Why regular practice of the correct physical exercise is essential
Although you may work hard at your job, that does not constitute systematic and comprehensive exercise.
Some people often urge that the normal activities of life should supply all the exercise needed after maturity is reached. The reply is that the activities of civilized life are not normal.
Dr. Herbert M. Shelton
When you exercise vigorously, you place a demand upon your body for coping. More energy must be created and more wastes must be removed, for increased metabolism calls for more nutrients, especially glucose and oxygen, and faster removal of waste products, especially lactic acid and carbon dioxide. The brain causes the heart to pump faster to cope. More oxygen is processed from air by the lungs, passed to the arteries and circulated to the capillaries along with other nutrients. These are in turn passed through the capillary walls to the lymph and thence to the cells. The cells, in turn, pass their increased load of wastes back to the lymph which is passed on to the venous system which carries them to the lungs for removal (in the case of gases such as carbon dioxide) and thence to the liver and kidneys where more wastes are removed. Finally the blood is pumped back through the lungs for new supplies of oxygen. And of course, liver and other organs have recharged the blood with more needed nutrients.
Dr. Robert Snaidach
The size of the bicep is not a reliable indicator of health in an individual, although many people who work out with weights extensively and have well developed muscles of the appendages claim health and even advise others on the subject.
The goal of a fitness program is to attain greater health and thus a higher quality of life and often the activities that can lead to greater health also do promote strength. So it is easy to see why people equate strength with health. But it is a misunderstanding to equate health and muscular strength alone because it is easy to take dangerous supplements which do increase muscle size but do so only as they damage the kidney or liver or do some other health compromising damage.
Health on the other hand is indicative of the proper functioning (energetic flow) of all the inter-related systems and aspects of the body which produces a general feeling of well being and joy the overwhelming majority of the time. The proper and healthy functioning of the internal organs and the glands are much more important than the size of the pectoralis major muscle but this is not widely recognized. It is common for a great deal of energy and money and time to be spent in the direction of bigger muscles without considering that fitness is not the same as health and the only reason to be fit is to be healthy.
There are no less than 400 muscles in the body, each in need of regular exercise.
Dr. Herbert M Shelton
It is essential to look at the muscular system in a wholistic manner rather than a series of individual muscles. It is important therefore to provide a balance and systematic exercise that influences the entire body. Astanga Yoga is precisely that.
Skeletal muscles are made up of muscle fibers that often extend the entire length of the muscle. Each muscle fiber in enervated by a mixed nerve, containing both sensory and motor pathways, located in the middle of the fiber. Thus the muscles are intimately related and dependent upon the smooth operation of the entire nervous system.
As a practitioner of Astanga vinyasa yoga which holds to a six day a week practice schedule, I have found what can only be described as an invisible protective shield of physical wellbeing. It is not really that I avoid the injuries as it is that I avoid the complications associated with injury aggravation. I attribute this to the yoga practice because I have had times where I did not have the daily practice for a couple of weeks and I would soon notice the differences in how the body assimilated stressful circumstances.
There are many reasons for this phenomena. Muscles that are shortening and contracting do not have the bloodflow and thus the health as muscles that are lengthening and opening. During the process of many injuries, the body makes the intelligent action of contraction and thus protection of the injured area. This contraction can be felt as pain in one part of the body and can often be felt as a knot of tension somewhere in the muscle.
This contraction is not healthy for the structure of the body. All muscles are connected to eachother and many have attachments on the same landmark on the bone. Due to this inherent connectedness any unhealthy state in one muscle can implicate other muscles into an injured state. This negative feedback type cycle is common and most people live with as normal an relatively large amount of pain in their bodies.
So in the event of an injury or trauma in a person who has the protective shield of a daily yoga practice, the injured contracted area would begin to try to spread to other muscles as it assimilates into the body but the extraordinarily strong surrounding muscles are simply unaccepting of implication. The injury heals within days and is never heard from again.
So there are two scenarios of small injury and one person doesn't do yoga and the other practices every day, there is a good chance that in five years the unprotected person my still have that injury lingering and within 3 days all traces of it were gone from the shielded person.
Cardiac output is the quantity of blood pumped from the heart to the aorta each minute. At the onset of exercise the sympathetic nervous system sends signals for the blood vessels to dilate preparing to supply the body's cells with more oxygen and nutrients. The heart, like any other muscle can be strengthened or weakened depending on the amount of exercise the body performs. Vigorous daily exercise provides blood, oxygen and other vital nutrients to all areas of the body and increases overall cardiovascular efficiency. This cardiovascular efficiency of circulation is essential maintain strength and endurance of the body and clarity of the mind. This is how vigorous daily activity results in emotional well-being.
Vigorous exercise occasions extra-ordinary body cleansing and detoxification due to the increased circulation of the blood through the organs of filtration.
Vigorous activity strengthens the nerves and steadies them, creating an environment where you are less likely to feel edginess or nervousness.
The body secretes noradrenaline and norepinephrin after sustained vigorous activity. This provides a perpetual feeling of well being.
Sustained vigorous activity can unburden us of previously un-eliminated waste and toxins. Because poisons are almost fully responsible for disease, lack of energy, and degeneration, the multitude of benefits that accrue go far beyond keeping us fit.
If any of the functions of the internal organs like digestion or excretion are impaired, the brain will also be impaired. The brain is the organ of the mind. There is an inseparable relationship between the mind and the body. If there is an imbalance between the two, they will both suffer. This is why the value of exercise can never be overemphasized. Some Americans lead very sedentary lives and have become flabby overweight weaklings. Others are forced to overwork certain parts of their body and suffer repetitive stress injuries. Exercise can decrease nervous tension as it vitalizes the body, balancing the mind-body dynamic. Vigorous activity literally eliminates the internal conditions that give rise to qualms, worries and stress.
