By Courtney Sunday, Everday Mindfulness Columnist, tuja wellness
You’re no stranger to the effort it takes to exercise a body good. You log your progress, choose training over cocktail hour and even brave frigid temperatures to get in your daily run. Sometimes the road is rough, and sometimes running rewards you. Regardless of the outcome, you lace up those sneakers and prepare for the road.
Meditation, just like your first triathalon, takes real training. Meditation and the sport that you already love can coalesce. Meditation involves cultivating an aware presence and what better place to dive in than during your fitness regime?
Here are some steps to keep in mind (meditation pun to lighten up the mood):
1) Just because it’s simple, doesn’t mean it’s easy.
Zen mediation is when you don’t rely on thought anymore; you go beyond thinking. Ever tried not thinking for too long? There are grocery lists and unsent emails and unspoken conversations percolating in our heads at all times. Start small: try being present for one minute of your sport, and then up the ante. Just as you became an athlete one stride at a time, you can become a meditator one thought at a time.
2) Focus on your breath rather than your music.
Leave the iPod at home. Breath meditation is a common way to get started with a sitting practice. As you train, let go of thinking ahead or daydreaming about what’s for dinner. With no music as distraction, follow each breath as it flows in and out of your lungs. If you get distracted, acknowledge it and try to return to the breath. This can make you calmer and faster, without force.
3) You already have the skills you need.
As an athlete, you have discipline and consistency. This is all you need for a regular meditation practice. The more present you are within your sport, the less likely you are to become injured because you will be in your body.
There are meditation running programs across the country, but all you really need is a water bottle, a great pair of running shoes and your will.
Just do it and just be it. Learn more at tuja wellness.