Melissa Flickinger has some amazing tips on how we can bring mindfulness to our exercise routine to make it more meditative. Check them out —
Like many people, when hearing the term “mindfulness” I always imagined a person sitting cross-legged with their palms gently placed on their knees facing up, quietly meditating for long periods of time. It wasn’t until I took a course on Interpersonal Effectiveness that I came to understand that being mindful is more than sitting around.
Mindfulness is defined as awareness that arises through paying attention, on purpose, in the present moment, non-judgmentally.
Mindfulness can be practiced when you are walking, folding laundry, taking a shower…etc. What I was even happier to discover is that mindfulness can be incorporated in exercise routines as well.
I admit, I had gotten pretty bad with allowing far too many distractions ruin my exercise routine. Walking on the treadmill, I’ve found myself holding on my to phone still checking Facebook or playing with Pandora instead of focusing on the exercise itself. Even when going for long walks I would still be taking phone calls or texting conversations the entire time. By the end of my exercise, my mind still felt cluttered, I still felt stressed, and the next day my motivation to exercise was non-existent.
Once I began to apply the principles of being mindful in my exercise routines, I found my routines more enjoyable, I felt more calm and refreshed post-workout, and I have looked forward to each workout the day after. I have found more purpose in each routine- whether I’m walking, using the elliptical machine, or strength training. And I appreciate the work that is going into making my body healthy again.
Here are a few great tips that I found on Chopra.com on how to be more mindful in your fitness routine:
- Feel Your Body–Before beginning any exercise, pause and bring awareness to your physical form.
- Notice Your Environment–No matter what space you’re in, notice the temperature, lighting, odors, and any additional sensory perceptions that may influence your experience.
- Always Use Correct Posture– Correct posture ensures that your energetic body is functioning optimally and thereby providing an adequate supply of energy throughout the movement.
- Make Your Breath the Anchor– The key to creating a mindful practice is your breath. The repetitive inflow and outflow of your breath creates a rhythm that can help anchor you into the present moment.
- Clear Intention– Before beginning your exercise, pause briefly to form a clear intention for what you are about to do.
- Stay On Target–As in meditation, the mind will get pulled away to other thoughts, sensations, and distractions in the environment. Your job is to come back to the present moment, the breath, and the exercise.
About the Author
M.L. Flickinger is a book marketing manager and author assistant. She is the founder of Paperbacks and Wine, a blog featuring book marketing tips and author promotion. Currently living in Iowa with her family, M.L. enjoys long walks, campfires, coffee, and reading.
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