Being a co-owner of a gym now for over 5 years, many people have come up to me with the question of how to get in a better shape.
Often this shape implies a specific form - the form of the times - and additionally one of the desired attributes coming with this shape is having better stamina as it is believed to bring more energy.
The route most taken for this aim in gyms would be to do "conditioning training". In this way the physical condition you are in will allow you to do more of the things you want to do.
However there is an other type of conditioning that is often overlooked: our psychological conditioning.
In short we could say that this is the way we react to things in our daily life. And it is the source of many of our hidden energy leaks.
There actually should not even be made a separation: our psychological conditioning shapes our physical form: habitual tensions becomes chronic and sculpt our human appearance and influence our energy management.
So what if we turned the equation around and instead of doing a metabolic conditioning circuit, we would do use physical conditioning situations to shine light on our conditioned reaction patterns?
We could observe:
How do you react to learning something new?
What are your typical emotional response?
How do you talk to yourself?
Where do you store physical tensions?
Where does your attention go in stress? In relaxation?
By observing objectively conditioned patterns,
"I am now telling myself that I can not do this."
"I feel tension growing in the muscles around my shoulders."
"I am now feeling angry."
And not attaching to the story (this reaction is because of..., and because once this happened..., and...) often added on top of it… we start to create an opening where change might be possible.
Because we try to not identify with the automatic responses, a potential new choice - or inner citadel as the stoics call it - for a more conscious response to the situation becomes a possibility.
Staying conscious of your states during struggle carries an opportunity to observe behavioural patterns that are part of conditioned reactions that below our consciousness deplete energy.
Our conditioning sucks our energy.
Often these same reactions are also present in simple daily activities. Most of them get re-played unnoticed.
Through training we create a safe climate where our conditioning can be exposed, observed and in the long run transmuted towards more beneficial choices in daily life.
Instead of - (or on top of) - training to have better conditioning, we train to become less conditioned and lose less energy.