the essential element of exercise is to willful desire to explore the discomfort zone to see if anything can be done about it. one goes around trying to notice particular uncomfortable things. there is a choice to be made: to ignore something or to explore it, see if lemonade is possible. a lifetime habit of declining to explore stuff will lead to a tendency to stasis, stasis in organisms leads to atrophy, atrophy has another set of discomforts, so the organism ends up with the discomfort anyway, so might as well embrace it.
that is why dogs barking, phones ringing, people walking in, talking with me, etc. are welcome aids to concentration, concentration being the gateway to meditation, the voluntary practice of holding the awareness open, allowing reality as it is (sentimentalist sectarians call that gods grace) "in." not to ignore anything, only to try to always re-member.
this morning did the basic routine with a sword. sword brings added precision, better angles, easier to align. the stretches are deeper because the arms are locked. it is automatically uncomfortable, not having been done in a while. the general idea is to find position, when it arrives the joints sort of align with gravity & the body "settles," then to locate the guarding muscles that could just as well sit there & relax, & relax them, then on to the next little problem, whatever it happens to be. like that sequence i've been doing of keeping the quads relaxed in to-the-side bendovers where the hands go toward the outside of one foot or the other & the stretch up the outside of the leg when the knee is fully extended goes from the little toe to the upper thigh. in my left leg the burny feeling is intense, i say expletic superlatives in the inner monologue, things one typically says in the presence of intense superlativity. level of intensity occasionally may attain energy levels that are uncomfortable merely by the intensity, flavor so intensely wonderful it makes us sick, even we crash, but we don't regret, even if we did it wrong & damaged something, more, want more, again.
take the uncomfortable thing, arrange the parts of the organism for maximum comfort, then relax the guarding muscles, attitudes, etc. & let the significance of the position gradually emerge, pain & fear emerging like volcanic islands out of the ocean of our willful ignorance.
sword edge not allowed to touch the floor. offense. must apologize to sword. sword always forgives.