Exercising the power of the mind and exercising the power of the body, seem for some, to be ideas that are poles apart. I mean, meditation is all about being stationary and sitting still while exercise has explosive energy and movement. Both are meant to be beneficial for us but can they be combined together as one activity to give our body the optimum boost that it may need?
What is meditation?
Meditation is defined as being a state of “thoughtless awareness”. Buddhist meditation practices are techniques that encourage and develop concentration, clarity, emotional positivity and a calm seeing of the true nature of things. Meditation is a precise technique for resting the mind and attaining a state of consciousness that is totally different from the normal waking state. Your mind is clear, relaxed, and inwardly focused. You are fully awake and alert but your mind is not focused on the external world.
“Hmmmm, this seems contrary to what exercise seems to offer.” The absence of any dynamic movement doesn’t seem to mix with meditative practises. Sometimes when we get too “in the zone” we forget how important it is to breathe because our focus is on getting the exercise over with rather than working through the task and any discomfort we may feel.
The main problem with rushing through any activity, even one as simple as stretching, is that you can easily neglect doing the full range of motion which is totally counter productive when trying improve and get solid fitness results.
There are a range of different types of meditation methods out there but you should choose the one that suit you best. Here is a list of different meditation techniques for you investigate. Decide which one works best for you.
So far in this article I have concentrated on Mindfulness Meditation. It has increased in popularity and has now become the subject of studies that focus on its potential psychological and physiological benefits. This Buddhist tradition emphasises an awareness of breath, a focus on the present moment and letting thoughts come and go. Mindfulness Meditation may also involve focusing on specific parts of the body.
Heart Rhythm Meditation
Heart Rhythm Meditation, similar to Mindfulness Meditation, also places an emphasis on breathing but, in addition, incorporates the heart and involves coordinating the breath and heartbeat in order to direct and circulate energy. Different types of breathing techniques, which include inhaling, holding and releasing the breath in various rhythmic patterns, are common to this practice.
Qi Gong, based on the Taoist tradition, is a type of meditation that uses breathing to circulate life energy, or qi or chi, through the body. The practice focuses on aligning breathing and mind. It frequently involves movement and is a key component of some martial arts practices.
Rooted in the Hindu tradition, Transcendental Meditation is a meditative technique that involves a mantra (a sacred word or phrase). You sit with your eyes closed twice a day for fifteen to twenty minutes while repeating a mantra. Famously, it was used by the guru Maharishi Mahesh Yogi as a way to relieve stress, increase relaxation, and encourage self-development.
The key element of Guided Meditation is that an instructor is verbally leading the participant or participants through the practice.
This is generally intended to teach the participants the practice, so they are able to do it on their own when necessary. Guided Meditation can be a great option for someone who is new to meditation and prefers the option of working with a teacher as he or she learns more about the ins and outs of the practice.
So, just by including some basic mediation, like taking deep breathes while counting in your head or reciting a motivating phrase, before, during or after the stages of your workout, you will significantly improve your physical performance each time you do it and this should in turn pave the way to a fitter you from the inside out.
Start something new for the New Year.
I found inspiration for writing this article after reading Fitness Tip: Meditate Before, After and During Every Work Out for Better Results.