Whether it’s before, during, or after exercise, meditation can help you get in the zone.
By Candice Graham
Working out your mind can be just as important as working out your body. Whether it’s less stress or more energy that you’re hoping to achieve, meditation promises benefits ranging from inner peace to a boost in positive emotions. Local Hot Yoga Plus instructor, Jenn Busch, explains four simple meditation techniques to incorporate into your exercise regimen along with tips for each.
INHALE, EXHALE. This basic type of meditation requires you to concentrate solely on the feeling and sounds of your breathing. “The first thing you want to do is establish a rhythm: a pause, an inhale, a pause, and an exhale,” explains Busch. Stay focused on your breathing and try to keep your thoughts from wandering – this is one of the fastest ways to bring the body and mind into alignment.
REPEAT A MANTRA. Repeat a positive mantra that resonates with you, even if it’s just a word that represents something you aspire to. If you’re new to meditation, Busch recommends repeating the words “hold nothing back.” “If you tell yourself to let go and hold nothing back, eventually it will happen. Meditation is all about surrender,” she says.
READ AND REFLECT. You may already enjoy reading relaxing poems or listening to tranquil tunes, and this can be done as a form of meditation too. Busch begins each yoga class by reading a lesson virtue that is reflected on throughout the class. Music is also incorporated into her classes, which she describes as a variation of the read and reflect method.
GIVE THANKS. Meditation is the process of recentering consciousness in an effort to return to one of the most fulfilling emotions of all: thankfulness. “Yoga is moving meditation when done properly,” Busch says. “In yoga, you’re bringing gratitude to each and every breath and you’re ridding the body of anything that it no longer needs.”