Bringing a young dog to a fitness studio?

How it is like to do strength training mindfully

Sep 01
Bringing a young dog to a fitness studio? Cosima Laube

Recently I got in contact with Patrick Sauerwein and it turned out that we share Meditation experience. Exchanging with him on that boosted me with such energy that I decided to invest in an experiment: doing mindfulness practises more regularly again. To be even more precise: I will practise mindfulness on a daily basis for the next six weeks.

I took a Mindfulness based stress reduction training a couple of years ago. There I learned about formal and informal kinds of practise. Informal practises are things you can include into you daily life 'easily' because the fit somehow naturally. For example today I happened to stand a couple of minutes here:
mindful barrier

I could have been angry because I had to wait. I could have read on my mobile. I could have thought back and forth. Instead I actively decided (take a photo :-) and then) to stand there, feel the air and the temperature onto my skin, listen to my breath and just be.

Another great occasion for informal practise is my regular strength training which takes about an hour in a minimalistic indoor studio. There is no distraction like music or video. Just me and one machine after the other which is to be trained super slowly. Perfect occasion for my mind to.... paaaaarty!
Yes, I do think about the work day or plan the evening or both. Usually that's totally okay and after the hour my mind magically is calmer than before, somehow more sorted. On the other hand that hour is also the perfect occasion to train my mindfulness muscle. It goes like that: everytime I find myself pondering about something and not being in the moment I kindly invite myself to come back to the room... feel my body working at the current machine... listen to my breath... get deely in touch with my muscles at work... just until my mind goes thinking again... and I start inviting me to come back again... . Like you would do with a cute, tiny, young dog who wants to play all day long.

And what is formal practise you might ask. That is basically everything more formalised like different kinds of meditation, mindful bodywork like easy yoga exercises, breathing exercises, bodyscans and much more. For me the formal stuff is the real tough part. Here I will give a smartphone app another try for the next five days; the fallback is just doing my yoga routine and breathing on a daily mindful basis - and timeboxed to have some numbers and get myself into some habit again.

What about you: Are you into mindfulness and/or meditation? What do you like to share about that?

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