Parkour is also known as the art of movement, where the practitioner (traceur) uses the landscape around him as a playground for his body to feel, experiment and explore. Parkour induces certain aspects that if implemented in our daily lives can help us considerably. This is why the sport has so much more significance than is currently recognized by most. If Parkour as a sport was to be defined in a single line, it would basically imply the art of moving from point “A” to point “B” in a single line. It is up to the traceur on how he wants to overcome the obstacles in his way from “A” to “B”. This requires fluidity and purpose in both the mind and the body.
Check out this video to understand the intricate and graceful sport of Parkour:
Here are some of the aspects which we can gain from Parkour:
- Boosts self motivation and confidence
Each jump, each climb and each run requires a certain degree of self-motivation and confidence to implement. Even the slightest doubt in these times can lead to disastrous consequences. On the other hand, once the traceur relinquishes himself of all self-doubt and self-imposed limitations, his path becomes clear. He can now mould his body in any way he wants to, with the confidence required to take him from point A to B.
- Satisfies the inherent urge in us to move, run and be free
Each one of us yearns for freedom, be it from sticky thought patterns or from bodily inefficiency. In order to embrace this freedom, we have to first comprehend the natural rhythm within us that drives us to run and be free. To do this, all one has to do is let go of all inhibitions and believe in the super-efficient biological machinery that is you. This machinery can act as a substantial escape through the fluid art of movement.
Tripped Out Fact: The Tarahumara Indians of the Copper Canyon in Mexico are known as the tribe which was “born to run”. For these tribes, running is a way of life and constant motion is what drives their entire belief systems. They start running at a particular age, first as a community then as lone runners, heralding constant movement as their creed.
- Helps in self-understanding and reflection
Parkour can be used as an essential tool to understand yourself in a complete and structured way. Every jump landed and missed is one step towards self-realization and understanding of one’s own strengths and shortcomings. The way you traverse your course determines your outlook towards life; whether you need a long time to take decisions, whether you think too much or whether you are highly spontaneous. Observe yourself and be open to both pain and pleasure, treating them both as your teachers.
- Helps in achieving present moment awareness
Every single Parkour move, be it a simple jump or a backflip, requires large amount of intense awareness about the present moment. Only if the body is accustomed to dealing with every moment intensely, with your complete and unparalleled attention, will each move of yours be successful. Parkour works as a powerful reminder to escape from constant mind-wandering patterns of thought. This helps in focusing intensely on the “now” and channelizing your attention completely in order to achieve superhuman balance and precision.
- Provides a chance for the mind to escape through your body
Mental patterns of thought seem to be stuck in a loop if they have no particular medium of release. By recognizing this, we can learn the art of using the body as a medium for the mind to escape into the world. This usually involves giving up limitations and self-imposed restrictions on oneself and flowing with the inherent rhythm within us. By using the body to exhibit fluid movement and dynamic dexterity, Parkour essentially teaches you how to balance the intentions of the mind and the needs of the body in a harmonious way.
- Provides invaluable life lessons
The aspect of rising above obstacles and gaining the strength and dexterity to overcome them are some of the most invaluable life lessons the sport has to offer. Other than that, Parkour teaches you patience as well as humility, especially when you accept the fact that some obstacles would need more time and attention. This helps us keep a reality check in place, when you know your own limits and keep working to expand them.
- Helps in un-wiring and re-wiring of the mind
To efficiently practice the art of motion, it is important that we completely let go of prior judgments, fear and patterns of self-doubt. This will be necessary in order to face any and all obstacles that come in your path. This basically involves de-conditioning or un-wiring of the psyche from previously existing thought patterns. On the other hand, Parkour also requires considerable amounts of re-wiring or re-conditioning in the form of self-motivation, confidence and courage. Only if we condition ourselves in such a way that we look forward to challenges and obstacles, accepting them and tackling them as they come, can we realize the true art that is Parkour.