The 8 Fold Path to Calisthenic Enlightenment Pt 2

posted Nov 18, 2015, 9:14 AM by robert w johnson II   [ updated Nov 18, 2015, 9:14 AM ]

Hey all you followers of the calisthenic way, first I want to apologize for nit posting last week. Sometimes life gets in the way but I will do my best to avoid any lapse in writing. The last post I was discussing my 8 fold path to calisthenic enlightenment. This week I want to talk about steps 5 through 8. I will be revisiting the steps as my study bring more information to the discussion. Over the last two weeks I have been researching visualization techniques and how they would fit into the 8 steps so I hope you find this weeks post informative as well as entertaining.

Let's get to it and start with step 5. Right Livelihood or the respect of life. In my interpretation, right livelihood pertains to all aspects of life or lifestyle of one self and others. This includes quality and health. I touched on some of the things I focus on to ensure this quality of life in an earlier post. My 5 most important aspects of living(or practicing) the healthy lifestyle (I will also revisit these at a later date)are: 1.Sleep. This is where the magic happens both mentally and physically. 2. Hydration. Water, water, everywhere, so drink...a lot! I can't stress how important proper hydration is for everything!! Anyhow, 3. Stress!! Learn to manage it. My new favorite technique, mindful meditation. Allowing thoughts to happen and learning to control your reactions around those thoughts. Very intense and actually quite relaxing. I also use the time immediately after I meditate to practice visualization techniques I’m learning. This practice fits in very well with step 7. 4. Nutrition. You can't out train a bad diet. Well, it's possible but it takes a whole lot of work. Your best bet, work on “your” nutrition. Everyone is different. I use a log and tweak my diet occasionally, that's what works best for me. This is another constant work in progress that I frequently have to reassess and start over. Finally 5. Exercise! But wait, how can exercise be last? Don't get me wrong I love exercise more than most but at the end of the day if the first four things aren't in place you are not operating optimally. If you're not operating optimally it may take you a long time to reach your goals. Think of those 5 things when you are focusing on Right Livelihood.

Step 6. Right Effort. This I relate to consistency. Just about anything done consistently will yield results. Stick to all the principals in step 5 and with consistent practice you will achieve your goals!

Step 7. Right Concentration. This is where mindful meditation comes into play. Something I like to recommend to all my clients is to take 10 minutes or so a day and just sit with their thoughts. Allowing them to come and go, using their physical body to bring them back into focus. After, I recommend they visualize themselves attempting and achieving an exercise they are working on. Consistent practice (step 6) leads to results.

Finally, Step 8. Right Mindfulness. This talks of being able to control ones own thoughts through practice of step 7. I relate being mindful and deliberate in thoughts to being mindful and deliberate in movement. Before your body executes a specific movement the brain must be able to get there first. Just think of how many athletes go through the process of visualizing everything they will do before they compete. This can help just about any athlete perfect a movement pattern be it a gymnastics routine to a difficult shot in golf, before the athlete ever takes to the mat, course etc.

I hope this post topic gets you to think about your current practice and gives you a few new ways to look at your practice. Good luck and have fun along your journey to Calisthenics Enlightenment.

I'm thinking my next post should discuss what to do to prepare your body for the upcoming Zombie Apocalypse!! All the exercises you can do to prepare to survive the first wave!!

If you have any comments or questions feel free to contact me through any of the ways on my keep in touch page. Until then keep training hard.