Using Your Workouts as a MeditationNov 04, 2021
I was recently on a call with a client and they were feeling defeated and frustrated because they felt like they had "so far to go"...I'm sure we can all relate to this. It's that feeling of running in place feeling like we are never going to "get there".
First thing I told this client is "there is no where to get to". We think there is and it's an illusion our minds create because the truth is once we get "there" then there will be somewhere else...somewhere new to "get to" because we are always growing and always evolving. We out grow people, places, experiences, habits, hobbies all the time. Ironically though I told her, "the fastest way to get there is to be here...in each present moment because in each present moment is how you can make choices to change the direction of your life." Then of course you end up being so present in your life that you no longer are concerned about getting anywhere.
Most of us are wasting our present moments by living in the past or by constantly trying to control and predict the future. We do this to avoid pain, suffering, hurt, so we plan and predict never really letting go because we fear that letting go means losing control...and it does, but also letting go is actually how you gain control.
I love teaching clients to use their workouts as a form of meditation.
To most, this is a foreign concept, but one of the reasons I love using fitness and workouts as a tool for meditation and mindset is because you immediately know if you are in the present moment or caught somewhere in the past or future when you show up for your workout.
You cannot lift heavy weight or do an intense workout without being fully present to it. Otherwise, you end up hurting yourself or your performance reflects that you are not present.
Most people use workouts as a form of distraction in their life instead of allowing it to be a way to deeply connect to their mind and body and discover what's going on "inside" instead of getting caught up in the world outside.
I always say that your workouts are usually a physical representation of what's going on internally mentally and emotionally.
When you are feeling emotionally and mentally defeated, typically you will show up to a workout carrying that energy. When you feel confident and motivated, you bring that to your workout.
To make your workouts a form of mindset and meditation to check in with yourself you have to first get rid of the noise and distraction. That's all mediation really is...is completely immersing yourself in the present moment.
What thoughts are running through your head? What story are you telling yourself? What limiting beliefs are holding you back? What are you afraid of? Are you living in the present moment as someone from your past or as who you are now?
Each breath. Each rep. Each set....is an opportunity to connect deeper to yourself and decide in each moment where to place your energy and attention. How to focus your mind. How to dig deep and discover your inner strength.
Growth is a funny thing. We make decisions in moments of high emotions to change our life, pursue goals, and step up…expecting that the results will be as quick and impulsive as the decision to change was…
Growth takes time. Nature knows this. We plant a seed and have no expectations that tomorrow we have this huge, strong, powerful tree. We know it takes water, sunshine and one day at a time.
When it comes to physical, mental and emotional growth though we plan that seed (aka that goal) and one week in when we don’t accomplish that goal we quit out of impatience.
“One day, one rep, one breath at a time”….that’s how you’ll get true transformation in your workouts. No one gets stronger over night. It’s a day in day out practice and process. No one build up the muscle of "confidence" by taking one leap and putting themselves out there...you build it up one rep at a time, one experience at a time."
I love using strength training and workouts as a form of meditation because if you can learn to use it as an opportunity to practice showing up every day, breathing, focusing your mind, being patient and trusting the process in your workouts-you’ll learn to do that in other areas of your life too.
Your meditation and mindset tools don’t get put to work in your life when you’re alone in silence…that’s where you PRACTICE. When your workouts get hard and you practice the daily focus, discipline and positive self talk to focus your mind in hard workouts…all that practice will show up when life gets hard.
Quit looking for a “quick fix” or fast results in anything. Look for what will show you how to tap into the inner strength, power and awareness you already have that will carry you much further in life than any “quick results” program because everything is simply a distraction keeping you from what's inside.
At the start of working with clients, one of the "homework" assignments I give since most people have no idea how to meditate at first is to just take a pen, paper and go out in nature totally alone. No phone, no apple watch, no music, nothing but you...you and your thoughts. Start there because in order to change your life or make any real transformation you have to first see what's been going on in your "inner world" that's created your outer world.
Every single present moment is an opportunity for meditation and mindfulness when you remove the distractions and noise that keep you from being full engaged in the present moment.
Try it out...next time you take a walk, go to the gym, or do any kind of exercise, leave your phone, music, friends, and any other distraction at home and do it in complete silence just you and your thoughts and pay attention to what goes on inside when you do that and I guarantee you'll discover a lot of what has been getting in the way of having not just the body you want, but also the life you want.
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