Hi Michael thanks for writing. Firstly, I agree with you that the hijacking of health and fitness by marketing forces has resulted in a popular equation of a healthy lifestyle with the purchase of gadgets, supplements and gym memberships. Yet I have to contest what appears to be the overarching attitude you’ve adopted towards physical fitness in this article.

You argue that the cultivation of the spiritual body, our inner self, is necessary to attain a life of balance and fulfillment. But how can one live a life of balance and fulfillment when they let their corporeal self waste away? The evidence now shows that physical exercises plays a fundamental role in shaping our cognition, emotions and behavior — inputs to our lived experience that need to be in equilibrium in order for true attainment of a state of enlightenment. The spirit and body are inextricably linked.

I also speak from personal experience when I say that some of my most profound moments of spiritual growth were achieved both during and upon reflection of the pursuit of physical excellence. Some of my most significant and enduring relationships have been born from the pursuit of sport and competition. The bond between athlete and coach, between an individual and their competitor, between master and apprentice, between the members of a team under duress, these are some of the strongest bonds there are. How can you say that these factors do not contribute to the cultivation of the spiritual body and the attainment of a life of balance and fulfillment? They do, indeed this isn’t some new discovery, the swordsmen and martial artists of ages past were acutely aware of this (something that I have touched on before in an article that you can view here if interested.) Again, thanks for writing I enjoy a lot of the work you put up here on Medium. Alex

Here to share some words | Hopeful idealist | Samurai who smells of sunflowers |

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