Joy-full Exercise: Skiing for Fun

by Greg Barnes

I am a student of Universal Medicine and have been attending lectures and workshops for eight years. In my younger years I played sport at an elite level and represented Australia overseas in Judo. Never in all the time I have known Serge Benhayon has he ever told me not to exercise!

I still snow ski in Canada every year for four to six weeks, but my feeling as to how I approach skiing has changed as I am now more in touch with my body and can feel the effects when I am skiing. To ski at the top level (on one occasion with a former member of the ‘Crazy Canuks’!) down double-black runs takes a push and a drive that takes me ‘out of myself’, it disconnects me from feeling my body, and I can now say, “it hurts”. When I ski the groomed black, blue and green runs I find that I can still stay connected to my body and have a joy-full time without the drive to compete that was ‘me’ in the past. I now ski for the joy of it, whether it is powder down black runs or cruising the blues. It is all fun!!

Serge regularly asks me how my skiing is going. Never has he said not to do sport and he is always promoting walking, swimming and light exercise for everyone especially if they are not in a job that is physical.

205 thoughts on “Joy-full Exercise: Skiing for Fun

  1. Greg I love the simplicity of this blog and the key thing you’ve highlighted is the importance of being present when skiing. But it matters not which sports or what activity you do, it’s being present in every moment that matters.

    It requires us to build that fitness, and the rest will be taken care of. So if you don’t like that feeling of how you got from one place to another, then this is the antidote.

  2. Body awareness is something so precious for every part of life, it allows us to take loving care of ourselves by constantly learning what is or is not supportive for our health and wellbeing. From the way we exercise, our posture, what we eat, how we sleep, even what occurs in relationships and the thoughts we allow impact the body. Unlike a car our body is an irreplaceable vehicle, body awareness is therefore essential common sense.

    1. Yes, it is always important to constantly feel and re-evaluate what is supporting our body, is our diet still what our body is asking for, or are our movements contributing to our well-being, there is much to be aware of.

    2. Yes and body awareness is not hard core, extreme exercises that feels as though your punishing your body. It’s the equivalent of the mini (car), being forced to travel up rocky terrains…

  3. Sometimes we say we ‘love’ something even if it hurts our body. When we can finally listen and accept what the body has been saying, we can feel the constriction and the weight we have been casting on ourselves and it actually feels so liberating to be able to simply follow what rejoices the body.

  4. Downhill skiing has always been a love for me. It is a time when I can stay with myself and not get distracted by the outside world.
    Skiing has shown me the power of staying with myself. When I am with myself when I am doing something I do not get exhausted and life is more fun.
    Now I understand why I love skiing so much.

  5. I wish many years ago I had come across this blog about staying connected when exercising. For years I exercised with drive, anger, vanity, anything negative, I did it in this energy. And as expected my body said no more and the message was already there, years earlier, I would hit a wall of tiredness and needed naps in the afternoon, I can’t remember how many colds and chest infections I developed in a year, I simply wasn’t listening or putting two and two together.

    Then one day my body said enough the loudest it could and developed an endocrine condition and after eight to ten years now, I have just returned to the gym. Taking things easy, staying with myself whilst I exercise.

    If my body says no please don’t exercise today, I listen and I am no longer guilt ridden – I honour my body.

    1. Thank you for sharing your experience, Shushila. It took me a long time to realize that the jumping up and down on loud music during the fitness class was actually the thing that gave me such a sore hip that I almost couldn’t walk anymore. I never went back and enjoy walking, swimming and gentle exercising.

  6. To say that to push or drive ones self hurts is an awareness that many already have, however struggle with living differently as the drive is such that it overrides the innate knowing and steady, loving care that is our natural way of being. That is until we choose to arrest the drive and allow what is innately within to guide our activities.

  7. When we let go of competition and allow ourselves to enjoy the exercises we do we actually start to ease up on the throttle and enjoy both the exercises and the time we spend with ourselves and others.

  8. Absurd to even consider that Serge would tell anyone what to do or not do. I have known him for over 14 years and never heard or seen him impose or tell anyone what to do. What I have heard at times is Serge share his own experience of life and what has worked for him. However, he does not have one ounce of judgement in the choices of others or need for them to be any other way.

  9. Another beautiful account of the power of no judgement or critique. Serge Benhayon does not judge anyone. No matter who they are or what they do and lets us all come to our own learning and understanding of life in our own time. That is all part of the love he lives each and every day.

  10. The fact that Serge Benhayon never dictates what we should or shouldn’t do speaks volumes. Even though he knows from his own lived experience what does and doesn’t work, he allows us the space to find out for ourselves.

