As mindfulness enters the mainstream, there are new approaches to meditation coming online.
But despite its growing popularity, the idea of combining meditation and exercise never really made much sense to me. As a hardcore meditator (read spiritual snob!), I always felt like people who talked about moving meditation must not be serious about real meditation.
As a disciplined meditator, I have always felt that what happens on the cushion during meditation is unique.
Looking back, it’s obvious to me now that sports and exercise were my primary outlet for blowing off steam before I learned how to meditate. Through brute exertion and pushing myself physically, I found refuge from the relentless momentum of my own restive mind. Now, many years later, and after a good deal of training, I am finding that there is a fluid and fruitful relationship between my meditation practice and mindful exercise. Here are my top five observations on why meditation and working out, among many mindfulness techniques, are such a good combination.
Pushing through physical inertia activates and liberates inner resources—tenacity, intention, drive, focus, and will power. Meditating before the workout gives me an advantage, since I have already generated inner focus and resolve, and the workout builds upon and enhances those qualities. I know that sounds kind of weird, since we are connected to our bodies, but it’s amazing how few of us truly inhabit our physicality. When you start to experience these deeper dimensions in your daily workout, I’ve noticed that I don’t measure my workouts in the same way.
These days, I’m often more aware of the qualitative and contemplative aspects of the workout.
The more I harness my attention, merging my mind with the rhythm of my body and the music, the deeper I go and the more this inner space opens up. It used to be that I could shift my attitude or the quality of my inner experience through the brute force of pushing myself through a physical wall. Get our Meditation Made Easy Beginners Guide along with weekly articles and free resources delivered to your inbox.
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If you are trying to feel less stressed out, these mindfulness techniques could make a big difference. Mindful breathing (where you focus on a single aspect of your breath) can occur in any down time location, from the subway to the shower or even preparing meals. 1)  Sit in a dignified meditation posture, loosen your jaw and relax other body muscles, and begin to breathe gently in slower, calmer, deeper fashion. 4) Each time you become aware of your brain’s autopilot taking over your mind, simply bring attention back to the breath and counting. 5) Continue this basic practice for as long as you can, but do not do it beyond your kind heartedness. 6) You may note some small gratification that you were able to use your mind to counteract auto processes of the brain, heart and body.
Reminders for Your Psychological and Physical Health If you desire to be more compassionate with others and with yourself, remember the following. Looking at Early Judeo-Chrsitian Meditation Practice An early description of enlightened liberation in Buddhist meditation practice reads like this: Birth is destroyed, the spiritual life has been lived, what had to be done has been done. Mindfulness Can Activate More Grace in Our Lives Today we all need to be cultivating more and deeper grace.
What is Mindfulness  – The Nature of Mindfulness This is an expanded second post on the nature of mindfulness.
Stress In America – How to Deal with it Effectively The American Psychological Association just released the results of its annual stress survey for 2014. Today’s Troubled World Needs More Self Compassion and Compassion This is an interactive activity on contemplation between your executive brain, your conscious mind, and your emotional brain areas. The Basics of Teaching Mindfulness and Meditation Training:  Clients,Consumers and Professional Helpers No matter how experienced you are as a mediator and therapist, and no matter how helpful mindfulness practices could be for your clients, it will not matter if your clients do not DO the training practices.

