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Author Topic: Is Physical Fitness a Duty or Part of Your Religion?  (Read 14447 times)
Pythuna
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« Topic Start: January 19, 2010, 06:35:59 pm »

Since the New Year, I've begun to incorporate physical fitness back into my life--daily exercise, eating things that mostly don't spend much time in factories, and I've quit drinking.  (What a party-pooper I've become, eh?  Cheesy)  I've tried doing this in the past, but then I was doing it for more aesthetic reasons and invariably failed.

This time I've attached a religious significance to my personal fitness.  As an incarnation and aspect of God, I have a responsibility to this physical form in which my mind and spirit reside.  I must be a steward to my cells, my kidneys, my brain, etc., so that my spirit and mind can have a fully functioning form in which to move through this life.

It's funny how this mindset has changed my workouts--jumping-jacks and curls are now as sacred as meditation and prayer, which aren't always easy, either.

I know there's yoga and tai chi, and the Pythagoreans incorporated daily gymnastics into they're studies, but I'm curious if anyone else here attaches religious significance to your physical fitness.

Me ka pono~
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« Reply #1: January 19, 2010, 07:44:39 pm »



Not my religion (I don't have one atm), but my philosophy does. Stoicism counsels you to self-control and beneficient participation in teh community, which is assumed to require good health as a basis. I'm pretty crap at that bit though Cheesy
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« Reply #2: January 19, 2010, 09:25:36 pm »

I know there's yoga and tai chi, and the Pythagoreans incorporated daily gymnastics into they're studies, but I'm curious if anyone else here attaches religious significance to your physical fitness.

Thank the Gods, no. Even though, since rededicating myself to Selene, I've been getting the feeling that She would like me to take up archery.
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« Reply #3: January 19, 2010, 10:25:12 pm »

I know there's yoga and tai chi, and the Pythagoreans incorporated daily gymnastics into they're studies, but I'm curious if anyone else here attaches religious significance to your physical fitness.

Physical fitness has not "religious" significance for me, but I do benefit spiritually from it. I took some tae kwon do a couple years ago, which not only opened the doors for an enjoyable form of exercise (now I kickbox and do tae bo), but introduced me to the concept of "moving meditation." It makes the actual act of exercising enjoyable and more rewarding when it's done.
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« Reply #4: January 20, 2010, 09:26:47 am »


Pretty much everything in my life connects with spirituality in some way or other. I mean, it's not like there's this one section called "this is part of my religion" and then there's the rest of my life that isn't. For me, there's no line drawn between the sacred and the profane; the goal is to make every part of my life sacred. So I don't make any distinction between "religious" obligations and other kinds, except in the sense of purely ritual formulae or duties. Being healthy is obviously a good thing; eating well, exercising, and moderation w/r/t drugs e.g. alcohol, these are all good things, and therefore they are spiritual duties.
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« Reply #5: January 20, 2010, 10:27:02 am »

This time I've attached a religious significance to my personal fitness.  As an incarnation and aspect of God, I have a responsibility to this physical form in which my mind and spirit reside.  I must be a steward to my cells, my kidneys, my brain, etc., so that my spirit and mind can have a fully functioning form in which to move through this life.

It's funny how this mindset has changed my workouts--jumping-jacks and curls are now as sacred as meditation and prayer, which aren't always easy, either.

I know there's yoga and tai chi, and the Pythagoreans incorporated daily gymnastics into they're studies, but I'm curious if anyone else here attaches religious significance to your physical fitness.

Yes, physical fitness, or rather physical health which includes fitness and eating, has religios significance for me. Some time ago I wasn't able to take care of my physical health due to illnessess, but now that I'm recovered and have the physical and mental strength to make changes, I've also found the spiritual aspect to improving my health. My body is a temple of the Gods, so I should treat it with love and respect. I am of the Gods because I'm part of existence, so if I am to manifest the Gods through myself, I should love others and myself, also my body and take care of it.

This mindset has improved some of my everyday decisions regarding food and fitness. It's made those things sacred instead of a chore. I don't need self-discipline when I'm doing things that feel sacred and right and are part of my Will. It's my sense of spirituality that persuades me, and that's a much stronger motivation than self-discipline which mainly operates on denying something from yourself. It doesn't really feel like duty because I do it out of love of the Gods and myself (which are essentially the same). Instead it's gratiying in its sacredness. At least most of the time. Sometimes I forget my spiritual focus when I have a lot of mundane worries. But I try to connect spiritual and mundane in the manner that Skytoucher described:

For me, there's no line drawn between the sacred and the profane; the goal is to make every part of my life sacred.

That's how I see it, too.
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« Reply #6: January 20, 2010, 11:03:53 am »


Aetius said this somewhere on TC (I just saved the quote and not the link, sadly): "Physical fitness is a way to show respect for the gift of our fragile, mortal existence."

I think it sums up my position pretty well.
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« Reply #7: January 20, 2010, 11:19:37 am »

I'm curious if anyone else here attaches religious significance to your physical fitness.

I do, definitely. There are a lot of factors that keep me pumping iron, but the religious is an important one, on two levels:

--Since my body is a manifestation of the Divine, part and parcel of the Goddess, it's my job to treat it as such

--According to my spiritual beliefs, creation is an ongoing act in which we are active participants: The world is what we make it. That starts with the part of the world most intimate to us, over which we exert the most control: our own bodies. Doing what I can to make my physical form the best it can be is a first step in doing the same in the wider world--my home, my community, my country, my planet.
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« Reply #8: January 20, 2010, 11:27:37 am »

I know there's yoga and tai chi, and the Pythagoreans incorporated daily gymnastics into they're studies, but I'm curious if anyone else here attaches religious significance to your physical fitness.