  11. And this to me is what The Way of The Livingness is all about. Not following the rules and regulations of what we should and should not do as said by another or society, but rather following the guidance from our inner-knowing, our truth, to what feels true in our bodies and from there make adjustments needed. Therefore, it is truly empowering to develop a loving and honouring relationship with our body as it is through this connection that we have access to an intelligence that serves only to guide us to live in greater connection to our Soul.

  12. Like everything, if we push ourselves and go into drive we harm our body in some way. Four years ago I learnt to ski, as a matter of fact in Canada, I was able to stay connected to my body when I honoured myself with the runs I felt confident in skiing but every time I tried to push myself and go along with everyone else I was skiing with, then without a doubt I would fall and hurt myself.

  13. Staying connected with one’s body and maintaining discernment as to whether one is pushing one’s body in whatever one is doing, skiing or making the bed, is like chalk and cheese.

  14. Yes Greg I agree, in the moment I am more connected with my body my whole attitude to move is changing as I can not push my body in the same hardness as I did before I felt my body. My body is loud and very clear what it wants or not – I on the other side of that can numb myself to not feel it’s clear message at all!

  15. I love what you are presenting here Greg, as you highlight that anything we do, may it be sports or anything else, is so much more fun when every part of us is in it and honoured to its fullest. And the interesting experience is, that then in the end it does not matter what we do, as we feel so comfortable in our own skin / body that simply being our self is awesome.

  16. Now to obtain the level of fitness to ski so that I would not injure myself I feel that the drive and pushing to my body would disconnect from the way I now live. Feeling the stretches, exercise and walking I now do to stay fit is so different to the drive of the past, which definitely serves my body as I get older as my strength and vitality increase.

    1. That is so honouring, Greg. This illustrates one that needs to exercise appropriately to support one’s lifestyle.

  17. Our body needs to exercise to be able to support us in life – so we are ‘fit for life’. The difference that Universal Medicine presents around this is to be aware of the quality of the movements we make above all else. Any ideals about intensity and reps will take us away from the focus on quality and ensure we push our body way beyond what it is asking for.

  18. Being fit doesn’t equal to being hard with our body. I love practising gentle exercise as it allows me to deeply feel my body and not hurting it while I work with it. Exercising in this way has become a loving re-encounter with myself and exercise. I know now how supportive can be to my day a short stretching set, a walk or just the awareness of being present in my body in whatever I do.

  19. Today there are many different types and levels of sports available but we should never underestimate the power and simplicity of walking and light weights.

  20. ‘…walking, swimming and light exercise for everyone especially if they are not in a job that is physical.’ I’m a ‘desk jockey’ for much of my time so light exercise is spot on for me – it’s all I require to be fit for work and life. Yet every day at the gym I see men and women pushing themselves to extremes – and I’ll bet most of them aren’t bricklayers. What’s driving us to exercise like we do?

  21. I didn’t know that you had a history of lots of skiing Greg! I used to love skiing too,I learned how to ski quite late in life, ( in my late thirties) so I was never a great one for speed. It was a wonderful time to appreciate the beauty of nature with blue skies and clean air in the Alps. Doing gentle exercise in connection with ourselves is great for the body, nowadays I swim and walk the dog.

  22. Serge Benhayon would never tell anyone what to do. Everything he teaches is about us developing our own inner connection so that we can be discerning and able to make our own choices that we truly want for ourselves.

  23. That’s really cool Greg. Good to set the record straight….crazy what people will make up for the sake of a controversy.

    1. It is Elodie, there are many that think it is controversial that people make decisions based on how their body feels doing, eating or taking something. Seems pretty simple and loving to me.

  24. One of the many beautiful things Serge Benhayon shares is to listen to your body, to stay present with it and to the connection to self within, from there we all know how to be or what to do because the body is an amazing communicator.

  25. What I’ve discovered through insights and sharing’s from Serge Benhayon is that when being with myself as I exercise, exercise stops being exercise and is part of what I do to appreciate, support and even enjoy myself. No huff and puff, no pushing and pulling just simple and supportive for what my body feels is needed at the time.

  26. Greg its great that you are listening to your body and making sure that you do not harm it, so knowing your limits. It is our body that speaks to us, what feels bad or good, which just have to learn to listen.

  27. The thing is that we learned to live life by thinking what is good for us and what not instead of feeling for ourselves what is truly good for us and what not and in addition we think that what is good for us once will always be good for us instead of seeing what is required in each moment.

  28. Lately I have been doing more exercise, especially swimming and there is so much joy in doing this. When exercise is done in a connected way the body just loves it and there is no stress and strain to the body.

  29. Body awareness is a great thing. It helps us in many ways. One of them has to do with sports. We tend to concentrate is our performance (as if we are watched from the outside). Yet, as body awareness kick in, we start considering how we feel in our body while doing sports and the aftermath. Things change inevitably as we realize what sports is doing to us.

