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The 4 Elements Of Exercise Meditation

Currently there are four key segments that include in every exercise meditation session. These are: verbal journaling, meditation and breathing techniques, affirmations and finishing with a sitting meditation.

Each of these work together and geyser energy from wherever it starts before the session, to feeling full of energy, empowered, present and peaceful.

Summary: This is how they work together

  1. Segment 1: Verbal Journaling
    1. What it is: during this segment we will reflect on our feelings by asking ourselves questions and then verbally responding.
    2. Effect: This allows us to listen to ourselves.  By giving ourselves the space of expressing ourselves and being heard, we are able to process and feel safe to let go of some of the thoughts (even if it’s just for a few minutes).
  2. Segment 2: Body/Breathe Rythm
    1. What it is: Connecting via paying attention with a rhythm of our physical body.  Usually we do this by trying to count our breath or our steps.
    2. Effect: Really Connecting with others can give us a profound sense of purpose and joy in the world. A similar sense of indescribable joy comes up when we can connect with ourselves.   When we can attentively follow the rhythm of our body we feel connected to ourselves.
    3. This connection with ourselves leads to a grounding wholesome feeling where we feel full & complete.
  3. Affirmations
    1. What it is:  Saying strong positive affirmations aloud to ourselves.
    2. Effect: We feel inspired & encouraged that we can embody that in our life.
  4. Sitting Meditation
    1. What it is: A sitting meditation where we allow ourselves to let go of everything and focus 100% on counting our breathe.
    2. Effect: By the end of the session we’ve worked up so much physical and spiritual energy that we now need peace to keep going forward with equanimity.  The stillness and 100% attention on our physical energy movement happening inside us, helps our attention move calmly with our now supercharged energy.

How these sections came together as part of Exercise Meditation.

  1. Verbal journaling
    1. For some reason it’s always been hard for me to journal.  when I sit down to journal I usually somehow end up with a things to do list LOL.
    2. A list of things to do is great and definitely clarifies what I want to do, but I definitely am not openly exploring what my feelings are.  I want to talk about my feelings but I honestly I can’t talk the ear off my sister or partner everyday.
    3. So my solution has been to still talk, but talk out loud to myself during my warm up.  This is nice in fact because then I don’t feel afraid of being judged and I can do it whenever I need it.  Usually during my warm up I’m doing an easy cardio (such as jumping rope or jogging) that allows me space to think focus on the journaling.
    4. I don’t think verbal journaling only has to happen only when we’re moving, but for some reason I find they work well together.
    5. In addition I find that I struggle feeling my exercise groove during the first 7-10 minutes of my workout.  Often I wonder if I should just stop.  But verbal journaling has turned out to be a great way for me to transition into a workout.
    6. Often by the end of the verbal journaling I find I’ve created some momentum and feel more ready to really move.
    7. The key for me was to make it where I could just respond without thinking a lot.  So I created an Alexa routine that I would play when I asked it, ex “Alexa play my verbal journal”.  Using the routines feature in Alexa it would respond with a series of questions that had 45 seconds of silence in between.  I love it!  To improve on it I think it’s good to have different questions to match our mood.
  2. Body/Breathe Rythm
    1. A couple of years ago when I was going through a very traumatic time, I found when I really focused and coached myself to count my breath which is the essence of the Zen meditation practice, while I was running, a profound sense of openness and joy it would come up. This was despite what I was going through.
    2. The thing is counting our breath while we are doing sitting can be challenging is challenging, much less while we’re exercising. However when I remember to coach myself and was even able to count my breath to two or even three during my work out I had huge rewards. We don’t have to actually rich 10 or even reach to, just the act of trying to do it will connect us with our body.
  3. affirmations
    1. I remember one day after my eight-day meditation session talking to my teacher, and him saying to me Kristy meditation is not going to solve everything. It’s not going to solve a problem with my partner. I was completely confused.
    2. Maybe it’s just me, but sometimes I tend to get caught up with a hope that a specific idea will solve everything.
    3. I think meditation does something for us that’s extremely hard to do.  By creating an awareness of our thoughts, it creates an open canvas so that we can be more intentional towards what we want in our life. 
    4. Once we reach affirmations in the exercise meditation session, we have already listened to ourselves through verbal journaling, and we connected to our physical body and movement.  We also probably feel a lot of positive endorphins.  So, this is a good time to now embrace our power and capabilities by saying affirmations.
    5. One sidenote, when I don’t feel good, maybe my mind is full with thoughts and worries that I need to process, or I need love and care and attention, I find I’m not in a good space to then say positive affirmations.  
    6. This is why I put affirmations only at this time in the session, after we have processed and cared for ourself. I think it’s important to not push affirmations onto ourself if we don’t feel like it’s right for us in that moment. So, if during this time you don’t feel like saying them, you can definitely skip over it. 
  4. Sitting Meditation
    1. Finishing a work out with affirmations can feel like we are ending at a high note at the very top of the hill. Often after my work out I feel excited to get started with my next project.  
    2. But this excited mood we feel now needs a peaceful energy to allow it to move forward thoughtfully and calmly.
    3. Even though in the moment, I can even feel impatient that I would have to meditate after a workout (because I’m so excited to get back to work) every time I’ve sat down for at least a few minutes I’ve connected to a quiet peacefulness.  I find that I can tap into this throughout the day.