“Mind-Body Connection Optional?”, a Comment

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“mind-body connection optional?”, a comment




back earlier this year, i posted an article quoting a comment response i’d made to the question of dvds vs live instruction

this is a similar format-post, but regarding another important topic, is the mind-body connection optional? is yoga, yoga, without that connection?

j. brown, via a post on yorkdork, “mind-body connection optional?” posited and answered then responded to a variety of comments, including my own

the article, and responses to comments, by j brown have spurred my own thinking, helping me ask myself some questions, and is well worth reading – i’ll however, out of respect for both j brown and yogadork, only quote a snippet from the originating article

among the questions i found myself wondering, were in regard to:

Adan Lerma
Adan Lerma

is yoga possible to learn via cross-training, and, why is my own blog named yoga-adan, and say, not dance-adan, or art-adan?

my own article on cross training, “does cross training = recovery time?,” regards cross-training from a different perspective, but is also very important, that of the principle and necessity of recovery

all in all, as often happens on the yogadork blog site, the comment thread develops an interesting thread-response to the posted article, and this is, i believe, especially after a return-reading, no exception, and due in no small part to j brown’s thoughtful article and responses


Added Links

i’ve added links within my comment response, here on my blog, that i didn’t include in my comment responses on yogadork

generally, unless i feel it’s important enough, such as if needed for clarity, i don’t include internal links in my comments on other sites; sometimes 😉 but generally not



From J Brown’s Article :

[ among many good points ]

“I think of growth in yoga like I think of growth in plants. Watering a plant more does not necessarily make it grow faster or better”


“In layman’s terms, the aspect of yoga that makes it different than just working out is often referred to as the ‘mind-body connection.’”


My First Comment :

adan Lerma June 8, 2011 at 5:36 pm

“i’m with you on most of this, gotta have the mind-body connection

“i have intermittent articles on just one aspect, chest openers, that’ve been trying to encompass the depth of range of just that one type movement: physical rom recognition, visualization, prop use – and don’t much expect i’ve done much more than scratch around 😉

“i do also feel though, true fitness endeavors, in dance or jogging, etc, don’t benefit the same without the mind-body connection, which might mean that a fitness only endeavor won’t benefit to the degree a more gestalt routine would

Details # 1 Mind-Body Connection
Details # 1 Mind-Body Connection, Original Photography Adan Lerma

“wedmd this week tweeted a link http://bit.ly/mkKI0A to a nice slide show type post showing effective vs ineffective exercises, and near the end of the series, not reading while cycling or on the treadmill, was one of the suggestions

“my own experience, roofing in houston heat for nearly a decade as a teen and young guy, and from “trying” to excel at track in jr hi, was that i wasn’t able to ignore my body’s pains and attempts to cope with being pushed –

“doing roofing for a whole day every day no matter how hot, demanded i find a way to swivel right to left with shingle and nails and hatchet in hands, motion after motion, breathe in a way i could keep it up, get a decent amt of work in, then repeat again the next day –

“jogging in my 20′s was similar, finding the motions and breaths to enable me to do what i wanted, jog longer distances, and, enjoy it

“so i don’t think you’re incorrect, i just think your definition of what yoga is, is very much what dance and jogging and sports are also about – take away the mind-body feedback, and it’s no longer dance or sport or jogging cross country one with nature

“chopping any of these usually fun activities away from my own mindfulness of what i’m doing, would mean i not only wasn’t really doing the activity, but gaining a diminished personal and fitness enhancement, which is of course what you’re saying happens to yoga reduced to merely asanas (though iyengar does saying beginning this way is more than valid)

“re the body’s ability to adapt to a level of exertion, i really think that that type adaptation is a different definition from the adaptation in yoga to oneself, or to an individual by a teacher

“though not exact, i think the differentiating idea, for me, about the two types of adaptation, is like white in the color wheels for light and physical matter – in one all the colors make white, while in the other no color means white – ie, the word light, or adaptation, differs in meaning and experience, depending how it is applied

“lastly – i know, i’ve run on longer than i have in a long time huh 😉 – as we get old(er), there’s a tipping point, where, in my experience, less intense exertion is required to maintain, or re-fitness-fit, a body that’s requiring less energy to maintain health – sure, my 60 year old body isn’t as strong as my 20 year old memory of how i was 😉 but the strength level appropriate for me, and that i am able to achieve and maintain, is lower than then, thus requiring less intensity, even if only slightly so –

“anyway, the subject you featured, mind-body vs body-only (and probably also true for mind-only!) is extremely important –

“and continuous exertion to the point of pain, simply to increase one’s physical numbers, without an accompanying complimentary mindset, seems, well, unnecessary, and counter-productive