  30. Exercise in connection to our bodies and how they feel to move is fun Greg and it always makes me feel more vibrant during my day and helps me connect to myself much easier too because my awareness of how my body feels is much more in tune.

  31. I skied a lot when I was younger. The thing I loved most about it was being in the mountains, amongst the absolute glory of nature and feeling the immensity of its reflection for us all.

  32. Serge Benhayon has never said not to do sport – what I have learned from his presentations on sport is the importance of the quality we choose when we exercise, or do anything and learn to feel for ourselves its impact on our body – we can feel invigorated, light, expansive, or we can batter our bodies so they go into greater hardness and protection. One is truly restorative, and the other deepens the exhaustion and disharmony within.

  33. It really is how we approach anything we do that makes the difference. Being more in touch with our bodies is a game changer when it comes to exercise of any kind. Bringing an ever deepening awareness to our movements gives us the opportunity to hold our bodies in higher esteem and in this apprciation we naturally enjoy ourselves more.

  34. Thank you Greg, it is never what we do but the quality we do anything in that matters. As we deepen our connection with our self we come to feel how what we do feels in our body and are forever correcting this. What feels OK to do at one time can begin to feel harmful another. No one can dictate this to us as we can only feel it for our self.

  35. It is always important to keep checking in with our body and how that feels in regard to what exercise we choose. Our body speaks loudly when we listen to it.

  36. This is key Greg, that one has the right to attend presentations and exercise ones free will to do what they please when it comes to exercise. I love that you joyfully hear what has been presented but still listen to yourself and make your choices.

  37. It’s not a question of giving up sport but a question of checking in with the body when it comes to playing sport and exercising. This simple step is one that is commonly missed in society. In my case, and something that is continual, as I check in with me and my body I have made different choices as to what I do. So much of my sport and exercise in the past was based around what I thought was good for me. It was the head leading the body with its ideals and beliefs. When I started to give the body a say in the matter, it had something quite different to say.

  38. Since knowing Serge Benhayon and Universal Medicine so much has changed for me and I feel so much more connected with myself and others. Throughout all of what I am continuing to learn I would say one of the biggest teachings is how our body is a vessel for energy and what energy are we choosing every moment. So it can be using a drive or force to do sport or a task at work or we can use our body as a vessel for true love and do everything in and with connection … including exercise 💕

    1. Its beautiful what you share Vicky, how our body is a vessel and it is up to us to choose what energy we want to flow through it, whether its a drive and force or a connection of love.

  39. Serge never tells people what to do or not do, we all have to discern for for ourselves if something is supporting and nourishing for ourselves or not. ‘Never in all the time I have known Serge Benhayon has he ever told me not to exercise!’

  40. It is actually crucial to get a sense of what takes us out and it is not just extreme sports, simply rushing from one task to the next can do that; but this to feel and experience for everyone on their own so that it is one´s own awareness and choice of how to behave in order to take care of one´s own life.

  41. I expect you wrote this in response to some people saying Serge says not to exercise or something ridiculous like that. Absolutely nuts because Serge never tells people what to do and even if he did which he does not people make their own choices and thirdly as it happens he is very supportive of exercise that support the body but that is irrelevant as we all come to our own way and our responsible for our own lives.

  42. One of the greatest enjoyments of being in the mountains in winter is the sunlight sparkling and reflecting from the snow and ice particles in the air.

  43. I have been playing with the way I swim. I used to swim a lot as a child and won many swimming competitions. When I recently started going to the local pool I noticed my attitude toward swimming – even though I was not swimming fast, it was about how far I had swum, I would keep track of how many lengths and have some sort of fixed routine going on. It’s been quite a hard one to drop but what I have been noticing is that when I swim for the pure enjoyment of how it feels for my body, I come out feeling amazing. When my focus tends towards how far I have swum and how many laps I have done, I come out tired and without the skip in my step.

  44. There is no right and wrong about a sport, but to feel if a sport feels supportive to our body or is it harming. Our body tells us the truth, so we need to listen and feel.

  45. It is a beautiful thing to be able to change how we do what we do and why in a more self-loving way. Yet, this does not change the fact that we tend to choose sports to prove ourselves, a fact that reflects how low is our self-esteem and self-worth that we need to outdo others to feel good about us.

  46. Keeping life playful, keeping our exercise fun and not losing sight of our bodies communication means we keep exercise going well into our later years. This is vital for all round physical and mental health. It needs to be a non-negotiable…not the skiing so much as old bones might break more easily…but the exercise 🙂

  47. And how many of us have laboured over exercise and let the fun and joy disappear? Bringing these elements back in comes naturally when we regard ourselves more highly and treat ourselves with more care and not let the sport or activity taker over.

