A Press-up is a Press-up is a Press-up – Or is it?

James BlackerThe general theme of this article is that, contrary to the belief that one press up is much the same as another – and gains the same benefit, getting away from this incorrect, or at best partial mode of thinking allows us to see the real activities that are going on when we exercise, both mentally and physically.

And in doing this we avoid the temptation to count and value and measure the reality of what we’re actually doing by a clock or a label.

It’s only when we come face to face with our resistance to seeing the real underlying dynamics of the way we are doing an activity that we can realise we have this resistance to really getting into the conscious feel of the thing, and even beginning to exercise by our real, true conscience we could say, and start to work with the activity and wholeheartedly engage into it – if we wish to, if we are ready to, knowing exactly what is going on within us.

“People say do you mind if we change the music.  I don’t even hear the music, because I’m so focussed and intent on what’s going on in my body.” – David Heard

A press-up is a press-up is a press up, meaning that a press-up is a homogenous activity that is always the same, from one person to another – that if you do a press up you get one press-up ‘point’.  But it’s not.  It’s very easy to cheat ourselves into thinking we’ve done a press-up, or am hour at the gym, and are entitled to the same benefits as the next person, when we’ve just really been going through the motions.

Bringing Consciousness to Your Exercises

At our recent Integral Life Practice Group, we did a press up or three, using the F.I.T. method – Focus Intensity Training.  In these press-ups, we don’t just go down and back up as if bobbing for apples, and count on to the next one.  We are fosuccing on the activity, bringing consciousness to it, controlling it, focussing on imagining pressing the thumbs together, making everything as conscious and deliberate as we can.  Maybe it takes twenty or thirty seconds.  I can tell you that after one of those, you know that you’ve done a bit more than one of your common or garden, going through the motions press-ups!

The same is true of your exercise sessions generally.  It’s not about what it might say on the bit of paper if you wrote the label of what you did after the event.  To say you went for an hour’s swim, well, other than that you were in the pool for a period of time, that could mean anything.  What exactly did you do, how conscious were you in your activities, and were you able to be in the moment while doing it?  Or was the brain wandering to the next thing, waiting for the ‘chore’ of exercise to be over.  (ps. If you see exercise as a chore, you have a false-self relationship to it, and might want to think about correcting this and getting more in touch with your natural desire for physical being).

So in ILP we’re looking to bring consciousness to our exercises.

For more information on this form of conscious exercise you can check out either the Integral Life Practice handbook, or maybe even ask Gary about the way he runs these exercises, and why, via The London Integral Life Practice Group website.  And you can post a note on the personal practice board of the forum about it if you wish.  And keep following the articles and activities on these websites for more about ILP, and the Body Module.

Best wishes,

James Blacker

  • Blogs
  • Getting Into The Habit of Thinking ‘Three Body’
  • February 21, 2010
  • Ever since Gary wrote his introductory module notes to launch this Body Module support area, and added a page about taking our ‘Three Bodies’ for a workout, I’ve been wishing to get into the habit of including this apsect into my daily exercise – which would be running in my case.

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