“Many of the people I have loved in the world—my family members and close friends—have already passed away. That I can still breathe is a miracle, and I know that I breathe for them. Every day when I get up, I stretch my body and do some gentle morning exercises, which brings me a lot of happiness.
I don’t exercise to get fit or be healthier; I do it to enjoy being alive.
The happiness and joy of practicing mindful movements nourishes my body and mind. With each movement I do, I feel how wonderful it is that I can still do it. Exercising like this, I enjoy having a body; I enjoy being alive. I accept life and my body just as it is, and I feel so much gratitude. Even as we age and experience ill health or pain, we can still profit from the moments when the pain is not too strong. If you can still breathe, it’s possible to enjoy your breathing. If you can still walk, it’s possible to enjoy your walking. If you can get in touch with the elements of peace and freshness within you and around you, both body and mind will benefit, and it will help you embrace the difficulties and pain in your body.
We may fear dying, and yet we find it hard to imagine growing old. We cannot believe that one day we might not be able to walk or stand. If we are lucky, one day we will be old enough to sit in a wheelchair. Contemplating this, we value every step and know that in the future it will not be like it is now. Recognizing impermanence allows us to cherish the days and hours that are given to us. It helps us value our body, our loved ones, and all the conditions that we have for happiness in this moment. We can be at peace knowing we are living our life to the fullest.”
~ Thich Nhat Hanh – The Art Of Living