Physical and Mental Balance - Synergy

                                A Scientific and Etherial Basis

The concept of Phi, the “golden ratio” or “golden number” is a mathematical proportion that pervades mathematics, art and biology. The symbol of this value is the greek letter Phi, (φ) usually the lower case appearing as a modified symbol in mathematical equations. In algebra it is denoted by:

a + b   =  a   =   φ

   a          b

The solution resolves to what is known in mathematics as an “irrational number” that can be expressed via the following equation and value:

φ = 1 + √ 5  1.6180339887...


In developing his art Leonardo Da Vinci, as well as several other renaissance artists, used this principle to develop their art. Da Vinci, being also a scientist, applied the concept of balance to social conduct, physiology architecture and other interests.

There are several Eastern philosophies that also incorporate principles of mental and physical balance. The Tao for example, is an ancient eastern philosophy adopted by Eastern Asian religions, Confucianism and Buddhism. The Tao is a metaphysical doctrine postulating that the universe is eternal and is characterized by existence, non-existence and transition.

In eastern philosophy balance, symmetry and synergy are denoted by various symbols. For instance the principle of Yin and Yang, the balance aspect of Taoism is symbolized by the Taijitu which translates “diagram of the supreme ultimate”.

Taoist philosophy is not meant to be explained or described but rather to be experienced.

Accordingly, we at Positran Fitness are concerned with the application of balance and synergy to physical development, athletic performance, and physical and psychological well-being, comfort and altruism.

The sophistication of the philosophies touched upon in this page is staggering. The manners in which they intersect and coalesce have, throughout history, occupied the greatest scientific, philosophical, theological and sociological minds and still do.

Fortunately, we are not commissioned to unravel, understand or even explain these concepts and do not have to in order to apply to our lives and development the actual and very real powers that these philosophies were developed to convey. The only requirement is that we remain open to their positive influence and allow them to positively transform us.

However baffling these doctrines may be or appear to be and however insurmountable mastering an understanding of them may seem, there exists in each of us at a visceral, spiritual and somatic level, a fundamental affinity, attraction and yearning for the stimulation, peace of mind, tranquility and comfort associated with the practical application of the associated theories and axioms.

An aspiration to accept training, learn and an open minded attitude toward the simple truths that pervade all higher philosophies are all that we need to embrace, in order to achieve practical physical and mental balance. Truths such as altruism, cooperation, dignity, honour discretion, self respect, self control, kindness and merely striving to achieve these virtues are the hallmarks of the complete personality worthy of positive transition in the context of this life and even thereafter.

The “Measure of a Human”

In his endeavour to illustrate the true beauty of mankind, Leonardo DaVinci cleverly broke down the human form and found within it a series of approximate mathematical proportions. With this idea of physical balance DaVinci created his famous work “The Vitruvian Man”, which appears in the graphic above. The “Vitruvian Man” is considered to be an image of “divine ratio”.

DaVinci ascribed the name “Vitruvian” to this work in reference to Vitruvius Pollio who was a first century Roman architect, author and engineer. This gives credence to DaVinci’s intention to liken the physical constitution of mankind to that of an architectural structure. To DaVinci, mankind possessed the most beautiful physical structure, balanced and symmetrical, on which all other structures are based.

We believe that in fact there is a fundamental balance in the structure of humankind. That all the physical and ethereal human systems, cardiovascular, skeletal, muscular, neurological, intellectual, psychological and spiritual coalesce in synergistic mental, physiological and metaphysical harmony to formulate a complete organism.

We believe that the human system is very resilient and adaptive as can be seen in individuals that live with disabilities and effectively nullify them or even turn those disabilities into abilities and strengths. Mankind is able to individually and collectively restore balance by applying or having functional systems compensate for malfunctioning ones either indefinitely or for the time it takes for the faulty system to repair.