“and the reason my blog is yoga-adan, and not dance-adan, or jogging-adan, is because, like you, i sense a more easily complete connection to my wholeness via yoga – not impossible, and actually desirable via other activities, but sure a lot more conducive 😉

i hope i’ve only added to what you’ve said; thanks so much j brown”


J Brown’s Comment Response :

[ j brown had numerous compliment agreements i appreciated in his response, plus an interesting anecdote ; this quote is just what happened to stick with me and compel me to respond to his well laid out response to my first comment ]

“The point is…….if we don’t learn yoga first, how will we be able to apply it to our other activities. As far as I know, no one has ever learned yoga from cross-training”


My Second Comment-Response :

adan Lerma June 11, 2011 at 12:05 pm

“j. one of the things that came to mind as i jazzercised with my wife here in burlington this morning, was how much participating in some of these comment threads has helped me either clarify or recognize (or both) my own thoughts and feelings about yoga, fitness, and the arts – for me, they are only separated by convenience of notation (nothing to be ignored, and, i believe, extremely useful in living in our everyday world)

Details # 2 Mind-Body Connection
Details # 2 Mind-Body Connection, Original Photography Adan Lerma

“so we kinda see where our communication of our ideas’ edges match enough for us to agree on the issue of the value of mind-body connectedness

“i actually was gonna leave it at that, but, as mentioned, during some jazz dance routines (modified for aerobic fitness of course) during class this morning, the question about yoga & cross-training, kept coming up in my thoughts :

‘if we don’t learn yoga first, how will we be able to apply it to our other activities. As far as I know, no one has ever learned yoga from cross-training.’

“i realized that, for me, yoga, as a mind-body-activity-necessity, is not dependent on any one system, whether it be a 5000 year old ancient durable art, such as texts on yoga, or the latest jazz beat mind-body pulses done to jennifer lopez’s latest hit

“…realized that, that type yoga, existing as a description of a valued human condition, existed in me, and many other people apparently, separate and in unknowing benefit, since first aware of being an individual as a child –

“my jogging poem on my blog, “cross country,” my scattered remembrances of growing up doing construction in houston, my years of dance aerobics, my decades of art and poetry production, all have given me experiences descriptive of yoga when referenced to a fullness of connection with all the parts of oneself –

“i didn’t have to “do” yoga to be that, or learn that, or enhance that –

“in that sense, yes, one doesn’t learn yoga by cross-training, one would learn yoga either before, after, or during cross-training, because yoga, universal yoga, is not dependent on even the very wise ancients that’ve preserved an articulate roadmap to wholeness, more articulate than what i’ve “generally” read or been taught in track, art, literature, dance, fitness, etc

“but – anyone who’s studied or practiced art or dance or literature or fitness “deeply” ie personally, has encountered experiences and/or other people who’ve expressed much similar experiences to what yoga offers, in their own iconic languages, without being trained in yoga

so why, i ask myself again 😉 did i choose yoga-adan as my handle, and not dance-adan, or art-adan, or just “adan” ?

“because, though i recognize that most the things yoga claims as “yogic” – if stripped from masters and texts, and described as simple human experience (as i’ve seen iyengar express on dvd), i already experienced, [ and i believe most of us experience ] and became more aware of, while painting, dancing, writing, singing (before my voice changed 😉 ) – these, the more generally-thought-of, day to day, yoga activities of :

Details # 3 Mind-Body Connection
Details # 3 Mind-Body Connection, Original Photography Adan Lerma

mindfulness, breath, meditation

“these three elements alone, i experience on a daily routine basis from as far back as i can remember, while roofing, running, writing, painting, loving – but,

“yoga speaks directly to these elements…

“thus yoga has clarified and enhanced my understanding of what i was experiencing –

“and i’ve always contended, in my writings and posts, that i believe yoga’s true enduring quality, in particular for me, is awareness

“thanks so much for your thoughtful article, and especially for spurring even further clarification in my own thoughts and feelings – that was very yoga of you 😉 ”


Final Thoughts

it’s great to be able to have discussions such as these as easily as we do –

no more carrying around large stone tablets chiseled so roughly they were not only heavy, but cut into tired fingers 😉

no more reaching only a handful of people solely because of technological limitations

Full Image Mind-Body Connection
Full Image Mind-Body Connection, Original Photography Adan Lerma

no more restrictions by a religious body, guru, or self-appointed master

no more lack of access to past or missed bits of information

we are truly blessed –

though a long long ways to go, our communications have begun to match what i ideally imagine a universal yoga might mean…


for me, it’s definitely a process…

possibly a process of becoming aware of how much all of us already experience…

now if we can just get to enjoy it a bit more 😉

namaste´- con dios – god be with you



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