Understanding how the body grows is a lot like understanding how a garden bears fruit year after year. At certain times of year plants receive continuous sunlight while at other times they don’t. At the end of the harvest season most plants shed their leaves to prepare for another year of growth. My point is that just as plants follow a natural cycle to grow, be strong, and produce fruit year after year, the same can be said for our bodies.

When we begin a workout regime we often forget that we need to work in cycles to maintain our progress. At times we need to push ourselves to the limit and also rest and recovery. In Taoist philosophy this balance is referred to as yin and yang, stillness and action. Each action phase is followed by a rest phase so that harmony can be maintained. When our bodies are in harmony we feel more relaxed, heal quicker, live longer and have more strength.

Listed below are some exercise activities that represent the ACTION phase and the REST phase. Listen to your body, alternating phases when you feel that a change is needed.

ACTION:

  • Weight training
  • Running, sprinting
  • Power walking
  • Power yoga
  • High intensity interval training
  • Kickboxing
  • Karate
  • Fast dancing

REST:

  • Restorative yoga
  • Tai Chi
  • Qi Gong
  • Slow walking/hiking (especially in nature)
  • Stretching
  • Pilates
  • Corrective/mobility exercises
  • Foam rolling
  • Slow dancing