                                                                                                            AGE and DEVELOPMENT 

It has taken millennia for mankind to develop an understanding of our environment and ourselves - it has taken centuries to develop social and ethical sensibilities and incredible technologies in the areas of medicine, communication, architecture and transportation, viable enough to have culminated in a global civilization never before known to have been enjoyed by our species. Humanity is still maturing and although we have a great deal more to improve, we are growing and developing into what we all sense will be something much greater than what we currently are. 

Just as these collective advancements require time and painstaking incremental improvements, so does the maturity of each and every singular human mind and body. The pervading truth is that it takes time to come to or grow into anything. 

Considering that the average healthy human life span is steadily approaching 100 years of age in the developed world, and the impressive number of currently highly functional, mobile and productive human beings in their 70’s and 80’s, one can postulate that human beings are expected to remain vital and productive for the majority of the years of their expected lifespan.

Consequently, we at Positran believe that everyone grows, develops and actually becomes better with age well into their twilight years and it is that conviction that infuses our desire to oversee the training and improvement of persons over 40 years of age interested in their personal fitness. At Positran, we re motivated by a sensible and realistic regard for the needs, aspirations personal talents and abilities of all our clients.
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                                                                            “Positivie Transition through Discipline and Science.”

                   Qualifying the Age Old Adage “No Pain, No Gain”   

                                                                                         By: Charles Konstantine



Drake winced painfully as he pressed the forty pound dumbbells over his head for the fifteenth and last excruciating rep of his fourth and final set. A pitiful groan escaped his lips as the veins on his forehead bulged and throbbed. The redness that had been steadily building in his face and blood shot eyes slowly began to subside as he finally dropped the dumbbells on the rubber mat just inches from his feet. Drake gasped, catching his breath while running his fingers through his sweat drenched hair.


This scenario is illustrative of the verve and determination with which numerous people train every day in the hopes of attaining a higher level of fitness. Unfortunately, intensity is not always directly proportional to results and in fact, this type of excess usually actually leads to chronic physiological damage, injury, fitness stagnation and frustration.


Over the years, I have noted that in order to achieve exceptional athletic results from both a health and functional standpoint, it is important to apply discretion in exertion and training. Intensity in training must be based on sound and proven training methodology, planned, controlled and tempered with discretion and sensibility.


It has been stated that “The better part of valor is discretion...” and as with every virtue, its application has a myriad of positive implications. The problem lies in convincing the most enthusiastic and eager athletes that “less is more”.


In most recent decades, the motto “no pain, no gain” has become the most well known mantra associated with physical training. This adage has been appropriated by various advertisers, printed on T-shirts and shouted out by training partners and spotters in the most sophisticated of gyms.  Yet the concept of “pain” in the context of physical training is often not properly qualified and explained, resulting in stagnation and even tragic injury. 


As can be attested to by anyone that has been involved in resistance training or any type of physical training where the goal is to achieve a certain reproducible level of performance, the actual pain associated with training or during training is limited and specific. There is a recognizable quality to it, a neurological feel to it that clearly indicates to the athlete on a visceral, psychological even spiritual level that the training activity they are participating in will ultimately result in a positive outcome.


At the end of each exercise and after each workout, the athlete does not feel exhausted or drained but conversely energized, alert and even refreshed. There is a period of healthy almost pleasant and certainly bearable soreness while the muscles and various systems rejuvenate, grow and get stronger followed by a desire or craving to engage in further training.  There is scientific and quantitative data corroborating this fact.


It must be noted that a vital aspect of training is that the rest period after a workout has to be substantial enough to allow growth. Training or working out is essentially the destruction phase during which muscle fibers are micro-damaged and stimulated to develop. The rest period is the anabolic or construction period during which the muscles, neurological and other physiological systems adapt and grow. Short controlled training sessions must be followed by substantially longer recuperative periods. For example, a one hour resistance training session should generally be followed by fourty-eight hours of rest prior to training the same muscle groups again.