Thankfully, it isn't something that is needed or required in my religion. I'd be in serious trouble if it was-I have 10 different serious/cronic/terminal illnesses at the last count, and I keep on getting diagnosed with more all the time. Physically, I am a bloody wreck but mentally I am still as quirky and insane as ever, so that is all good!  Cool

I can continue worshipping my Deities no matter what my condition is, and I can still help with other peoples problems and healing requests with my crystals, so there is no real need to go bouncing around like a lunatic-I enjoy trying it sometimes, but I don't need to....
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« Reply #9: January 20, 2010, 11:49:55 am »

Thankfully, it isn't something that is needed or required in my religion. I'd be in serious trouble if it was-I have 10 different serious/cronic/terminal illnesses at the last count, and I keep on getting diagnosed with more all the time. Physically, I am a bloody wreck but mentally I am still as quirky and insane as ever, so that is all good!  Cool

Personally, if physical fitness is religiously important (I'm on the fence there), I would have to define "physical fitness" as "being as physically fit as you are able".  For someone with one or more serious/chronic conditions, that might mean following special diets (for example, watching sugar intake if you're diabetic) or restricting yourself from physical activities that would cause more damage to your body--taking measures that will do what you can (admittedly not much in some cases) to keep things from getting worse any faster than they have to.  Physical fitness doesn't always have to mean exercising a lot and trying to get three to five servings of vegetables each day and whatever.  That's fine for people who don't have anything particularly wrong with their bodies beyond excess flab and a lack of muscle, but when you've got other stuff going on it might actually be harmful for you to follow what's conventionally considered a "healthy lifestyle".  Physical fitness, rather, just means taking the best care of yourself that you are able to given whatever limitations you personally happen to be working with. IMO.
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« Reply #10: January 20, 2010, 11:56:59 am »

Physical fitness, rather, just means taking the best care of yourself that you are able to given whatever limitations you personally happen to be working with. IMO.

Hey, I'm happy with that definition! I tend to find out what I should be able to do, take that info and prove it wrong just as often as I can without doing myself any further damage. I always try to do more, rather than settle with a bit less. If I start to think that I can't do things, that means (to me) that I am giving up and accepting the fact that I am dying. Stuff that for a lark! I've got too much going on and too much to live for for me to just give in!
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« Reply #11: January 20, 2010, 12:35:42 pm »

Physical fitness, rather, just means taking the best care of yourself that you are able to given whatever limitations you personally happen to be working with. IMO.

Seconded.
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« Reply #12: January 20, 2010, 01:00:05 pm »

Personally, if physical fitness is religiously important (I'm on the fence there), I would have to define "physical fitness" as "being as physically fit as you are able"..............Physical fitness, rather, just means taking the best care of yourself that you are able to given whatever limitations you personally happen to be working with. IMO.

Great clarification and I agree completely.
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« Reply #13: January 20, 2010, 01:14:59 pm »


Short answer: yes.

Long answer: I have a history of self-sabotage with my health -- binge eating is the big one, as well as not getting any exercise even when I feel like it. I also tend to go the gym few and far between and when I do go, I work out so hard that I'm laid up for days afterwards. I stay up late and get up early and eat way too much sugar to keep me awake during the day.

I also probably have some chronic illnesses, though nothing's been officially diagnosed, and then there's the mono.

So there's the "being fit as I am able to be" thing, and there's also trying to stop the self-sabotage -- because that's a manifestation of my own large self-esteem issues, and it prevents me from being fully connected to Deity. When I sabotage my own health I not only disrespect my mortal form, but the Gods and Their gifts to me.
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« Reply #14: January 20, 2010, 03:28:13 pm »

Since the New Year, I've begun to incorporate physical fitness back into my life--daily exercise, eating things that mostly don't spend much time in factories, and I've quit drinking.  (What a party-pooper I've become, eh?  Cheesy)  I've tried doing this in the past, but then I was doing it for more aesthetic reasons and invariably failed.

This time I've attached a religious significance to my personal fitness.  As an incarnation and aspect of God, I have a responsibility to this physical form in which my mind and spirit reside.  I must be a steward to my cells, my kidneys, my brain, etc., so that my spirit and mind can have a fully functioning form in which to move through this life.

It's funny how this mindset has changed my workouts--jumping-jacks and curls are now as sacred as meditation and prayer, which aren't always easy, either.

I know there's yoga and tai chi, and the Pythagoreans incorporated daily gymnastics into they're studies, but I'm curious if anyone else here attaches religious significance to your physical fitness.

Me ka pono~
Pythuna

I've been doing something of the sort since September. I've changed my diet, and although my Gods and Goddesses I primarily worship are of Norse and Celtic origin, I make it a priority to practice sword fighting with my wooden Katana at least once a week. I do this mostly so I can train my muscle memory, and develope my ability to move with objects and the elements. It's quite liberating!

I eat a lot of fruits and vegetables, only whole grain bread and other grains. With meat, I try to cut as much fat out of it as possible. I drink a fair share of water, although I drink alcohol once a week. When I drink that, I admit I take a bit in, mostly so I can get my endorphines flowing. However, I try to do intuition training things while under the influence, such as putting puzzles together, or playing Jenga (very fun to do with alcohol)!

With excersise, I try to walk AT LEAST 3 hours a week, do some crunches, squats, and a variety of arm muscle excersises with my weights, jumping jacks, and stretches. I work out 3 days of the week.

So far this has helped me a lot! I started around the end of August, incorporated spirituality in September, and I've just about gotten down 2 male pant sizes since then!
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