The act of meditation is often associated with stillness. Quieting the mind and body by bringing movement to a halt and slowing down the mind. Yet it can be difficult to create a space to meditate away from distractions. We grow restless while sitting still on buckwheat cushions. We ask ourselves, which app should I be using? Are natural sounds required?
We spoke to Emily, a bodybuilder and personal trainer, and Alex, a long distance runner about how their movement practice is an act of meditation.
“The time that I use to train is my meditation. I’ve always said that counting those reps is like meditation to me” says Emily.
In meditation, repetition provides a focus, a path to deeper awareness. By focusing on the activity itself, Emily’s training creates time for self-care in her schedule.
“I like to train on my own because that’s your space, that’s your time. You can really zone in, put your headphones on, walk into the gym and go within yourself. That hour that you’re in the gym is just like shutting out everything else that’s going on and purely focusing on what you’re going to do that day. Whatever you’ve got planned, all focus just goes on that”, she continues.
Running itself can be a meditative experience, providing rhythm and focus. To run mindfully means listening to your body, connecting with the self. Marathon runner Alex says that he started running for peace of mind and as a form of meditation.
“Training is about working out a better version of yourself, either on a day-to-day basis or for longer periods of time.”
Alex, long distance runner
“The solo pursuit was all about meditation, finding peace and time for myself,” says Alex.
Besides reducing stress, training provides an opportunity for growth. Improving not just technique but realising our own human potential. Alex notes that “training is about working out a better version of yourself, either on a day-to-day basis or for longer periods of time.”
“Training is about commitment to yourself, and commitment to the future version of yourself”.