The purpose of physical activity, including exercise, is not to condition the heart or strengthen the sinews. Those are merely pleasant side-effects of exercise.

From a yogic point of view, all physical activity, including cleaning the house, walking to the farmers market, caring for our pets, and doing the yoga postures, are intended to increase the absorption of prana, or life-force. When you keep that in mind you will be a lot less worried about getting your heartbeat up or exercising your muscles optimally, and can instead focus on prana.

Next time you exercise try letting go of the notions of exercise you have learned and focus whole-heartedly on absorbing prana. You don't have to do much. Just observe. With each in-breath prana is moving into your body. Can you feel it expand throughout your body? Or are there body parts long forgotten, ignored. Allow the breath into those parts. This can be life-changing!

The Sanskrit word prana means not only life-force, but also breath. After all breath and life-force are one.

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