The Quiet Body

 

Getting to know your body inside and out; left to right - is key.

Side Crow (Parsva Bakasana) – Getting to know your body inside and out; left to right – is key.

“The body you do have to listen to is the quiet one inside. That’s the one that sits there observing your bad habits (but not necessarily taking part in them), often as not muttering under its breath. (Oh what a fool inhibits me, I imagine mine saying.)

The quiet body is the one that stretches when you arise from a period of stasis, for example, because it knows that the longer (in length) you are, the longer (in time) you can go on; that the longer you are, the longer you live; that when all of your soft parts are pulled out to their optimum operating length are you really ready to do anything.

The quiet body is in charge of all of your set points: not just the one that maintains your weight but the ones for respiration and sleep and sex and everything else. The quiet body is stubborn and slow, slow to move (but not necessarily slow to react, if you’ve done the training). It is the body that knows when to quit and when not to start, in everything from exercise sessions to bedtime snacks. But you can seldom hear it from the noisy one.

You may have to motivate the quiet body, to apply a little conscious direction to get it moving — but it, too, is mutable, and it had great momentum.

That’s the thing that nobody knows clearly enough about exercise; how it gets things humming, gets the energy levels up,the systems working, everything cooking.

Just do that part and the quiet body will start carrying this new energy and momentum over into your daily life — whether your’re listening to it or not. You’ll find yourself doing things with a little more flair, more pizzazz, more reward. And all you have to do to reap these rewards is give a little kick to the momentum wheel every now and then.”

The Elements of Effort: Reflections on the Art and Science of Running by John Jerome

The Elements of Effort: Reflections on the Art and Science of Running by John Jerome

An excerpt titled “The Quiet Body” from the book “The Elements of Effort” by John Jerome. Simon and Schuster Pocket Books, New York, NY (1997).

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