Depth psychology knows the psyche is a body/psyche. Jung wrote, "Psyche and matter are two different aspects of one and the same thing" (CW 8:418). What effects body effects psyche and vice versa. Life propels us forward when our energy is good. We cooperate with natural rhythms. Exercise improves our ability to be in and remain in natural rhythms of life.
Patients in depth therapy inevitably dream of exercise, diet, body self care. Once trauma/crisis has been addressed, soul turns to self care. Dreams open up with vivid imagery of food, specific types of exercise, need for rest and restoration.
A patient dreamt of a giant cupcake chasing her. "I ran and ran and it finally caught up with me and swallowed me." She awoke shaking, knowing she had to be truthful about her eating. The next day in therapy she admitted, "There's been stuff I've needed to talk about. I've been eating a cupcake every other night. It drugged my feelings. I don't have to face them in therapy." A dream helped her break the cupcake habit and opened and do her soul work.
Another patient encountered in a dream a body engineer. He taught her yoga and how it alters body and mind. The instructions were so clear and powerful she wept in the dream. We processed this together in therapy and she began a regular yoga practice. Her body and mind were positively transformed.
A New York Times Article (5.21.15) reviewed literature and summarized, "...among its many virtues, exercise improves the rhythm of our lives." Soul work, deep dreaming, communicates symbolically how body self care nourishes psyche. Rhythms of life stabilize, improve, as we tap into the reality that "psyche and matter are two different aspects of one and the same thing."