It did in such a way that it also became spiritual journey. So I thought it would be great to explore the connection between mind, body, and spirituality and how calisthenics can play a surprising major role in that aspect.
Before we dive in, let me introduce Hatem, a Frenchman who has been living in LA for the past 20 years.
This post is a recap of a conversation we had together on that topic.
He likes to think of himself as a martial artist of life, with interests in science, philosophy, and spirituality. Growing up with a French education, he noticed a tendency to neglect the body in favor of intellectual pursuits. However, he realized that this left something missing, and he started taking care of his body alongside feeding his brain.
Studying Kabbalah, which is connected to the Torah and the Talmud, opened his eyes to the similarities between various spiritualities and religions. The notion of transcending ego and connecting with others is a common thread, which fascinated him. He always thought that spirituality was more about the heart and mind, never suspecting that the body could play a significant role as well. It seemed that the body was considered a part of the materialistic world, leading to a sense of division.
In our conversation, we realized how the French culture tends to emphasize intellectual pursuits, mindfulness, and reading, while neglecting the mindfulness within the body. However, calisthenics provides a way to become aware of the mind-body connection and how both aspects are interconnected.
Calisthenics is primal and minimalist, as it only requires using our own bodies. When we practice calisthenics, we realize that it's not about external tools; it's about connecting with ourselves and others. Working in a group setting, calisthenics allows us to understand each other's struggles and offer support, leading to a sense of unity and altruism.
In spirituality, there's a promotion of going beyond our egocentric nature, which desires to receive for ourselves. Calisthenics provides a practical way to challenge this primitive nature, as it involves overcoming personal obstacles and working together to achieve common goals. The shared experience of using the same tools creates an environment of sharing, learning, and growing.
Through calisthenics, we discover the importance of giving to others and recognizing our own limits. It becomes a natural process to help others improve their technique, and in turn, we elevate our own understanding of the movements.
The spirit of altruism thrives in calisthenics, as people genuinely want to share their knowledge and experiences without seeking rewards or payment. The sense of unity within a group doing calisthenics together promotes happiness and fosters a deeper connection between individuals.
Calisthenics not only strengthens our bodies but also elevates our minds and spirits. It fosters a sense of altruism, unity, and selflessness, making it a beautiful and holistic practice that transcends the boundaries between mind, body, and spirituality.
It's wonderful to see how calisthenics can contribute to the growth and well-being of individuals and the group as a whole.