Exercise increases the clarity of the mind. The more oxygen and fewer toxins to the brain help the brain function more powerfully. When you improve your body, you improve your mind. The ability to think things through logically and exact effective courses of action is the fruit of the mental sharpness inherent in a body freer of toxic debris.
Chapter 11 The blood flow and Flow in General: Why yoga is crucial is relation to the flow principal of our bodies.
In analogies that describe health, almost all are directing the student to a visualization of energetic flow of some sort. There are many ways which energy flow can be expressed on the planet. The most common and easiest to visualize is the water down a stream visual. If the stream is blocked or damned, it will stagnate. The flow of air is the same and in fact all energy flow behaves exactly the same way and this is crucial to consider as if for the first time. Health is the free flow of energy in the body. Disease processes always first begin with stagnation.
Many words have just been used to describe a way of visualizing the energetic flow. But we must for at least a moment try to move beyond words to a space free of thought forms. Once there visualize and equate all the different ways energy flows in relationship on the planet. It is always the same characteristic. Health comes in any relationship where the energy freely flows. You can verify for yourself. Once you can see the oneness of all energetic behavior you can consider the nature of stagnation on energetic systems. Stagnation is the result of blocks in the energetic system. Stagnation leads to disease.
Consider . Consider that all matter is energy. And that we are energetic beings. The source of the energy is unknown to all. It must be from a divine source or some greater power source. And yet we must be a part of that source.
Whether spiritual or scientific (though obviously they are the same when one reaches the quantum physical realm), one must consider the source of the energy which drives life to be of mystical origins. It is not important to be able to recite this information to another person or understand it in intellectual terms. It is only important to be able to visualize a river with powerful rapids, a gentle running stream, energetic oceanic circulations, hydrological cycles of rain on the earth, wind patterns, as perfect analogies to our existence on all levels of experience.
This electromagnetic understanding of energy is very helpful when we look at human health and the flow of energy requisite to keep the body functioning in top condition.
Simply put, the human body is an energetic system. When considered with the context of visualization the blood flow energy flow merge into exactly the model of all energetic systems. Simply put when energy flows unobstructed there is health in the system and proper functioning. When there is blockage in the system and the blood can not reach (flow) all the cells in the body, then a series of negative feedback cycles begin where the less blood reaches the area the less the cells are able to rid themselves of waste… as if the sewage systems lines just stopped running to your house, and the more waste accumulation ensues, the less the blood will be able to reach the cells and so on….
The arteries leave your heart and travel away into the vessels of your bodies and then become the capillaries which are only one cell wide and then the capillaries turn into the veins which return the blood to the lungs and heart, and all this is a closed energetic system. Just like any other.
Taking the situation of a stuffy room which has a window and a door and the potential for a cross breeze that can air the room out. The room is stuffy and when we open the window only we get no relief. The dynamic of flow does not allow the air to enter the room until the door is opened. When you consider this in any analogy inspiring way, you can vision that the pathways to elimination must be clear if there is to be energetic flow. It can also be considered that there be a circuit created. Realize that the most important principle in health and wellbeing is clear and strong energetic flowing.
What is important to do is to consider this model of energy flow in your understandings of human health and society. People need to get moving and get their blood flowing and clear their systems of stagnation. All disease begins with stagnation probably form toxic sources of food. In the case of the human body, the same principle can be applied, as the person who is totally clogged internally is unable to benefit from any food because it all rots before it arrives at a point of assimilation.
It is not surprising that water is the greatest analogy for energetic flow and that water is the key to life and mystery. And it is not surprising that our blood is almost all water.
That all energy is of electromagnetic nature is not well understood by all. In fact the word itself explains how merged the two forces are. That they are in fact a single force becomes clear after a bit of reflection into the behavior of energetic systems and the flow of their energy. Energy flows and moves in a circuit, that is a circle where the energy flows both from the source to the agent and back to the source. Though electrical outlets and plugs appear to only have one cord, that cord is really split in two, with one sides energy traveling in one direction and the other sides traveling in the opposite. And this is where the magnetic part comes in. Science, for lack of better words, has termed one side of the flow positive and the other side negative. In truth they are the same because it the cycle of the energy which enlivens the system and not the single direction energetic movement.
Blood can only flow where it can reach. Any tightness in the tissues or muscles can cause the blood vessels to be contricted and thus not allow flow of blood. This exacerbates the situation as any body worker knows because the decrease in health fresh nutrient supply to the muscle and tissue makes the muscle and tissue less healthy and less likely to be able to heal quickly. So yoga moves and opens and lengthnens and strengthens the body to allow blood flow to be good in the all the vessels and capillaries that feed all the cells in the body even the smallest channel.
All searches for life on other planets is really a search for water first.
It is the foundation of life and thought that is a really simple statement, a moment of reflection will uncover that we really have no idea about the nature or origin of life in the universe, and so hopefully this will inspire new inquiry into the truly amazing qualities and nature of water itself. And then realize that we almost all water, everything going on inside our bodies is chemical and electrical reactions in solution.
hydrological cycles of rain on the earth, wind patterns, as perfect analogies to our existence on all levels of experience.
One of the reasons it is necessary to outline all the ways that every aspect of our lives are expressions of energetic flow is to then introduce the universal law regarding energetic flow patterns so that things can be more easily understood and influence properly.
And the Universal Law is called Feedback. Positive Feedback is the case where one action taken allows for the next action taken which sets the condition for the continual movement in a Positive or Energetic Flow enhancing way. Negative feedback is the same except the direction is opposite; the initial conditions create an environment conducent to the stagnation developing and this increase of stagnation creates the conditions for more negative Stagnation.
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