Without a proper application of discretion there is a price to pay – injury and debility, the diametrical opposites of the purpose of engaging in physical training in the first place. An injury is usually instantaneous but recovering from it is most certainly arduous – sometimes taking years. The application of care and discretion when training, reasonable expectations and the setting of sensible goals predispose injury free constructive training and living.


When determining to engage in a resistance, cardio or in a combination fitness program, it is vital to first establish extreme long term goals. Those goals must be reasonable, realistic and most importantly, envisage ideals that exceed the immediate purpose of the training program. Such goals should include achieving and remaining in the healthiest state possible and continuing to live out your life salubriously and comfortably in your old age. A motivating factor for being healthy should be the desire to be a productive member of society and to nurture, protect and play with your children and grandchildren.  These types of goals and ideals are not clichéd but rather sensible, indicative of a healthy long-term approach to any training program and in fact to every training session.


The sensible athlete, whether he or she is an amateur or a professional, resolves to develop and maintain what I refer to as “Pure Power”.  I define “Pure Power” as the following: the functional, painless, dynamic, competent and efficient application of kinetic energy associated with activities required for everyday life as well as during extraordinary circumstances.


You must resolve to live so healthily that were you to succumb to an illness, it could never be said that you yourself or your way of life was the cause or even a contributing factor.  A healthy lifestyle will in and of itself be a catalyst for growth.


You have to ask yourself: What do I want out of my current training session and what do I want out of training in general? Remembering the overriding long term goals outlined above puts you in a state of mind to proceed with discretion and care.


Keeping in mind the above goals, the necessity to develop a strong physical “core” becomes clear. A strong core, consisting of a strong neck, back – particularly the lower back, abdominals and thighs, in addition to promoting good posture and predisposing greater gains throughout the musculoskeletal system, helps resist injury and provides for the effective participation in activities required in everyday life. These activities can range from playing a sport to performing simple tasks such as lifting groceries.  


When one looks in the mirror, one can readily observe one’s arms, chest, fronts of the thighs, abdominals, front of the shoulders and perhaps the latissimus dorsi muscles of the back that give the athlete that coveted tapered “V” shape. Those are the “mirror muscles”. Of course it is good and very glamorous to have well developed “mirror muscles” but it is far more important to have strong core muscles, particularly the ones that one cannot readily see in the mirror. It is vital to the long term viability of an athlete’s physical prowess to have a strong thick back and resilient constitution.     


Applying the following principles is a good foundation for any training regimen:


§         Don’t overdo anything - “Too much of anything is good for nothing.”

§         “Everything in  Moderation” - Control intensity, don’t let it control you

§         Know that “less is more”

§         Remember that reckless speed does not prevail but “slow and steady wins the race”

§         Keep well hydrated and maintain proper nutrition

§         Monitor your progress

§         Monitor your true state of health

§         Consider your instincts

§         Know that you must rest and sleep to build

§         Never train when you are tired

§         Be strict yet gentle with yourself

§         Keep the faith



Always remember to pace yourself – much like a long distance runner controls the intensity, speed and cadence of his advance to maximize his/her energy in order to last the duration of the race in hopes of victory.  Success is therefore sometimes less about speed and intensity and more about reason, determination and endurance. The purpose of a fitness regimen should not be to achieve immediate and usually short-lived results, but rather to develop and embrace a productive mindset and lifestyle with the ultimate goal of leading a long, healthy life.


In your later years would you rather be an athlete who “used to be” or one who “still is”? Developing “Pure Power” is as much a mental exercise as well as a physical one and is rooted in the desire to succeed, by concentrating on building a solid physical core and maintaining a sound training philosophy.   



                                                                                                                       Tai Chi Chuan

At Positran we advocate the practice of martial arts and the application of the physical and psychological methodology associated with martial arts training to increase and maintain health and physical fitness.

