Recently a Pahlavan from Spain, who is an accomplished Padel practitioner & coach and who is soon opening the Spanish chapter of the Brotherhood of Pahlavans in Gran Canaria to teach Persian Yoga™, asked me to rank the top 10 benefits derived from exercising with and swinging Iranian Meel.
What a wonderful idea, so here goes!
The Meel develops and increases:
This is just common sense, when you lift (in this case swing) weights regularly chances are pretty tight that you'll get stronger.
The Meel is swung in many, sometimes thousands, of repetitions. So again it can be intuitively understood that it will increase your muscle endurance
Ok so you've probably heard this one so many times about how people live increasingly sedentary lifestyles and the importance of movement.
But there's a subtle difference between mobility and the ability to move. For example: mobility at the shoulder implies free, unrestricted, easy AND PAINFREE circumduction i.e. combined movement of the shoulder in the entirety of its Range Of Motion (ROM) in various Planes Of Motion (POM).
Stability on the other hand means being able to produce solid and strong movement at any given point within these ROMs & POMs. This requires the supporting structures, what is also called the kinetic chain, to be functioning optimally and in synchronicity.
So yeah synchronicity is a big one with Meel, since you're swinging a pair of Meel simultaneously, the strength and abilities develop synchronously; you become equally good with both sides and ambidextrous. This in turn leads to symmetry, and we all appreciate the beauty of symmetry!
When you move two, or more, objects independently (or semi-independently) of each other in various trajectories and POMs there soon arises the need for a coordinated and intentfull/conscious/calculated effort to avoid collision. The Meel are not meant to collide with each other or any part of your body while swinging them. This is another big benefit of Meel.
If you've ever seriously swung Meel, or double Indianclubs, then chances are pretty high you whacked yourself in the head at least a couple of times...big up yourself...This can occur when our mind wanders off (as it habitually does). The mind, and consequently the body, is not being anchored in the present moment; which is also a prerequisite of being in tune with our sixth sense (Proprioception).
Ok so this concept may be new to some, I hope it isn't, but simply put proprioception is the sense (often called the sixth sense), of knowing the position of your limbs in relation to yourself and yourself in relation to external objects. Or in other words, what enables you to walk in the dark without bumping into furniture on your way to the loo at night.
I'm sure everyone understands the importance of spine health and healthy intervertebral discs. Our discs are mainly made up of water and the nucleus of the disks are both avascular and not innervated, as a result they do not receive nutrition and water (required for optimum health) in the same way as other tissues.
Our intervertebral discs fulfill their nutrient requirement by the process of imbibition, which is the diffusion of water and nutrients across to the disc nucleus facilitated by movement in various directions, i.e. a lack of movement at the spine level = diminished spine health.
Admittedly the Meel focuses primarily on movement in the thoracic (mid-up back) and cervical (neck) spinal movement, it's really amazing for opening up the thoracic cage especially for desk workers. But that's why we first do Shena in Persian Yoga which targets hips and lower back (lumbar spine) more effectively.
In fact many people come to me to learn the Meel but they end up staying to learn the Shena and the amazing benefits it offers.
As you may know there are two forms of meditation: one is the meditation of the mind, where one sits in absolute stillness like a stone Buddha, and the other is the meditation of the heart, which is done through dance.
Persian Yoga in it's entirety, and Meel in particular, is a dance of strength and can feel very meditative, as some practitioners have discovered and refer to Meels as
Swinging the Meel in unison with the beat of the Morshed's drum (Zarb), your heartbeat and breath, you fall into a dance, sometimes trance, like state and start moving to and resonating with the rhythm that prevails in all of creation...Dancing brings you closer to the mysteries of the universe!