The Four Noble Truths of Calisthenics!

posted Oct 28, 2015, 8:53 AM by robert w johnson II   [ updated Oct 28, 2015, 8:53 AM ]

Four Noble Truths on the Path to Calisthenics Enlightenment

I've often described calisthenic training as being mindful in your movements. Similar to being mindful during meditation. So, just for fun I'm going to list my Four Noble Truths of Calisthenics. Each exercise from beginner to advanced relies on the proper firing of your muscles in a specific sequence. From pushups to front levers, all moves require a set up before attempting to accomplish them and then total body awareness throughout the movement. During mindful meditation you concentrate on breathing, allowing your mind to go where it goes, periodically bringing it back by focusing on breathing once again. This practice allows you to purposely be present in your experience right now. Similarly, when performing calisthenics it is also important to focus on breathing as well as visualizing yourself performing the movement. This allows you to be totally aware of the movements you are attempting without the clutter of whats around you or what is in your head. If your practice is solid your body works as a system, each muscle fires in the proper sequence and you are successful while being aware of each individual muscle firing enabling you to produce more force and complete the move. Just as being mindful through meditation practice allows you to gently redirect your attention away from distraction, being mindful during exercise allows you to filter through the haze and give 100% to the task at hand. Now, my comparison should not be taken to seriously but when you think about it one could draw many similarities to Buddhist practice and serious calisthenics training. For one thing, calisthenics to me is more of an internal practice with an emphasis on the mind body connection. As opposed to lifting weights and having my energy focused on external loads.

The (my) Four Noble Truths of Calisthenics are:

1. Suffering is an inescapable part of training.

Haven't we all experienced this? The struggle, disappointment of failure to land a certain move or the occasionally soreness or pain caused by doing to much or getting injured!

2. Suffering stems from our desire to avoid the difficult parts of our training.

How many of us have decided to skip training or skip an exercise because of time, difficulty or just not being in the mood?

3. Through mindful training we can end our desire to avoid.

When we focus on the completion of our fitness goals using the Calisthenic Eightfold Path we can put an end to our Calisthenic suffering.

4. This is the one the describes the practice that can end our Calisthenic suffering hrough an Eightfold Path. These steps are 1.Right View 2.Right Intention 3.Right Speech 4. Right Action 5.Right Livelihood 6.Right Effort 7. Right Mindfulness 8. Right Concentration. 

The similarities to calisthenics seem fairly obvious but I will be breaking them down in next week's post.