The old Romans certainly knew what they were talking about when they coined a phrase equivalent to “A healthy mind in a healthy body” ̶ an undeniable truth which has, with the passing of time, been embraced as a slogan for individuals and fitness organisations alike. A perfect example is Les Mills, which has from its New Zealand origins now spead across the globe, setting the world pumping and attracting new members by the minute. On large billboards that allow seductively athletic images of the human body to enter the corporeal dynamics of the larger urban space, their words “Free your mind, and your body will follow” ring true for all of us. They highlight the inextricably interrelated mental/inward body, and the physical/external body; a sense of harmony between the two necessary for a healthy life.
During the current COVID-19 state of either full or semi lockdown across the world and in a, particularly, western society characterised by increasingly sedentary lifestyles now further exacerbated by remote work structures that threaten to disengage the body from the mind, treating our body as a temple to be respected and honoured is of the essence. There is a direct correlation between physical and mental fitness and health, and upon achieving both can we likewise set our spirits free (yoga offers a place of solace for both body and mind).
The body should ideally be trained to work in our favour and ease the workings of our mind. Mind and body must operate in synchronicity and the body should be respected in its capacity as a house and home for our soul. While this has been true since times eternal, the global pandemic further highlights the importance of striking the right balance between body, mind, and spirit or soul; of reaching a place within where we can find our own harmony away from external hype and worries, and also away from our ongoing dialogues with partners and peers. Only in the silence within are we able to find our true selves and hear the voice that needs to be heard. It is in our own healthy interaction with that which lies within that we can come to the right conclusions, make the right decisions, and start to value and respect ourselves for who we are ̶ as individuals in our own right, fully understood and respected by ourselves, not judged or assessed through the lenses of those around us.