There’s a deep connection between the motions of the body and the development of the brain.
In the book Spark, John Ratey asserts that the brain developed as a result of motion or the need to move. He gives the example of a sea squirt, which has a rudimentary brain it uses to permanently attach itself to coral, and then promptly eats its brain.
It seems body comes before mind, at least developmentally. The mind functions best in the vessel of a healthy, moving body. Maybe the circles should be ordered as body, mind, and spirit.
In any case, our health and happiness is to a large extent dependent upon the health of our bodies.
Body, the fifth circle of practice, tries to answer these questions:
- What am I eating and drinking? How much? Are they healthy? Am I temperate?
- How can I keep body fit? How can I leverage my personality in choosing my exercise?
- How can I leverage the mind/body connection?
Oftentimes those things that taste best act like slow poison in the body. They may have high concentrations of fat or sugar. Not coincidentally these are often “foods” that take little or no time to prepare; “processed” foods that are ready to eat, but have had all the life processed out of them. One of the best things we can put in our bodies is water; and most of us don’t drink nearly enough of it.
How can we exercise enough without eating too much? How can we wire the brain with the body in ways that promote a healthy symbiosis? How can we detox, de-stress, and renew our bodies and our minds? Are we competitive? Do we enjoy athletic competition, or avoid it?
Let motivation be your guide. If something turns you on and tones your body, pursue it. A competitive person might choose something like tennis over yoga, and vice-versa for a non-competitive person. Do what you enjoy, and you will look forward to it. Nerves that fire together wire together.