First of all I hope that everyone had a fantastic Easter long weekend spent with those closest.
I am writing this blog post today because I want 2017 to be the most mindful and powerful year you have ever experienced.
Mindfulness is a huge buzz word that gets thrown around a lot these days. So much in fact that it has become almost disempowered. So, what does it really mean? Because most of us know about mindfulness and are aware of its benefits, particularly for mental health, performance, productivity, creativity, longevity and flow. If you aren’t aware of the research then I recommend reading this article on Mindfulness published in The Age just last week (link below).
The sad news is that despite the majority of us being aware of the benefits of Mindfulness we are still not prepared to put into practice the effort and discipline required to live mindfully each day. Instead we dismiss it as low priority and this often leads into stress, disease, unbalanced lifestyle and a permanent state of sympathetic dominance.
All of which could be avoided if we simply allowed ourselves a short time each day to practice mindfulness, (through exercise or other forms).
So for these reasons, I believe a practice of mindful exercise is extremely important to help keep us grounded, balanced and focused on what is truly important.
So what is mindful exercise?
Mindful exercise involves moving your body in a conscious way that allows you to feel and be aware of the sensations that are constantly happening within. When we exercise, many things happen. Endorphins release, blood flows and our connective tissue becomes hydrated. Our whole Central Nervous System (CNS) is stimulated and there is a powerful effect on our state of being.
If we allow ourselves to notice this and really connect, then we empower the exercises and actually feel their impact, as opposed to being unaware.
How do we do it?
- Be aware of your breath during your workout. Start with 1 minute of seated breathing when you first arrive at the gym. Get into your body and start tuning in. Do your best to maintain a smooth and diaphragmatic breath throughout your workout.
- Slow Down. Performing exercises in a rushed and frantic way is not wise. Start with a gentle warmup and always ensure you look after your spine. Focus on moving with good posture and don’t be in a rush to finish each exercise. Less is often more if you slow down and perform movements correctly.
- Be Present. Guide your focus when exercising towards one fixed object. You can still be aware what is happening in your peripherals but attempt to hold your eye gaze still in order to still the mind. This will have a restorative and healing effect on the brain, setting you up for flow and creativity later on.
- Learn proper form and technique from a qualified coach or trainer. This is a wise investment, particularly if you are new to exercise. Get it right from the start and you will avoid injury, pain and see positive changes more quickly.
Mindful exercise can be really simple but also extremely powerful and the benefits of building a stronger connection with yourself are endless.
If the concept of mindful exercise resonates then I invite you to book a complimentary 15 minute in-person or over-the-phone chat where I can help guide you towards a practice of mindful exercise.
Wishing you a wonderful week.
PS. Here is the link to the article in last week’s Age asking the question “Is Mindfulness all it’s cracked up to be?”
It’s well worth a read