INTERMEDIATE TOTAL FITNESS

by Kurt A. Krueger, M.S. Ed.

Part 1: Total Fitness

Everyone wants to improve her or himself. Here are two practices to achieve consistent advancement toward your goals. Modern research is verifying the wisdom of the ages. It shows that academic, vocational, performing arts, and athletic success will flourish along with improved inter-personal relations when we use these easy to apply and practical techniques for improving.

As you read and try these practices yourself, you'll more likely integrate them into your life. The following practices are used by legendary figures in our society both in sports and the world of vocations. Here are two methods for breaking old habits and creating new, desirable ones. Just give them a try for several weeks and see what happens. When you are pleased with the results, then continue to apply them to your life and share them with your friends.

Watusi Jump

During certain rituals, the Watusi tribe of Africa gathers together and jumps up and down holding their spears and shields, while at the same time yelling some chant in a balanced rhythm. They leap high off the ground and make special sounds thereby energizing themselves to go off to war, or attempt great athletic feats, or perform a spiritual ritual. From time immemorial, they have done this traditionally. This jumping ritual is a great energy gatherer and is an arousing activity for the times when we need to perk up.

Benefits are that it stimulates the cardio-respiratory system, releases stresses and tensions from the body, the lymph system is stimulated, gives a self -massage to the shoulders and neck, and it oxygenates the blood through complete and equalized breathing.

Duration: 30-90 seconds. However, begin with 15 seconds and build up the practice time slowly -- at your own rate of ability. Do not over indulge or strain. The Watusi Jump may be done several times a day. Each time you practice it, especially when first learning the WJ, imagine that you are Watusis and are leaping higher and sounding off strongly. The invigorating effect and mental strength you attain will vastly improve in comparison to those who simply do the Watusi Jump once.

1. Stand with the feet comfortably apart, knees slightly bent.

2. Leap up while breathing in through the nose or mouth (if necessary).

3. Upon landing, breathe out completely through the mouth with a forceful sound of "HUH."

4. Continue to leap/jump as high as possible, landing with the knees slightly bent, yet not giving in to cushion the landing.

5. Leaping with great spring in your legs, keep the arms, elbows, wrists, and shoulders loose, plopping down when landing. Let this plopping of the arms release any tensions in the body. A smile may crease the face as we really let our self do the Watusi Jump with great abandon.

6. Do two to five more rounds comfortably for 30 to 90 seconds each. The forceful exhalation of the breath with the sound of HUH, releases tensions in the neck, and torso region. Done while smiling, we do this so our face also releases tensions. (Caution: if you have high blood pressure, a heart condition or injured back, consult your physician, then, when approved do Watusi Jump at your own rate and discretion.) This is a powerfully invigorating activity which benefits may last up to two hours after doing just a 90 second routine. This exhilarating activity is perfect for energizing our self during the lethargic period of the day.

Clearing

It is a simple and effective method for concentrating while opening up to the creative areas of our brain. It also has the quality of reducing stress and allowing for the peak performance state of mind to occur. Sit upright with the eyes and mouth closed. Begin by invoking, "God please Bless," then pay attention to the movement of the breath: the ebb & flow, the coming and going of the subtle energy. Become aware of the sound of the breath and then continually experience the space between the breath: where the breath merges and emerges. If you have a normally active mind, you may wish to add a cue-word. Mentally repeat with the In-breath HUM, and with the Out-breath SO. This will bring even more intense concentration to the mind. Soon the mind will become so concentrated that the sound, the breath, and thoughts will disappear, giving us an opportunity to experience true silence. In this state of brain-wave activity, we are open to creative inspiration, and in a peak experience and performance state of mind, while experiencing a deep state of relaxation. It is optimum to practice Clearing a few minutes prior to each Visualization or anything that is very important to accomplish well.

Part 3: Advanced Total Fitness

5/29/98

Total Fitness was first published in the Journal of the California Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance, Feb. '97, Sacramento.

Success Systems International teaches the techniques of Peak Performance Training. SSI and its division of the Institute of Sports Psychology were founded in 1982 by the futurist, Kurt A. Krueger. He has been a University faculty member in Psychology and Physical Education, 11923 West Kagel Canyon, CA 91342 USA.

 

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