Mindfulness/Meditation Sitting Practices
Having a sitting practice is a great way to get started and can have a big impact in your daily life. Just like CrossFit teaches you the deadlift so you can pick up groceries, your mindful meditation practice will teach you awareness so you can be more present in daily life. Try to set aside 10-15 minutes when you start. While 20-40 minutes a day is great, even 5 minutes a day can be beneficial. Simply find a quiet time and place to sit still in silence or follow a guided program (options below). There will also be guided sessions offered at the HQ gym and the yoga room with meditation cushions is available to use when it is not otherwise booked.
There are many types of mindful meditation practices and many guided audio sessions that you can find online. Here are a few short 10 minute options to get you started:
-Mindful breathing meditation: https://youtu.be/d4S4twjeWTs
-Loving Kindness meditation: https://youtu.be/-d_AA9H4z9U
-Body Scan (also great to do before your mobility work to identify areas of tension): https://youtu.be/aWPCJ_hOlXk
-If you find it difficult to sit still during your practice, you might enjoy a mindful yoga practice. Practice any slower yoga with a specific attention to mindfulness of the breath and body during movements. Think of this as breathing meditation and body scan meditation combined with movement. You can pick a section of this audio guided mindful yoga practice or choose your favorite yoga practice and focus on being mindful.
https://youtu.be/EvCWpFrXt78 (45 min yoga meditation)
-A great connection to the fitness potion of this challenge. Walking (or running) meditation is best done outside in a park or on trails where you have fewer distractions and has the added benefit of being in nature. But you can also accomplish this on your walk to work or even walking around the office. Have you ever walked (or commuted) from point A to B and then realized you don’t remember how you go there? Mindful walking is the opposite. Set aside 15 minutes to walk through a park or somewhere outside. Bring awareness to your body and your environment. Notice your breathing and how each footstep feels. Be aware of the environment around you – the temperature, the wind, any noises. If your mind starts to wander, acknowledge your thoughts without judgment, and then return your awareness to your footsteps, perhaps counting each step 1-10 and then restarting. You may also try a guided walking meditation online or through apps like Calm or Headspace.
-A great connection to the sleep portion of this challenge. Set aside 10-15 minutes at the end of your day to journal. Putting your thoughts down on paper helps to bring awareness to where your mind rests and will help offload thoughts before going to bed. Try this – write down 3 good things or 3 things you are grateful for from your day. Doing this exercise will help you focus on the positive things in your life. Over time you will start to notice all the things you have to be grateful for and it can lead to a more positive and happy outlook in daily life.
-A great connection to the nutrition portion of this challenge, mindful eating increases your awareness on food and how it effects your body. To practice mindful eating, pick one meal or snack for the day to practice. Turn off all distractions (no phone, tv, music, or reading) and prepare and eat your food in silence. You will have to find a quiet spot and either eat alone or have those eating with you join in mindful eating silently. Before eating, notice how you feel – what is your hunger and energy level? Are you craving something? When preparing and eating your food, use all of your senses to be aware of color, texture, smell, and taste in detail. Take time to prepare each ingredient and slow down when you are eating. Do not rush through your meal. As you are eating, notice how it makes you feel, when you are full, what your energy level is, how your stomach feels after eating.
Try this the next time you make coffee. Turn off all distractions and set aside 10-15 minutes of quiet time to enjoy your coffee. As you make your coffee be aware of each step and how it feels, smells, and sounds. Sit quietly while you drink your coffee and for the remainder of the 15 minutes stay present in the moment enjoying your coffee and your time for yourself. If you find your mind wandering to tasks for the day or events from the past just come back to the present, your breath, and your coffee. Notice if this experience was different from your usual morning routine. Take this sense of calm awareness with you throughout your day.