Vasudha from San Diego talks about the benefits of running and meditation and how they can complement each other. Vasudha explains how running has played an important role in her own spiritual life and how Sri Chinmoy encouraged his students to pursue running and the goal of self-transcendence.
Question and answer about tennis and running
Question: I like to play tennis very much. It inspires me, while running never really did inspire me. Does it give the same benefit to the body and spiritual life to play tennis as it does to run?
Sri Chinmoy: I will never say that running is better than tennis. If you accept the inner philosophy of tennis, which is “love and serve”, then you can derive so much benefit. Also, tennis can give us so much joy because we are playing with someone and there are so many different movements of the body. Tennis is an excellent form of recreation. When you are playing tennis, you are getting so much innocent joy. Because of your joy, you are becoming like a child once more, and that happiness itself is helping you to make progress.
But I wish to say that running has its own inner value, which tennis cannot offer you. While you run, each breath that you take is connected with a higher reality. While you are jogging, if you are in a good consciousness, your breath is being blessed by a higher inner breath. Of course, while you are jogging if you are chatting with one of your friends about mundane things, then this will not apply. But if you are in a good consciousness while you are running, each breath will connect you with a higher, deeper, inner reality.
– Sri Chinmoy, Sri Chinmoy answers, part 33. (2002), Agni Press.