Human Needs and Spiritual Experience and the Need for Supportive Rituals From the Eleanor R. Brain Habits –  Helpful Vs Unhelpful Nora Volkow, MD, Director, National Institute on Drug Abuse ( video below)  has noted that people suffering from addictions may experience some dysfunction in in brain areas related to personal motivation, reward recognition, and inhibitory controls. Our Brains React to Worry According to research by The American Psychological Association in 2015, some of the core sources of severe stress reaction for Americans are: financial problems, job-related problems, family problems, and health problems.
The True Nature of Phenomena Here I will present common steps in the process of vipassana meditation. Mindful Happiness – Brain on Meditation Reports from various MRI and self-report measure studies support the proposition that your brain changes (neuronal plasticity) when you practice meditation on a regular (daily) basis. So Many Ways to Self-Medicate –  It Just Brings More Suffering Very often poor child-parent (child-caretaker) object relations, attachment with care takers, and attunement by care takers negatively impact young children early in their lives. Buddhist Thought on Joy and Suffering 1) You actually DO have some control over your emotional destiny. Expanded Information about Your Compassion Practices and Benefits Compassion Practice Tips and Exercises The Buddha noted that one should not dwell on the past, become too attached to future outcomes, but instead concentrate our mind only on the present moment of our experiences. Every morning before I go to work I turn down the noise in my head on the meditation cushion and tune up my body at the gym. Martial artists and Indian yogis have been using their bodies to bridge the physical and the metaphysical for millennia.
I recently learned that I can access some of the same states of consciousness I experience in meditation through mindful exercise. When I was younger, I played team sports through high school, and then I took up running, mountain biking, and yoga in my twenties. Exercise was my channel for processing challenging emotions, contemplating deep questions, and generally letting go.
And before meditation, exercise was the one place where I felt—just like Peter Pan—that I could fly.
I’m bringing my attention into my core through deep breathing, and then I move that awareness through my body as I perform the poses.
Your body and your senses are your vehicle for experiencing life, so it makes sense to explore what’s possible, and to keep your vehicle optimized and in pristine condition. It used to be that I’d measure my success based on the quantitative metrics of calories burned, distance climbed, and how high my heart rate peaked. And I have noticed, when my morning prayer or meditation practice is strong, that effects the quality and depth of my workout.
Likewise, when I am disciplined with my attention in yoga, and I follow my breath inward, the results are powerful.
The joy, contentment, and grounding that comes from different mindfulness techniques can’t be limited to meditation and exercise.
Start meditating today and release the source of your stress with these proven meditation techniques.
Mind training leads to liberation from brain-mind-heart-body automatic processes and reactions. These important skills allow you to have improved personal control over cognition, affect, behavior as well as sensory processing (visual, auditory, kinesthetic, olfactory and gustatory) in the present moment. Do not force your breath; simply allow your intention to focus on a relaxed breath to guide you.
If continuing this practice makes you upset or aggressive with yourself, stop and begin again at another time. Looking at the world today any aware person must admit the human race is in serious trouble.
Author Anthony Quintiliani, a licensed psychologist with more than 35 years professional clinical experience, casts a wide net into the personal, clinical, and societal causes of prolonged human suffering and unhappiness in his book Mindful Happiness. Until recently, I never thought much about the relationship between these two practices, but now that’s changing. That is, the notion that you can bring meditative awareness to your active life—mindfully walking, running, and even hitting the treadmill. Some might argue that most professional athletes and Olympians are, by definition, experts at mindfulness.

How can you cultivate silence and solitude when you’re simultaneously engaged with the world of form and action?
During sitting meditation, the idea is to be as still as possible, both inwardly and outwardly. Breaking through that physical inertia through exercise can help open your mind and awareness in ways that will surprise you.
As my body heats up and falls into rhythm with the music, an inner space begins to opens up.
Sometimes that results in a quiet mind and sometimes it doesn’t, but that isn’t really the point.
It takes focus, but anyone can do it with practice, and you don’t have to be a yogi or an expert.
But also, similar to when I’m meditating, I’ve found that the most important thing when I’m at the gym is to bring my attention back to the workout and let go. I find the deeper rewards and enriching experiences come through the more subtle art of paying attention. Whether you want to relax, stimulate creativity, gain enlightenment, or cultivate compassion and mindfulness, we help you learn how to let go. In addition to bringing stress levels down, these exercises could improve concentration and make you less likely to react overly emotionally.
A well-trained mind allows you to utilize executive functions (attention and concentration) to alter auto-reactions of the brain, body and heart.
Prolonged mind training enables you to better deal with such CABS-VAKGO experiences in your past and in your future. This will reduce the possibility of other thoughts distracting you from attending to your breath.
Simply note and let go of your thoughts and allow your MIND to focus attention on your breath and counting.
1) It will be helpful not to have strong conceptual intention about your goal of attaining insight.
No doubt, they need to harness mind and body at levels of harmony and cooperation most of us can’t imagine. And for me, this form of meditation has yielded extraordinary results in the form of spiritual breakthroughs, self-knowledge, lightness of being, clarity, bliss, and more. Every time I exercise, I feel refreshed, energized, and filled with positivity and potential.
Questions or problems that I have been focused on for days or weeks will melt and the answer becomes clear in that space of focus and surrender. When you approach your workout with a sense of reverence and inner quietude, you can bring your attention deeply into your body. If you are focused, you connect with your body in a way that is empowering, regenerative, and deeply healthy.
This is true of meditation, but I appreciate that this is also what mindful exercise is really all about.
Nevertheless, I encourage you to explore mindful exercise for yourself and see if you experience similar results. A trained mind liberates you from unhelpful thoughts, emotions and behaviors via reduced attachment, craving and clinging.
Becoming aware that you DO have some control over what you think may be an important discovery for some.
A very basic way to begin mind training is to practice breath meditation (or meditation on a selected object of mind). Often this liberation appears as both the dearth of cognition and the expansion of experiential awareness.

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  1. 27.05.2014 at 17:12:22
    EFE_ALI writes:
    Mindfulness instructions, dwelling assignments and.
  2. 27.05.2014 at 16:34:55
    032 writes:
    Effectively-documented and well-identified to cut back stress, nervousness and tradition of the yogis of India.
  3. 27.05.2014 at 10:23:21
    Adrenalin writes:
    Well being, and psychological and emotional wellbeing-in any area dedication and time to work via.