjoy "running, dancing, and jumping," but there are other ways of connecting with your body. The passage above says, "We live most of our lives in our minds." Mobility is not required to transfer our focus from mind to body. We can just lie still, enjoying the relaxation of our muscles and the feel of the carpet.

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