Running with the Mind of Meditation

The older i get i seem to be evolving more and more into a mindful trail and fell runner. Even though i still have that competitive streak in me and my mindset is wired for goal setting, performance and achievement. I have found a new interest in mindfulness and core values of running to bring women, back to nature, wilderness, thrive and run wild and onto a venture of self love and well-being.

Mindful running is more attainable than it may seem to sceptics. "Mindful running" is the ability to run with a clear intention, fully connected in body and mind, free from distraction, and with an equal balance of focus and relaxation.

Research has shown that a consistent meditation practice can help reduce anxiety, depression, stress and pain. I sometimes find that simply running can be meditative, but if you can tap into the mindfulness aspect of it, then the benefits can be even more pronounced.

Many people get distracted while running, either by physical sensations, thoughts or the environment.As a consequence, our form suffers, we are more likely to get caught up in to-do lists, more likely to feel overwhelmed by the physical exertion, and perhaps most important of all, we don't get to enjoy and appreciate the run. But if you're able to be more mindful during the run, you're also able to think about form, soak in your surroundings, and not get overwhelmed by your thoughts. We are also much more likely to experience the elusive flow state, where we are applying exertion, but in an effortless way.

Running as meditation offers you a few things:

1. Concentration.

Believe or not, you can focus and meditate when in motion. In fact, the natural rhythm of running offers an ideal opportunity for your mind to concentrate on the present moment. Focus on your breath and stay attuned to your surroundings. As you are getting familiar with the process of breathing, you are essentially developing a beautiful relationship with the very aspect of being alive. Allow your body, mind and soul to start functioning in a harmony together.

2. Contemplation.

Running is the catalyst for self-exploration. It allows you to connect to the space between your thoughts to discover your inner voice. Positive self-talk is one of the most effective tools out there to boost our mental health and foster life success. It helps you change your focus and see your actions in a bigger perspective.

3. Relaxation.

A tranquil mind usually follows after each running session: our mind is calm, our body is relaxed and our nerves are cooled down. If you find yourself stressed out during the day, it can be very therapeutic to let go of all your daily clutter and just run.

If you have a hard time sitting still and the idea of taking 40 minutes a day to meditate seems like torture to you, or even if it doesn’t, running may be just what the doctor ordered.  Give it a try and let me know what you discover.

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