At the heart of mindfulness is the awareness of the present moment. I believe exercise is a perfect medium to get tuned into the mindfulness mode.
Just to remind us, the main principles of being mindful are; Non judgement, non striving, acceptance of what is happening, letting go, having a beginners mind, patience and trust.
I can't think of a situation in which you need all those things more than during exercise.We all know the benefits of doing some form of movement, whether it's a walk or a full on cycle class, any movement is great for your body, mind and spirit. But exercise doesn't have to be gruelling and it can be one of the most mindful things to give ourselves as part of self care. In order to stay in the state of mindfulness during any workout, there are a few points to keep in mind. Firstly, know your intention for the workout, because being able to focus on your intent for doing the walk or gym class will get you through the hard parts and maintain motivation. Next, if you start to rush through the exercise just to get it done, slow down and take a breathe. Rushing will stress you, so stop and simply accept what your doing.
It can help you remember why you are there in the first place. For you! Take on the beginners mind and think of each move as a new thing, so you can learn how to do it better each time, therefore getting the best results overall.Thirdly, be in the NOW. Forget what happened this morning or what the boss said to you yesterday or how much washing needs to get done. This is your time, you carved it out especially for you, so give yourself permission to do this one thing for yourself.Have patience with yourself, it might take a few goes to get a move right or smooth.Trust your instructors or trainer, they are there to help you and trust yourself, you got this, just one move at a time. Remember if you aren't in top form, you'll have nothing left in your cup for yourself or anyone else.Number four is my favourite, breathe. Take the moment to slow and deeply breathe through the movements, feel where you're working and breathe out the stress and pressure of the day. Finally, after you have done your workout, try and do a cool down and stretch. This works two fold, you help your muscles recuperate after being worked and also allow your mind to relax. You'll also finish with a sense of achievement and calm. You deserve it!This week in our first episode on our youtube channel, 'Mindful Living', I had the privilege of chatting to the founders of the pilates and barre studio - Bodyreformers in Scarborough, Queensland.Suzanna and Liza showed me how pilates and barre can be the perfect mindful exercise, as it works body, mind and spirit, in a gentle yet effective form.
Take a look at this short teaser and then we'd love you to check the episode at the below link. Be kind to yourself and make today your day!
* Please note, I'm not a qualified physician or sports therapist, all themes in this blog are just my beliefs from my personal experience and research. Always seek medical advice before starting any new exercise. No one was paid for this testimonial or endorsement.