The cold snap in the February air zings with vested potential for change. The first few months of a new year are perfect for taking your life in all kinds of new directions. However, our zeal for self-reinvention is often directed automatically towards food-choices and fitness, rather than addressing more abstract aspects of ourselves like our capacity for concentration.
Beeja Meditation’s style of meditation is generally a stationary activity — all you need to do is close your eyes and repeat your personal mantra in your head for a twenty-minute session, twice daily — so you might well be wondering how it relates to your juice cleanse…
Contemplating a pathway to a healthier you
In fact, discovering the benefits of meditation with a mantra can work wonders as the secret ingredient in any fitness regime. Meditation works its magic by improving aspects of your approach to life such as your focus and motivation. This will improve your exercise practice as a whole, even to the extent of preventing injuries! Finding out more about developing a meditation practice before you dive into the local pool will help you make the most of any impulsively-purchased annual gym memberships.
Meditation increases mindful eating
If you have even the vaguest inclinations towards improved fitness in 2020 (healthier menu choices at hangover brunches, we’re hovering over you!) — familiarising yourself with the hidden fitness benefits of meditation is a great place to start. One of these is our capacity to make food choices that will nourish and sustain us, rather than going for quick fixes like sugary snacks, or over-relying on comfort foods like carbs.
A side-effect of meditating with a mantra is a lengthening of the cord between our impulses and our enacting of them. As your practice deepens, initial food cravings will alchemise more regularly into considered meal-planning, and you are likely to find yourself gravitating naturally towards foods with a slow release of energy, that complement your commitment to exercising regularly.
There’s nothing like meditation for motivation
When we end up jumping on a draconian diet and exercise treadmill in a bid to make up for our perceived over-indulgence during the festive season, this often occurs without necessarily pausing to consider stepping up the upkeep of our mental wellbeing. All too commonly, going cold turkey on the carbs and plunging directly into an intensive fitness regime leads to burnout by February, with the dust beginning to settle on those no-longer touched dumbells by March at the latest.
Furthermore, a clamouring collection of other commitments can make it hard to keep up with an exercise regime, particularly when the noise in your head makes it impossible to choose which activities to prioritise. As your nervous system becomes habituated to reaching the state of relaxation brought about through daily meditation practice, however, you will find it increasingly easy to move through your day with concentration and direction. Your intended exercise into your timetable will fit into your timetable underpinned by the same surge of “just do it!” motivation that stimulates other feel-good pursuits, like your meditation practice itself.
Identify the perspirations that can help realise your aspirations
As you get used to tuning into the quiet workings of your subconscious, you will develop the ability to listen to yourself. You will begin to receive the subtler messages and insights that this potent form of consciousness exploration has for you, making it easier to discern your exercise goals.
The goalposts themselves might shift from week to week, with the intention of making it to yoga mat in the first place being slowly superseded by the aims you devise for yourself when you get there. Across the board, however, the improved clarity and perception you enjoy will continually enable you to refine your answer to the question, “what do I want my life/biceps/BMI to look like?” as well as offering you a greater facility in identifying the plans and pathways that can take you closer towards them.
Build confidence to enhance performance
You’ll get the most out of your exercise practice as you continue to practicing meditation in step with it. As your ability to focus on the task at hand deepens, you will find that your internal monologue slows down alongside it.
Rather than telling yourself about what you said in a conversation earlier that day or the important things you have to do tomorrow, you’ll begin to be able to unlock your inner cheerleader. Where once you would have played the unwilling listener to your unrelated mental chatter, you’ll find yourself delivering supportive messages that empower to you breathe deeper, push harder, and go further. Indeed, when your mental chatter diminishes, your lateral thinking skills will increase in their place, and you’ll move through your routine with increased confidence and expertise. This is a recipe for feel-good fitness.
Tangible results take you higher
In addition to increasing your mental capacity to carry out the routines that will build your strength and enhance your physical prowess, meditation has its own powerful effects on our physicality. Due to the intensity with which a regular practice can calm your nervous system, tangible changes to the functioning of our bodies are usually quickly evidenced. These include lowered blood pressure, which helps reduce the chance of heart-related problems, as well as improved digestion, a faster metabolism, and an increasingly well-functioning immune system.
All of these improvements to our physical health serve as amplifiers to the further efforts we make to take care of our bodies. With increased synchrony between your health, your physical exercise routines, and the mind with which you carry them out, you will be able to step firmly into a new era of peak fitness.
To find out more about how Beeja meditation could help you improve clarity, focus and achieve your fitness goals, you can attend our classes and courses in London.
Words: Rosalind Stone