When I ask clients what they think lays the foundation of a holistic training way of life, they often share many great ideas. Usually they say it’s our nutrition, sleep, or movement, which are all accurate and part of a bigger answer.
How we breathe and meditate is a major and often overlooked ingredient that is the foundation to cultivating energy and strength.
Having a daily meditation or energy building practice might be the secret to longevity for many of us.
Let’s look at that a little deeper:
First and foremost is that we know stress is a silent killer and a contributing factor to an alarming number of deaths in the United States.
Meditation and functional breathing are valuable tools for reducing stress. The breath is our direct link to our autonomic nervous system and its two pathways: The sympathetic, which is our “fight or flight” response and the parasympathetic, which is our “rest and digest” response.
When we meditate, perform Thai Chi or simply slow down and become more present we stimulate the parasympathetic side of our autonomic nervous system. This in turn stimulates better vegal tone. Vegal tone is responsible for lowering inflammation in our bodies, and when we have less inflammation, we have less dis-ease!
Having a meditation or energy building practice, (EBP), is time where we connect to soul.
The result of this time is a heightened ability to be more present throughout our day. When we are more present, we react less and respond to experiences with focused attention. It helps us maintain alignment with our desired mindset and deeper intentions.
All these positive results of cultivating energy and allowing our bodies to recover lead the way to us taking better care of ourselves! This is why in Nimble Fitness, our functional strength and conditioning studio, we say “training is a way of life”. Start by doing ONE thing and integrating it as a new consistent behavior! Maybe it’s the walking meditation, signing up for a meditation app or simply sitting quietly to focus on breath for a few minutes.
Breathing in through the nose and out of the nose, light, low and slow will help you lower anxiety, de-stress and heal your body.
By shifting your mindset to “I take a holistic approach to training and living”, will help your subconscious see all the opportunities to cultivate energy throughout your day. Start there and witness the next step down your path to elevating the health of your mind, body and soul.
WALKING MEDITATION TIPS:
- Get to know the path that you walk! Whether it’s in the city or the country. It’s good to know the terrain a little.
- Use soft eyes. This is when you soften your gaze to see your peripheral vision and not focusing on one point.
- Be open to all your senses. Hear the birds chirping and any other sounds. Smell and feel the air. Sense your body’s flow in gait.
- Relax and breathe. Relax your body and breathe light, low and slow. Breathe through the nose! Mouth breathing stimulates the sympathetic system, and we want the parasympathetic system to be stimulated by your walking meditation.
- Just be. They call meditation a practice because it can take time to truly calm the mind. Be patient and you will reap the rewards of taking time with your soul.
If you like, you can you silently repeat this mantra by Thich Nhat Hanhat the beginning of your walks.
“I have arrived. I am home.”