I hope you're enoying practicing and embracing the process of the May Meditation & Mindfulness Challenge we started last week.
As promised, I'm offering weekly tips and techniques to help you have fun experimenting with your meditation and mindfulness practice as a healthy lifestyle tool to ehance your overall wellness.
For this week's Wellness Bite and in support of the May Meditation & Mindfulness Challenge, I'm excited to share with you a form of fitness meditation I discovered during my awakening and self-prescribed grief therapy after my husband passed and I was seeking more connection and purpose by being outdoors with nature, the Universe and myself.
The Walking or Running Meditation. The ultimate 2 in 1 Fitness Meditation!
Simply put - unplugging and just mindfully walking or running with no other agenda than to focus on the process of walking/running vs. the outcome, pace, time or distance. It's amazing how many tress, plants and flowers, animals, sounds and smells you notice that you could never see before becuase you just weren't tuned in or aware of the beauty around you.
"Mindful running is the practice of fully immersing yourself in the present-moment experince of running and its immediate effects on your mind and body, free from judgment, self-consciousness, or self-doubt." - Elinor Fish, Mindful Running Educator
Give it a try this week and see what you discover when you pay attention to your body, breath, the beautiful outdoors and within yourself.
Here are 5 tips to remember when mindfully walking/running or going for a meditation walk/run:
1. Unplug and keep the fitness tracker, heart rate moitor, phone and any other electronics at home. Just take yourself and go! This will hep you stay relaxed, aware, grounded and make it more fun.
2. Try breathing through your nose in sync with your movement (like in Yoga or mediation). Try a 2:3 breathing pattern where you inhale for 2 footstrikes and exhale for 3 or inhale or 3:2 pattern inhaling for 3 footstrikes and exhale for 2. Focusing breath with movement helps keep focus and awareness of the breath-body connetion and can reduce stress and enhance focus.
"The practice of running with the mind of meditation is about synchronizing the mind and body." - Sakyong Mipham, author of Running With The Mind of Meditation
3. Become aware of your body's form and aligment, lifting up through the crown of your head (as in Yoga and spinal alinment & lengenthening) and notice the sensations in your body and you sync your breath and steps: Core engaged, back straight, shoulders relaxed & back, purposeful and slower, steady pace. "This helps create coherence in the body that supports present-moment awareness," says Elinor Fish.
4. Walk/Run just as you are at that moment and be kind and compassionate, without judement. (Sound familiar Yogi's?) This is a great way to take the pressure away from your "exercise" walks or runs. Set an intention to just walk/run, tune in to your body and let go of desired outcomes. Huge stress-reliever and a heck of a lot more enjoyable!
5. Start slow and take it one mindful meditative step at a time. See what you notice that you never noticed before and prepare to be inspired, refreshed, healthier and more aware.
One Meditation Walk or Run, One Breath & One Step and "One Bite At A Time."
With Love and Light, Susan