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Sunday, August 14, 2022

Make it look easy | Wellness

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“The lorza does not evaporate, the lorza must be eliminated”. This is the harangue used in class by the monitor of the first and last gym in which I have enrolled in Madrid. It was the year 2000 and, then, that phrase was even funny. When the hour of infernal exercise finished, I would go with my friend Belén to the bar on the corner to have a cold beer with some bravas. The lorza, a word that comes from the Hispanic Arabic, alhúzza (fold or fold of clothes), was not going to evaporate; besides, mine was still tiny. I left the class. After that attempt I spent many years without practicing anything but yoga. The “inhale and exhale” came into my life. A long time later I still can’t breathe. The Wellness Global Summit, an annual summit on well-being, has detected breathing as a great macrotrend (sic). There is an industry around a daily gesture and, this is the perverse thing, free. Gurus such as Sage Rader or Lisa de Narváez have emerged, who teach how to do it, because what we do for 24 hours seems to be not breathing. There is academic agreement that breathing has an impact on our physical and emotional health and the subject has its own literature: Breath: The New Science of a Lost Art or Breathe to Succeed are two of the titles that reflect this trend. I read the information about this new category of wellness with 70% interest and 30% irony. I know that slow, deep breathing lowers the stress hormone cortisol, but I don’t think you need to book any breathing retreats to get it right. That said, I’ve been within five seconds of requesting information for one from Norfolk. I have learned, after reading about breathing, that there is a very simple trick to calm down: read poems out loud or recite psalms. The first verses confirm that we do not know how to breathe, because it is easy to drown. With practice everything is more fluid, the air goes in and out, like words. Works. Breathing is the first layer of any exercise. In swimming, something that we do almost without thinking in summer, is obvious. About it my friend Tomás, a kind of aquatic philosopher, says that “it consists of breathing consciously, looking at a dark line at the bottom of the pool and being blind to your own body”. He gave me the best advice for swimming: “Ana, tall and proud”. He did it in English, because that’s how he had learned it and because we don’t agree on the translation. It means swimming with a straight and proud spine. This phrase is much more elegant (sounds like Downton Abbey) than la lorza’s soflamma. Times have changed, motivating phrases in any exercise too. I look for disciplines in which they are soft, because I have never believed that one learns from suffering: I only do it while enjoying myself. My other main harangue is the one repeated by Marisol, my personal trainer. There is no class in which she does not say, with her Colombian accent: “Make it look easy.” She plans to launch a clothing line and is going to print these words on her t-shirts. Every time I hear those three words I tremble: the easiest is the most difficult. We know how to do a handstand, but not lie down on the ground and allow ourselves to rest. I like movies that seem to have made themselves, like Licorice Pizza or Alcarràs, trips that are effortlessly organized, dinners that are set up with two messages; I like life that seems easy, even if it isn’t, because nothing is. To finish, I propose an exercise: go to your bookshelf, find a book of poems and read aloud. And make it look easy.

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– Article Written By @Anabel Vázquez from https://smoda.elpais.com/belleza/bienestar/que-parezca-facil/

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