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Mindfulness Monday: Incorporate Stillness to Avoid Exercise Injury

When you work out, are you in your body or in your head?  This may seem like a crazy question, or maybe like I’ve gone off the woo woo deep end, but hear me out.  In a decade or so of training, and through observing my own behavior, one thing stands out.  To create a sustainable exercise program, it is crucial to move with awareness.  The more in touch we are with sensations in our own body,  the better we become at moving and caring for ourselves.

Though it may seem counterintuitive, the best way to gain more awareness is through stillness.  Being still and paying attention to bodily sensations, even for a short while, can lead to a healthier mind-body connection and ultimately a healthier you.

Try this short practice to deepen your awareness:

-Close your eyes and find a comfortable position, either sitting or lying down

-Starting at the crown of the head and ending at the tips of your toes, scan down your entire body and notice any sensations.  Also notice any thoughts that arise regarding sensations you feel.  Acknowledge these thoughts and let them go as you continue to scan.

-At least once throughout the course of your day, check in and see if you are still aware of your body.  If you notice that you are living more from your head, do another mini-scan.  Even just feeling your feet on the floor is enough to bring attention back to your body.

The more you do this, the more natural it becomes (thanks neuroplasticity!)

For more musings on mindfulness, head over to the Joyful Gym Rat page on Facebook or follow on Twitter!

Trey Run

I tried to tell T about stillness but he isn’t there yet…….

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