It is common to view your workouts as something you have to get through. How loud can you turn your music to distract you from that last set of burpees? How many episodes of your favorite TV show will take you to the end of a cardio workout? What is on your to-do list?
These thoughts are normal. Being mindful during your workouts is challenging, but it has many physical and mental benefits. When you are practicing in the present, the chatter in your mind quiets and your breath is fuller, smoother, and more nourishing. You can be sensitive to how your body feels, noting where you can push harder and where you should back off. Mindfulness helps you connect with yourself. Asphalt Green’s group exercise instructors share their tips on how to be more present during your workouts.
Declutter your space.
A clear space makes room for a clear mind. Free your workout area of distractions. Staring at laundry that needs to be folded is not doing your body or mind any favors. Keep your towel, mat, and water bottle neatly organized in your designated workout space. You can even carve out the area with tape to remind you of your purpose. -Brad Cole, water exercise instructor
Activate airplane mode or turn off notifications.
Whether you are setting aside 15, 30, or 60 minutes for your workout, commit to being present for every second. Remember, it’s your time for self-care. If you are using your computer or tablet to stream your workouts, put the device in do not disturb mode. Texts and news notifications will be there for you after your sweat session. -Jason Orrell, yoga instructor
Set an intention.
This is simple and incredibly powerful. Setting an intention means choosing something that you want to cultivate either on the mat or in your life. Intentions can be anything from staying focused on the breath, practicing gratitude, or repeating a simple word like compassion, peace, or acceptance. Intentions focus and calm the mind and body and help guide you through your practice. - Diana Maes, yoga instructor
Before you begin your workout, take a few deep breaths to center your body and connect your breath to your movements. When your mind starts to wander, bring the awareness to the tip of the nose, which immediately returns your focus to your breath. -Diana Maes, yoga instructor
Engage your senses.
When you are exercising outdoors, engaging your senses can help you relax and making working out more enjoyable. Look at the outside world. What do you see? How many different colors do you count? What do you hear? What do you smell? Feel your feet make contact with the ground. What does that feel like? Nothing connects you to the present like taking in the world around you. -Shelley McPherson, yoga instructor
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