The Power of the Arts and Sports, and the Connecting of Being with Yoga
Contributed by Jennifer Hooton Many individuals have not only overcome their addictions through arts and sports activities, but helped to balance their lives and find a greater sense of personhood. Sport in particular, ranging from yoga to cycling and everything in between, is praised for its physical benefits. Not only does it improve cardiovascular activity and improve muscle function which automatically leads to a greater sense of wellbeing, but it releases endorphins creating positive feeling as well as restoring an individual’s connectivity, depending upon the sport they are practicing. Yoga and tai chi are both very different, for instance, but they focus on specific movements and connections which are in tune with the body and spirit.
These practices have become especially vital in western society as effective measures of encouraging healthier lifestyles as well as a counter to addiction. This has garnered some controversial sentiment – in the east, for example, yoga takes on a vastly difference resonance than in the west, where the practice has, to some degree, become a fad, which is why many individuals may venture east for a more immersive experience which incorporates diet and other elements, as well as a greater frequency and distribution of yoga classes both outdoor and indoor. Yet western yoga has many merits, because it is also accessible and comfortable, and because it is so rapid in its growth, it has now become a staple of contemporary North American lifestyle and will continue to evolve.
The arts present the same outlet – by exploring various topics from different perspectives, individuals and communities have the chance to overcome their struggles as well as find their inner voice. Just as thinker Joseph Campbell stated so many years ago: “People say that what we’re all seeking is a meaning for life. I don’t think that’s what we’re really seeking. I think that what we’re seeking is an experience of being alive, so that our life experiences on the purely physical plane will have resonances with our own innermost being and reality, so that we actually feel the rapture of being alive.”
Once we have discovered how to love ourselves and embrace these aspects and turn ourselves away from the enticing distractions of our addictive world, we can begin with our individual selves to create a truly compassionate and thoughtful society.