You can meditate while lifting. No one will even notice you doing it. I always meditate while lifting.
Lifting weights a number of times can have a calming and meditative effect. It can be like when you concentrate on breathing while you’re sitting motionless.
There’s no need for closing of eyes, or chanting, or listening to Kirtan.
All you need to do is keep your mind open when you lift.
You might say that you should always keep your mind open to stay safe, or to keep the weights from falling on your head. But it’s not like that. Of course, being mindful is our focus, but are you really aware of the moves you’re doing? Or are you just doing them so you can finish and leave? What are you thinking of?
If you’re thinking of that attractive person a few feet away, or on how unfit your body is, or on how your clothes don’t fit you anymore, allow me to guide you to a better place…
While lifting, it might be best to get in the right mindset.
Here are three ways you can be more aware when working out.
The First Way: Breathing
When you work out, mind your breathing. Be aware when you inhale, and exhale. It’s a good place to begin if you find yourself distracted by other thoughts. And among the three ways, this is the easiest.
The Second Way: Focusing on your mantras
We put a lot of emphasis on mantras. Use the one you find most useful while in your next training session. Repeat it again and again in your mind while you inhale and exhale. So let’s say, whenever you inhale, you say in your mind “Yes”. And when you exhale, you say in your mind “I can do this”. Or when you inhale, your mind says “I’m”, and “strong” when you exhale.
Whenever you find yourself distracted, lead it to your mantra. Also, expect it to be imperfect. It was meant to be imperfect. Don’t be disappointed. Just keep on going.
The Third Way: Concentrating on the move
As you go through the movements, feel them. Feel them with all that you have. Try asking yourself some of these questions so you know if you’re in that zone.
- What parts of my body are moving?
- How are these parts feeling?
- Am I doing it correctly? Is my form right?
- Can I make myself perform this move better?
- When does this routine start to get difficult?
- When I approach failure, is it in my head or are my muscles quitting?
As you become more aware with the way you move, the more effective your change will be. Being aware can help you reach your limit, and it can also make you more honest with yourself, letting you know when you need to rest. Both the effort you put out and time you need to recover are significant when trying to get stronger.
How to make things less difficult
All right. You know a couple of methods to help you be aware. Let me share some ways on how to use them.
Have active rests
So let’s say, you’re done lifting heavy weights or you just completed a rigorous HIIT set, a laid back cardiovascular break can be refreshing for you. It can help you relax your mind. It’s less difficult for me to be aware when I’m actively resting than when I’m in the middle of an intense set.
Hop on that treadmill after an intense set and comfortably pace yourself, walking for sixty seconds. Take your mind back to breathing and chant your mantra to yourself.
This short rest period can be your link to awareness if you have a tough time achieving it. It can help your mind center at the moment at hand when you return to your routine. And it can help your mind stay put.
The right tunes can be very helpful
Heavy metal can help you be aware, if it’s the music that connects with you. Music is a significant factor in the thinking process. It is very personal and the right kind can work wonders. Take advantage of this.
Dance music is what works for me. It turns me on to working out and pushes me through the more intense parts of the routine. It also lets me know when I’m being too intense, so I can take a step back. I listened to hard angry rock once upon a time, but it left me angry, which didn’t suit me.
Pick out the music that brings your mind to that special place where you can work out in a trance, with your awareness on a whole different level. I suggest light forms of music. But if other forms of music move you, then use them.
Become an introvert
When I work out, I turn anti-social. You wouldn’t know it if you met me. I usually play along the lines of being an introvert and being an extrovert. When I work out however, I’m only an introvert. I’m anti-social. It’s when I have to think only of myself, and the workout. There’s no room in my head for anything else.
You may be different, and that’s perfectly fine. As long as you’re completely focused on what you’re doing, and not minding what others are up to, then you’re achieving awareness.
If having a training partner’s your thing, that’s awesome. You can then shift your meditation to training sessions when you can’t work out at the same time.
When you start lifting meditation, being aware might take a bit of getting used to. To be with another person who you also need to be aware of can make everything more difficult.
If you find it impossible to train by yourself, then convince your workout buddy to be mindful and aware. Always keep in mind that you owe him or her for being there with you. Always keep in mind the effort your workout buddy is putting into the routines. And then look at yourself. Use the awareness methods we discussed.
Go and be aware
Seriously, go and work out and be aware. Use all the information you got from this article.
It will take a bit of getting used to. But it’s meant to be that way. Think of this as you exploring who you are. That’s how you can discover the techniques and methods that are best for you. Try them and see.
That is my challenge to you. Go be aware during your next intense workout. Let me know how it goes.
Be strong. Be aware.