The Absurdity of the Six Pack
How body types look different and how exercise affects different bodies differently
I have a six-pack - you just can't see it.
Some people naturally, without any exercise or special diet, have a very lean and cut body. It’s not common, but it exists. Some people have very fleshy bodies, and with exercise and a moderate and healthy diet, their bodies still would not be considered lean and cut.
Growing up in the Midwestern United States, we had a saying that “the beauty of the human race was all the differences between us,” yet you don’t see the differences between us being plastered on the magazine covers and advertisements, etc. What you see are chiseled looks, very developed muscles, and very apparent and abundant sexual body parts. More often than not, people mistake this look which we have been taught is “attractive” as healthy. The yogis called this “Maya.” Maya is an illusion. This is not only the wrong assumptions about what you see due to our cultural imprint on our mind, but also what you don’t see, as you are not looking for those things, or even conditioned to overlook those things.
My friend Marc and I both partook in the same abdominal exercises for 8 weeks. Both of our abdominal regions have strengthened greatly, and I have developed an impressive six-pack and yet Marc's midsection appears unchanged.
Marc has definitely become stronger, as his ability to do bicycle exercises for one minute has now increased to 3 minutes. This is a 200% change but you cannot tell by looking at him. I was able to go from one-minute bicycles to two minutes of bicycles, only a 100% percent change. Marc’s body strengthened faster than my body, yet my body appeared more fit as my six-pack was more prominent. So, looks can be deceiving.
People with Marc’s body type can become frustrated that their body is not responding to exercise the way they have been conditioned to want it to respond, and they may feel like they are lacking progress, due to what they have been conditioned to not see. At this point, these people might become vulnerable to the marketing gurus out there, preying on people’s fears, vanity, and insecurities, selling us expensive, unnecessary, and many times unhealthy diets and products which shock a response out of the body in an effort to make it conform to a cultural ideal of what’s attractive. I call this “making oneself sick trying to look pretty.”
Try to understand, “the beauty of the human race is in the differences between all of us,“ just like the beauty of a mountain range is within all its features. Beauty and health manifest seven billion different ways, as there are seven billion of us on the planet right now. The only thing stopping us from seeing our beauty is our conditioning, and the only thing stopping them from seeing our beauty is their conditioning. The more we buy into these cultural imprints, the more they are propagated and strengthened. As we seek real health and wellness, we need to recognize our conditioning and stop feeding it mental energy and unconscious loyalty. Societal sickness shifts when people shift. That’s you! This is not easy. You will not be supported by your culture and maybe not even be supported at your own dinner table by family and or friends. Poweryoga.com is here to support you. My class theme is always supportive and self-affirming. We are here to make sure you are physically cared for and mentally supported. We try our best to help you see the unhealthy perspectives and tendencies that produce negative feelings. Our classes, blogs, challenges, workshops, training, and discourses all have the same theme and there is a whole community of peeps walking this same path with you!
First exercise: Now, I said this would not be easy. Yes, we are here to support you BUT nobody can do the work for you! Stop partaking in any media (pretty much ALL media) that supports images and messages of beauty, vanity, sexuality, etc. ]Don’t be scared of the resulting boredom. Remember, you have to go through boredom before you find peace! Can I recommend a book to replace your media? “The Wisdom of James Allen" by James Allen.