What is Exercise Meditation?
The goal of Exercise Meditation is to help you connect with yourself through movement and meditation. The result is after your exercise you feel more peace, love, energy, and joy!
In addition, the goal is to:
- Develop an approach to exercise that is loving and joyful
- If you have been seeking a way to meditate, it can help you connect with a meditation practice in a different way.
- And if you have a meditation practice, exercise meditation can help you further it.
- Help you feel safe in your body and closer to your physical body.
Why did I create exercise meditation?
I was struggling with everything mentioned above.
As a busy entrepreneur my meditation sessions often became planning sessions for the day.
Also, I recently experienced something very traumatic, and I needed to find a way to heal and address the anxiety that came up when I exercised.
In addition, I noticed I often carried a very judgmental critical voice towards myself about if I was exercising hard enough. I realized that only increased my anxiety.
And most of all, I found that when I could be more attentive to my body and let go of my thoughts during my workouts, I felt so much more joy and happiness afterwards!
How could I double down on that I thought to myself?
And if I’m going to exercise anyways, instead of spending most of it thinking of random things (and often critical thoughts), how could I use the time with intention?
What should I expect during an exercise meditation session?
A encouraging guided workout session that integrates:
- verbal journaling
- meditation & breathing techniques,
More on what these things mean.
The Detailed Format
From the moment that you press play you can start your warm-up.
During the first few minutes I will go over the theme and what to expect in the work out. This can be your warm-up. Then we will gradually increase the intensity. For the podcast series I’ll vary the sessions from just 12 minutes to up to 45 minutes.
Depending on the format I will que you when it’s time to switch something in your workout.
Currently I am primarily producing guided audio work outs although I hope to add YouTube videos down the road.
For example, I recently recorded an Exercise Meditation uphill run that is set up to be on a treadmill but can also be done outside. For this one I did 1-minute intervals so that every minute you change up the speed, incline, or both.
I guide you through these 3 sections, self-reflective questions to ask yourself (verbal journaling), exercises that focus your attention on your body & breathe (meditation techniques), and positive affirmations to say to yourself.
Are these actual fitness workouts?
Yes these are actual fitness workouts!
Think treadmill or outdoor runs, walking, rowing, cycling, jumping jacks and body weight exercises. I’m still exploring more exercises to integrate. Being a tennis player I look forward to adding tennis!
Why include affirmations in exercise meditation?
One aspect of Meditation is being aware in our body and of our thoughts.
For me I found once I can become aware that I am not my thoughts, and that I have the power to let go of my thoughts, it’s beneficial for me to direct my attention towards positive thoughts. In my day-to-day life, if I’m not super aware, which is often, I’m very affected by my thoughts. Meditation can help us to understand we are not our thoughts, and we can choose thoughts that are beneficial to us. So affirmations is the perfect tool for that.
Who is this for?
This is perfect for you if you want another approach to exercise that doesn’t feel like you are at odds with yourself and your body. I love exercise, but sometimes common fitness messaging says we should feel guilty if we don’t look a certain way, or exercise with 110% effort every time.
Our body is a beautiful being that is the essence of us. It needs our love care and attention always. I never want anyone to feel at odds with their body.
And yes this is perfect if you have been interested in meditation, or have tried it, but have not found the right way to incorporate it into your life. As someone who has worked to kept a meditation practice for two decades, I’ve had my fair share of struggles with staying focused.
For example a good friend of mines told me how it’s hard for her to find her breath during sitting meditation. I can relate. There have been days when I would sit for hours and struggle to find it. How discouraging! Exercise helps us to find our breath easier.
Exercise meditation is a wonderful bridge into a deeper connection with any meditation practice.
Why exercise meditation?
Meditation has helped me manage and overcome a lot of anxiety and depression. Exercise has also helped me with these things, but from a different angle. One couldn’t replace the other.
Overtime I started to realize that incorporating meditation techniques during, and meditation after my workout deepened my meditation practice, which deepened my connection with myself (and led to many positive emotions).
From working with exercise meditation techniques for my own practice and energy, I’m confident that if you incorporate exercise meditation techniques you will find more energy, peacefulness, joy in your life!
In addition, also experience more inspiration and love for yourself and the world!
I don’t meditate, is this right for me?
Yes it can be. If your main goal is just to move in a fun way that makes you feel happy and inspired after, then this is still a good fit.
I want to use movement to connect with myself, but I don’t want to do intense workouts, will this be good for me?
There will be different types of Exercise Meditation sessions. Some are walking, or a light short jog.
In addition, since most of the audio is guidance towards focusing your attention, you can listen to it and follow your own workout routine.
For example, just today I put on the uphill treadmill run but a run outside and my body felt like walking 25% of the time so I did.
The main thing is to set yourself up to move freely (so get dressed and go to the gym, get on the treadmill, go to a park), press play, listen to yourself, and see what happens!
In addition, I will be doing walking guided exercise meditation sessions. So if just walking is your jam, those would be a good fit.
I usually work out longer than the length of the workout, what should I do?
Currently the podcast series are workouts of 12 to 15 minutes plus or minus. I find because of the encouraging tone of it, it’s a wonderful way to start my work out and then do my own supplemental exercises after. Another way to use it is to play them back-to-back skipping the meditation portion. In the future I hope to have longer guided sessions.
What if I want to listen to music during my workout?
I love music during my workout also. Although I find, a lot of times during the 12 to 15 minute sessions I’m pretty focused on the guidance so I don’t notice that there isn’t music.
Either way you want to do it is OK!
The easiest way to listen to the guidance with your music is if you are at home and have two speakers.
If you don’t have that there are apps that allow you to listen to 2 audio inputs at the same time. I’ve only found this one for Galaxy phones – Sound Assistant (but have not tested them myself yet). I’ll keep checking around and update you.