As a Projector with longtime interests in health and fitness, I’ve been noticing an interesting trend in today’s culture: group fitness and training classes. Admittedly, this isn’t an entirely a new occurrence. We’ve seen this for years in our PE (Physical Education) classes in school along with all of the popular team sports like football, soccer, baseball, and so on. In fact, it’s how most of our educational systems are set up. But more recently, the trend appears to be increasing in the emergence of heavily marketed programs like CrossFit, Core Power Yoga, Orange Theory, Camp Gladiator, and most martial arts training.
What all of these examples have in common is the group element, where all of the participants are expected to follow a similar training methodology, pace, and energetic output. On a practical business level, this makes sense and is expected. It helps businesses scale and generally results in better economics for these teachers, coaches, and organizations.
When we look at this through the lens of Human Design, we can also see that these approaches are, in large part, set up for Generators which make up approximately 70% of humanity. This also makes sense in that these programs are set up for the majority of the population. While everyone is different and unique, including Generators, these are beings who have consistent access to the vital regenerative life force of the Sacral center. They are designed to use up their energy on a daily basis until they fall into bed exhausted, ready to sleep and recharge for the next day. For many Generators, using this energy up daily in a satisfying and meaningful way can be a key component in the health of their bodies.
But what about the other roughly 30% of the population, the Projectors, Manifestors, and Reflectors? Are these types of programs and methodologies correct and healthy for them? My answer is “it depends” on the circumstances and the individual. The one common factor among these other energy types is that they all have an undefined Sacral Center. This means that they are here to see and become wise about how energy works. And they do this through the openness of their design which takes on, amplifies, and sometimes distorts the Sacral energy of others.
So you might imagine that a non-Sacral being in one of these group classes could feel very energized while there, not only keeping up with the energetic output of the group but perhaps outpacing the group only to later realize how deep an energetic hole they are in once that group energy is no longer there. I’m speaking from personal experience. While in martial arts class, I often feel like I have enough energy to push myself and it usually isn’t until about 1-2 hours later that I feel the depth of my exhaustion. Then it takes me exponentially longer to recover and get back to ground zero than the average Generator. Over time, I’ve come to see how unreliable my sense of knowing when “enough is enough” is (especially in the context of group energy).
These group programs rarely leave any room for the individual to modify the training format based on personal needs. So, what to do if you are drawn to these kinds of activities/sports, are into fitness training, or are getting the message to move your body and build more muscle and strength? Rather than accepting yet another homogenized answer along the lines of “don’t do that”, I do think we non-Sacral types have some viable options.
For those with the financial means, there is the option of personal training/instruction or perhaps smaller classes which can be more customized to individual needs. But as it is, the non-Sacral types are not here to work in the conventional sense and are often already stretched financially.
A more affordable option is solo training which only works in some contexts as few team sports or group programs allow for much of this. But there are obviously some inexpensive practices that you can do on your own. One can usually find affordable weights or equipment (or just use bodyweight exercises) and work out at home or get a gym membership. You can also run, hike, bike or simply walk solo where you have the possibility of maintaining a better sense of one’s (your) energetic capabilities when you are in your own auric space and can pace yourself and/or stop as needed.
Earlier this year, I was invited to try out climbing at a local bouldering gym. I was looking for another movement practice and was intrigued by what I knew of it. It turns out to be a pretty good fit for my needs in several ways. While the setting is a public gym space, this kind of climbing is entirely self-paced and directed. There is no one shouting at you to go faster or train harder and you can slow down, rest, or stop at any time. It also involves natural movement which humans have been doing on some level from the earliest stages of our evolution.
There is also restorative/yin yoga which you can do at home or in a group class, and more gentle martial arts like Tai Chi or Qi Gong. While these are often still in a group setting, they are slower paced and the good teachers will often recognize and work with each individual according to their limitations and intentions.
And how about martial arts like Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu? In my experience with over six years of practice, it’s rough. First of all, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is very physically demanding for the majority of people – and it’s ultimately a partner based sport. It’s also competitive which adds another unavoidable challenge and element (and will not be for everyone). Persisting in these types of programs require a lot of self-awareness and management of one’s energy for the non-Sacral types. In addition to the navigating the reality of potential injury, I’ve had to learn to slow everything down, relax in the face of the incoming pressure and rely more on awareness, sensitivity, and technique over power and endurance. This may result in what seems to be a slower pace/progress than average, but it allows me to participate in and sustain the practice.
Maybe it’s my defined Ego, but I seem to be unwilling to live the life of a couch potato. My body does need a lot of rest, but it also likes to move and feels better when I do. I also like to challenge myself and push my limits at times. So I feel like it’s a matter of seeing and developing a greater understanding of the ever-present conditioning and how I work with the energy I do have. The non-Sacral types are here to become wise about the vital life force energy of the Sacral center and through this wisdom, we can work with the energy of others and the environment in a way that is correct for us as individuals.
So whatever your orientation or path in life, I feel it’s helpful to see things as they are. To see how the program and dominant culture is a homogenizing influence at every turn. To really tune into and listen to one’s body, and be willing to slow down, take a day off or just stop when you need to. Follow your strategy and inner authority and see where life takes you.