Last week I wrote about meditation without the woo-woo. Well – what about meditation without the stillness. Wait – what? Aren’t you suppose to sit cross legged or on a chair – eyes closed – and just be? Perhaps – but what about moving meditation?
I didn’t realize that I was doing this while I was training for an ironman – meditating on my bike – but the hours I spent alone on my bike traveling through Marin County and Wine Country was my daily meditation. The time I spent counting pedal strokes, timing my breath to my strokes and time spent away from the distractions of life. Even the pain of sitting in the saddle for hours and the aching muscles pulled my mind away from work and helped me to just focus on pushing forward. And really – isn’t that what meditation and mindfulness is all about? Giving the mind time to rest – focusing on the breath – and letting go of the stress life brings?
In between training for those long distance races I missed the time I spent on my bike – and more than the physical training – I missed my “pedaltation”!
So – is it hard for you to sit still, but want to reap the benefits of meditation? Enjoy being outside biking (or running, swimming, Stand Up Paddleboarding, etc)? Here are 5 ways you can turn your time into a meditation session.
- When you are getting ready to ride take a few moments to stretch – or do a few sun salutations. This will help to get the blood flowing in your body – but also help you set an intention for your ride.
- Before you actually push off take a few deeps breaths and smile. Make the connection that you are doing something beneficial for your body, mind and spirit.
- While you are out start to count pedal strokes or footsteps. I like to count to 8 or 10 and then start over again. It helps you get in a rhythm – and helps the mind focus and allows your mind to let go.
- You can also count breaths. How many strokes or steps do you take during an inhale? An exhale? No judgement. You are getting yourself into a rhythm. Don’t forget to smile. If you find your mind wandering, gently bring the focus back to the breath or your pedal strokes.
- When you have finished your ride finish with a few more Sun Salutations – or other stretching. Take this time to check in with your body. How are you feeling? Do you need to do some additional stretching? Take a few more deep breaths, smile and know that you have just done your body, mind and spirit good!
I would love to hear your experiences with moving meditations. Do you have other suggestions or thoughts?
Move your body, put good things in and ENJOY every day.