Each meditative workout is unique and can have different elements blossom, and a meditative workout doesn’t necessarily have to look any different on the outside. First, we acknowledge that the workout is the meditation, and then we learn from that metaphor. In leading meditative workouts, here are some of the most simple, natural points I am sure to incorporate. They get the meditative ball rolling and open up the world of possibilities.
- Prior to the workout, take three to five deep breaths. During these, open your chest and diaphragm. Relax and focus your mind. Check in with your state of being: thoughts, feelings, and energy. From here, set your intention. Where would you like to be by the end? How would you like to feel? What does your effort represent to you?
- During the workout, focus on your breathing. When your breathing speeds up, practice calming and slowing it down while continuing to exert yourself. Pull your breath from deeper in your belly. Find the rhythm of your breath and the movement.
- Continue to relax your mind. Release any inner pressure. Release any sense of hurrying through life or rushing thoughts. Be present, and allow the physical exertion to help you relax your mind.
- Be conscious and deliberate in your movement. Be in your body and move with purpose. The way you move matters. Stay balanced and focus on activating the right muscles for the job. Hit your positions like hitting dance moves or yoga postures.
- Whenever you have the opportunity or whenever you are resting between movements, take deep, meditative recovery-breaths.
- Maintain a positive mental state. Direct your thoughts and vision in a positive direction. Repeat a positive affirmation while exerting yourself, such as, “stronger as I go”, “I am creating a life I love”, or any other of your choosing.
- After the workout, take another moment to breathe and enjoy the fruits of your labor. If you pushed yourself to the point of a savasana (aka laid out on the floor), enjoy those moments and observe all the sensations in your body returning to a normal, relaxed state. Pay particular attention to the vibration that has been created. Check in again with your state of being: thoughts, feelings, and energy, and be open to receiving the intention you set at the beginning.
Why would you want to create meditative workouts? To be more happy and fulfilled. To destress. To raise your energy. To grow as a human being. To master yourself, your body, and your breathing. To create something greater for yourself. To bring more depth to your fitness practice. To connect with your faith and higher power. Or simply to meditate more, to use your workouts as the reminder.
And all of those reasons are barely scratching the surface. To expand on them, check out Meditative Fitness: The Art and Practice of the Workout. It’s full of entertaining meditative fitness stories along with my personal story of transformation. To top it off, it has over 50 meditative fitness processes to help fuel your practices. You can get it in paperback, on kindle, or on audio here.