Among the martial arts techniques from which we draw both inspiration and practical direction, is the very seldom clearly understood technique of Tai Chi Chuan also referred to simply as “Tai Chi”. Tai Chi Chuan is a Taoist practice arising from ancient Chinese culture. Although sophisticated in its application it can easily be learned from a competent instructor. In fact a good instructor can impart the benefits of Tai Chi practice upon a student within minutes of the first session and tenacious practice leads to increasingly greater vibrant health and fitness.

In Taoist philosophy “Chi” is understood and accepted to be life force and dynamic energy intrinsically flowing throughout all of the human systems. This “circulation” involves not only blood, as is generally thought of  in western medicine, but also lymph, cerebral spinal fluid and electrical energy that coalesce with other fluidic systems including thought that influence the physiological and emotional state of a person.

In eastern philosophy, ill health is understood to come about as a result of diversions, blockages or decreases of Chi or life force along the meridian system. The practice of Tai Chi Chuan as well as acupuncture (through which certain crucial points along the meridian system are targeted) are methods through which the direction, process and intensity of these forces are repaired, restored and maintained.

Tai Chi Chuan is an incorporation of several fitness components that are usually applied separately in other forms of exercise. These components include warming up, stretching, purposeful movement, relaxation and meditation. All of the fitness components are tied together through the deliberately slow contraction and expansion of muscles and limbs and even the conscious involvement of the internal organs incorporating stance, sitting and rotation. The benefits of this combination of fitness components upon muscular development, psychological disposition, pain management, stress reduction and even weight loss are formidable.

Consequently, the practice of Tai Chi Chuan, through the restoration, increase and maintenance of Chi can effectively decrease and even eliminate stress, pain, inflammation and other factors that are so formidably adverse to health and salubrity.

                                                                                                          Yoga “A Serene Art”

We at Positran Fitness consider Yoga an artistic physical and mental discipline that when done properly and conscientiously coalesces the spiritual and material in a manner that results in an enlightened state, and increases health. Yoga is extremely effective in realigning and centering the person as a dynamic entity through a series of postures performed in fluidic sequence. Given its curative effects Yoga is also considered by many as a curative art and alternative medicine.

Competence in the ability to assume the postures is achieved through tenacious practice of the art of Yoga without pressing the practitioner to a point of discomfort but rather through incremental adjustments and increases to postures comfortably undertaken. The meditation aspect of Yoga is essentially contributory to both its effectiveness as a healing practice and growth in the practitioner’s ability to take on more sophisticated postures.

Each posture in Yoga has a particular effect on various physical systems such as the limbic, cardiovascular and skeletal through the neurological system. This effect is believed to be evoked electromagnetically by the practitioners state of mind and physical position in the context of the universe. 

Those who practice Yoga can attest to the formidable and deeply spiritual and salubrious effect it has upon their lives and even upon their relationships.

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The Philosophy of positran

Being cognizant of the principles of Phi - mental and physical synergy - one becomes conscious of the universal obligation to transform oneself into a being worthy of the privilege of having access to that knowledge and worthy of the intellectual propensity to understand and assimilate it.

The revelation that we are more than just flesh and blood, that we are substantial beyond mere physical existence, should spur us to reach the limits of our potential in all ways. We must strive for this “perfection” whether it be through the adjustment of attitude and disposition or deprivation and suppression of physical or spiritual vices.

There is a contentedness that we experience when we know that we are doing the right things for our bodies, our minds and especially for others. The soul is nourished and a state of balance is achieved.

Ancient civilizations and modern cultures refer to the end state of this higher transition in various ways such as the Tao, Nirvana or other versions of the concept of enlightenment and balance. As sages and masters that have dedicated their lives to achieving a higher state of enlightenment will attest, seeking to undergo and experiencing the journey into this positive transition or transformation, taking up the “path” or the “way” and making the sacrifices required is vital to achieving enlightenment and spiritual contentedness.

The journey, the “path” and the “way” involve substantial physical discipline and training. As daunting as that sounds, one would be surprised at how easily, comfortably and happily one may undertake and dedicate themselves to the task when the right mentor and trainer is there to help, coach, nurture and assist them.
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