What does it take to be a ninja in New York City?
You might imagine martial artist masters fighting off bad guys with samurai swords, sneaking slyly into spaces, or walking on water. However, you too can be a ninja without the uniform and training.
In New York City we are constantly faced with external and internal challenges. Dodging cars and people on the streets and sidewalk; fast-paced daily life, and general pressures to sustain status quo are just a few of the hurdles we jump. New York is one of the world’s largest commercial, financial, and cultural centers.
So, how do we overcome these challenges? Be a ninja.
Here are three ways to be a true ninja in NYC.
1. Have Integrity.
Follow through on what you say you’re going to do. Stand for yourself, and head in the direction that your emotions guide you to.
Life can become undesirable and complicated when we do things we don’t feel connected to. Often times, the result is unsatisfying and can lead to a chain of other undesirable results. When we stand for ourselves, we are taking action toward what it is, that we want in life.
How do you know if you’re out of integrity?
You say yes, when really you mean no.
You say you’re going to do something and you don’t do it.
You go to the party even though you didn’t want to.
You feel like you should reach out to someone who you’ve been avoiding, but you don’t.
In all of these instances, you gave up on feeling in touch with some of your power. The outcome will always be something less than desirable, because you went against your will.
We may not follow through because we had something else to do. This is human and ok! However, it’s important to communicate where you lost integrity so you can restore trust and power in yourself and the relationships you belong to.
2. Train your body to move better.
What is a mover? World-renowned movement artist and teacher, Ido Portal says a mover is:
“Someone who sees beyond the technicalities of each movement, pursuit, or discipline. Someone who finds interest and wishes to understand the body, health, performance and physical artistic expression.”
We can easily isolate muscles and build strength that positively impacts our musculoskeletal function. The magic lies in moving from isolation to integration.
In dynamic movement training, when we challenge the function of the entire system. We can move with coordination and open up the possibility to explore some new forms and abilities within your body.
Try single leg balance, integrating foot to core sequencing. Then, once mastered, hold onto a ball, add a twist, or hinge at your hips.
Got planks mastered? Feel your core burning with no interference from your back, shoulders, or hips? Add a bear crawl!
Are you strong in certain movements, but lack circular strength? Try training with clubbells.
Clubbells are an ancient tool that allow trainees to build three dimensional strength.
This one is easy. Put your phone down, pick your head up as you walk down the street, and be a part of the world around you. Breathe, and be conscious of your surroundings.
Practicing mindfulness everyday will help you become more centered. This can be as easy as setting an intention for the day, or beginning the day with a meditation or manta practice. Tools like the Five Minute Journal are quick and simple ways to help you appreciate more things in life, and live with purpose and awareness.
Being a ninja in today’s society means you live with integrity, care for your body and mind, and practice mindful awareness every day. If you have those three things down, you are on your way to mastering yourself and your life.