You may have heard a lot about the stress-relieving benefits of meditation. But what about meditation before a workout and its benefits?
How Meditation Can Help in General
Meditation has been around for thousands of years as a spiritual practice. It can be found in most major religions in various forms. While it is best known as being an Eastern practice for religions such as Buddhism, meditation is also mentioned in the Bible many times.
Today, meditation does not have to religious or spiritual. You can perform secular meditation as a form of stress relief without focusing on spiritual connection or personal development. Of course, if you like to have a spiritual connection while meditating, you can, of course, do so!
Meditation has many known benefits including:
- Reducing stress
- Calming the mind
- Soothing turbulent emotions
- Increasing feelings of peace and well-being
- Encouraging a greater sense of purpose in life
Why Meditate Prior to a Workout?
In the great Indian tradition of yoga, meditation is often prescribed after a “workout” of yoga asana (postures). This is because the original purpose of yoga asana was to calm the body down and make it more ready for long, seated periods of meditation.
For this reason, if you are looking to have a long practice of seated meditation, then it actually would be better for your meditation practice to exercise first.
But what about meditation before workout and its benefits?
While meditation is typically done after exercise in yoga, meditation prior to a workout can also be extremely helpful.
In fact, you might have been to a yoga class where the teacher started the session with a brief meditation. That meditation was probably a way to help the students settle down and get into the proper mindset for yoga. This can be especially helpful when you’ve been stuck in traffic and arrive to yoga class stressed out and agitated.
As you can see, one of the main benefits on meditating before you exercise is that it can potentially help you let go of some of the stress of the day.
More on Meditation Before a Workout and Its Benefits
Meditation before exercise can also help you be more centered during your workout. This can be especially helpful if you are going to engage in physical activity that requires some concentration or skill, such as golf or surfing.
By being more grounded before starting exercise, you may perform better. You might also be less likely to hurt yourself in an injury that could be caused by inattention or pushing too hard.
How to Meditate Before a Workout
Meditation comes in many different forms and flavors. The question is, which one should you do prior to a workout? This really depends on who you are. Do you want your meditation to be a form of prayer? Or would you prefer a secular type of meditation that is simply focused on quieting the mind?
Here is a simple way to meditate that can be used for both prayerful and secular meditations:
1. Sit Comfortably
You do not need to sit in a formal meditation posture. You can sit in a chair as well. Since you are going to be working out soon, lying down is probably not optimal.
2. Focus on Your Breath
Take a few moments to focus on your breathing. Lengthen each inhales and each exhales. Pause momentarily between the parts of the breath.
3. Repeat a Phrase in Your Mind
This is where you can customize the meditation for your particular personality. You can choose an affirmation as a phrase such as:
I am strong and healthy.
You could also use a prayer or a mantra.
Optionally, you could coordinate the phrase or mantra with your breath. For example, as you breathe in, think “I am.” As you breathe out, think “strong and healthy.”
Repeat for as long as you want to meditate.
A Note on How Long to Meditate Before a Workout
We do not recommend meditating for long periods of time just prior to a workout. Of course, if you have an hourly meditation practice in the morning before you get up and do anything else, that’s one thing. We are more talking about the meditation practice that you do as part of your workout. This should be shorter.
Try aiming for five to ten minutes maximum for your pre-workout meditation. Then, you can optionally meditate for long afterward, from 20 to 30 minutes. Meditating for longer before your workout may make you want to relax instead of move.
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Conclusion: Meditation Before Workout and Its Benefits
Once you try meditating before your workout, you may find that your performance is better. You will also have a clearer mind and more optimistic mindset. Enjoy!
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