Corporalita: The Cultivation of Grace, Ambidexterity, Fitness, and Poise
Leonardo Da Vinci believed that the mind and the body are very connected. Contrary to popular belief in narrowing our studies and becoming specialists in just one area in life, Da Vinci believes we can all gain from challenging ourselves to utilize parts of body and brain that we haven’t yet utilized.
First and foremost, Da Vinci does not believe we should focus on developing in just our studies, he believes the body needs to be worked on as well. Da Vinci believes there is a connection between the effectiveness of our minds and the development of bodily awareness. We can further cultivate our creativity, as we test our physical boundaries. Da Vinci believes that cultivating our minds alone is an imbalanced process because we must learn to preserve our bodies and our health to continue to grow in our thoughts.
Tips on how to stay healthy:
- “Beware of anger and avoid grievous moods”
- “rest your head and keep your mind cheerful”
- “be covered well at night”
- “exercise moderately”
- “shun wantonness, and pay attention to diet”
- “eat only when you want and sup light”
- “keep upright when you rise from the dining table”
While this is Leonardo’s specific advice for himself and for those who he considered his contemporaries, many of the suggestions continue to apply.
However, Da Vinci’s emphasis on the concept of corporalita will only work if we each take a personal approach to fitness and developing coordination between our minds and bodies.
To become more fit and more aware of the connection between our minds and bodies, Da Vinci suggest:
1) Develop a personal fitness program by incorporating aerobic conditioning, strength training, and flexibility exercises.
2) Develop body awareness through the study of basic anatomy (your body)
3) Relearning poise and grace by focusing on our posture and body use during different activities
4) Develop ambidexterity by challenging ourselves to work with our non-dominant hand. Da Vinci believes this will challenge us to cultivate parts of our brain we have yet to tap into.
The key to developing the right plan of action is to make sure it works for you! Make sure you keep yourself in mind during each activity and endeavor.
Post Submitted By: Layhannara Tep