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Work Your Body, Work Your Mind

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Crawling for Fitness

Crawling for Fitness

Take a trip to, say, New York City's Central Park and you will find runners, walkers, bikers and people sweating it out all over the place. While Big Apple dwellers are known for not giving oddities a second glance, these are a few that might cause even the most experienced to pause should he or she come across them while engaging in a morning stroll: A man crawling on his hands and feet, butt up in air; a woman meditating in a tree; or a fella cracking a whip, only to later switch to a leather baton.
 
It may sound weird—OK, totally weird—to you, but this is the scene you might happen upon should you arrive early at Beijing’s Temple of Heaven Park, a haven for exercise of the different sort. In a place where headstands and wooden swords are the norm, jogging is something that seems out of place. And basketball and tennis courts? Yeah, right.
 
But don’t knock it just yet because in a country where iPods and fancy workout gear are a mainstay, we may be able to learn a few things from this focused and connected approach to exercise.
 
The point of this Zen-like exercise is to learn how to exercise for personal benefit, not to impress the people who may be looking on. Instead, people have learned to march in place, walk backward and even play games that make their bodies feel good.
 
We want to know: What exercise do you like that doubles as a mind/body experience? Have you ever avoided a specific workout because you felt silly? [The New York Times]

Posted: 8/21/08