  48. My attitude towards exercise has completely changed since attending Universal Medicine. I use to push my body into a state I did not enjoy and I had to motivate myself to go to the gym or exercise. These days it feels so good during my simple gentle routine and after that if I miss it I can feel I am not as settled and connected to my body. The support it provides me to connect to my body is amazing.

  49. ‘Never has he said not to do sport and he is always promoting walking, swimming and light exercise for everyone especially if they are not in a job that is physical.’ Absolutely true. Serge not only promotes exercise that supports the body, but does it himself. He walks everything he talks. Until he came along I had never met anyone else who does that.

  50. It is beautiful to read how from being more in touch with your body after attending Universal Medicine lectures that you are more aware of what disconnects you from feeling your body and have been able to adjust your skiing accordingly to stay in the joy of the sport. Thank you for standing up to express your truth and in doing so expose the lies.

    1. Samantha its interesting how so many of us have been working around in life being disconnected to our body, just getting on with the doing of life, with no consideration about our body and the harm we may be causing to it. Thanks to Universal Medicine we have to come to understand how to honour, love and nature our body

  51. Exercise if done for the body – and not for an outside ideal – is very supportive and naturally brings joy into your day.

  52. I agree Greg, never have I heard don’t do sport. It always comes down to how it feels in the body. The fact is that the more I slow down and feel my body more, the less I want to feel how much pain my joints are in when I run on concrete for 4-6 hours at a time!

  53. I’ve never heard Serge Benhayon prescribe how to exercise as it’s an entirely personal thing, based on what the body needs and chosen out of absolute support and respect for it. That’s a far cry from some of the harsh, damaging regimes I used to follow and my body is all the healthier for it.

  54. My experience of Serge Benhayon is that he is very pro exercise too, and it makes perfect sense, exercise is vital for maintaining both our health and our well-being, he just offers that perhaps there is a different way to exercise that doesn’t damage our bodies.

  55. The way of exercise I was presented with in the past always felt ‘too hard’ and ‘too much’ for me, I have to say. I tried various things, but no-one, until I came to the presentations of Serge Benhayon, spoke about coming from one’s own body first. This was, and is, a complete paradigm changer – liberating us from the need to measure up to standards determined from outside of ourselves.
    What if we lived all of life in this way, from the ‘inside – out’, deeply honouring our own bodies, listening to what is needed in terms of the way we go about things and the exercise that can truly support us… Our world would be completely different.
    The ‘off-trackness’ of where we now stand couldn’t be more apparent, with the exhaustion and fatigue so endemic today, and our want to push ourselves and imbibe of substances that ‘keep up’ the push… Phew, we have a long way to go, but the truth IS here, and it’s being shown in the changes in many people’s lives and bodies, when listening to and honouring the body first, becomes the foundation from which we live our lives. ‘Punishment’ through exercise need never enter the equation…

  56. It’s an awesome relationship to have, isn’t it Greg – the one we can have with our own bodies… If only we were taught from ‘the start’ to really feel into what’s ok and what’s not for us – where things we do may be too hard and forceful, how we can adjust the way we go about things… and essentially LISTEN! For our bodies are ever feeding back to us what we need to know. Gorgeous to feel the beauty of this relationship in your blog Greg, thank-you.

  57. Great awareness there Greg. When we truly connect with our bodies we can discern what supports our body and that is different for everyone and forever needs refining as we become more sensitive.

  58. Thank you for sharing your experience with doing sport. For me it is also important to stay connected to my body while I am dancing as it is always possible to move my body in a way that is supporting it or in a way where I harm myself. I really prefer nowadays to move my body in a way in which I do not harm myself.

  59. We can exercise in a harmful or healing way. We can do too much, not enough or do movements that hurt us. It is always a questions of connecting to our body and discerning what best supports us – and that will be different for every person.

  60. Interesting how we do things that take us out of ourselves. I have certainly had that experience but prefer by far the connection with myself and with my body – which can happen as simply as breathing gently and feels very natural.

  61. Having known Serge now for over 5 years, I have never heard him tell people what to do or not to do. This is not his way.

  62. ‘Cruising the blues’, that sounds like not only fun Greg but a massive step down from the ‘double black runs’ of your past. I just hope you keep yourself rugged up to avoid blue fingers and toes!

  63. Thankyou Greg for highlighting the truth that it is not what we do but the way that we do it, that is the key in life.

  64. This is great Greg and shows that true connection to our bodies is the best support we can offer and it feels amazing too. Whether it be gliding down the slopes or walking to the park, being connected to our movements is the way to go. Thank you.

  65. Greg thanks for sharing the harm sports can cause when we push ourselves. When we listen to our body we can still enjoy the same sport without harming ourselves, and know when to stop as our body lets us know.

  66. I feel a lot better when I exercise on a regular basis too.Since I have been listening to my body and aware of the inherent quality within exercise has become more and more enjoyable.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s