Understanding you are all that is, ever was, and ever will be, eliminates the feeling of separation, which creates space for natural communion with your true identity.
Our fascination with physical self-improvement shows no signs of waning, and there's no shortage of new exercise movements aimed at helping us meet our health goals. The road to better health is paved with new possibilities - along with some old ones poised to make a comeback. With abundant access to the internet and emerging globalised culture, we're blessed to live in a time where we truly get the best of all worlds. We unpack three movements designed to celebrate your body as you work out.
It's entirely captivating to see someone move through an environment in ways we had previously not conceived, and inspiring to witness the human body pushing the very limits of its capabilities. Parkour, or free running, is a movement style that turns real life into an obstacle course; and people who partake in Parkour are no less artists than break-dancers.
In essence, Parkour is a physical discipline where practitioners train to overcome and negotiate obstacles in their natural environment as effectively and efficiently as possible. Free-running is the creative self-expression of Parkour elements. However, it's not only about refining physical prowess, it's about developing a psychological mindset that helps you move through life more effectively. Parkour is about navigating obstacles, confronting fear, managing risk, and above all, self-improvement.
In 2010, Parkour and free running athlete, Kundai 'Kenji' Murapa founded one of South Africa's most popular Parkour teams, Sabotage Elite. With a strong background in dance and martial arts, Kenji was a born natural for this unique expression of movement.
The Sabotage Elite team features members of different artistic and athletic backgrounds ranging from Break-dancing, Gymnastics, Capoeira and Kung-fu. An international affiliate of the World Free-running and Parkour Federation, Sabotage Elite has gained great exposure through social and popular media; appearing in sports publications, print and broadcast media, TV commercials, feature films and local and international competitions.
With Parkour, fitness improves your technique; so, the fitter you are, the better your experience will be. However, it's well worth the effort and training for fine-tuned physical skills and psychological versatility. It entails a lot of vertical movement, and high jumps can be painful if you don't know how to land properly, fall safely, or transition into a next move.
To get a tiny slice of what the movement is like, begin with small steps. Literally. Find some stairs or outdoor steps, and practice jumping with your whole body. Jump from the ground up to one step, then two steps, then three steps, etc. You should be relaxed, well-balanced with a relatively upright posture, and land softly on your toes before you add another step and jump to the next session.
ANGEL is a perfect blend of functional exercises, ballet and martial arts with elements of yoga and Pilates - set to slow, calming and instrumental music. Serving as an acronym for 'awareness of a novel, graceful embodiment of love', ANGEL is the holistic fitness programme that brings beauty and grace to every woman.
Ignatius Ajuebor Jnr is the founder and creator of this body-honouring workout. An international fitness consultant and wellness coach, Iggy's experience spans over two decades; and his programme has been adopted by well-known women all over the world.
Having observed the effects of our modern lifestyle and being raised by a single mum, Iggy is mindful of the difficulties women face in keeping fit. This insight, combined with his passion for fitness and living life well, contributed to the development of ANGEL as we know it today. Iggy blends this unique mix of physical routines and movements with a heart-opening dose of psychology, encouraging women to truly embrace their bodies with love and celebration.
As each movement unfolds like a dance, you're encouraged to include an intention and mantra to fold into it. For instance, during one of the movements, which directs your arms upward; then down again in a circular movement to meet in the centre, you're encouraged to breathe and say 'I own the world'. This practise allows you to work through your physical stores of emotion and impart important messages into your body as you move with the workout.
What we love about this workout is that it caters for every fitness level, it's really gentle on beginners and there is no expensive equipment required ' in fact, you could easily engage in a full ANGEL workout wearing your favourite flowing dress! What's more, you have easy access to Iggy's invigorating workouts on his website ' either for rent, purchase, or there are free versions for beginners.
Budokon [Bu (warrior)-Do (way)- Kon (soul)] can be translated as 'the way of the warrior spirit'. The practice offers an intense, full-body workout, as it combines the integrity of martial arts movement with the strength of calisthenics, the playfulness of animal movement, and the fluidity of yoga.
The purpose is to gain and harness muscular and cardiovascular strength, stamina and joint mobility, and the emphasis of this movement is on the transitions from posture to posture, rather than holding poses. In fact, Budokon is sometimes also called 'the art of transition' because so much attention is focused on how you move in and out of shapes. It creates range of motion through dynamic and circular transitions; and the movement is perfectly paced for any level of student.
A typical Budokon session begins with 20 minutes of yoga sun salutations to lighten and open the body, followed by a martial arts segment of explosive, dance-like movement, and ending with a guided meditation.
The movement was founded by Kancho Cameron Shayne; considered the father of the mixed movement arts culture. Cameron is a social philosopher, educator, fighter, yogi, satirist, artist, writer, and founder of Budokon University. Having recently returned from studying with Cameron, South Africa's David Gardener holds his own Budokon practise and is dedicated to sharing his experiences through this transformational movement.
Budokon University teaches that light experiences itself through shadow, as peace experiences itself through struggle. Change within the mind, in and of itself, is struggle. Understanding you are all that is, ever was, and ever will be, eliminates the feeling of separation, which creates space for natural communion with your true identity.
If you wish to explore greater physical possibilities, this practice is for you. It will quickly help you feel stronger and more balanced. Whether you want to improve your athletic performance or change up your yoga routine, you will benefit from the moving, jumping, crawling, hopping, rolling, and swinging in Budokon yoga.
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