Okay, okay I know what you’re thinking. How the heck could exercise ever be related to meditation? The two are polar opposites. Hear me out for a second…

When you’re working out, for the most part, you’re in the zone. Right? All you hear is the beautiful noise coming through your headphones, fueling your heart and allowing you to push for that extra rep, burpee, or mile. All that exists is what’s happening in the present moment where you are pushing, sweating, and bettering yourself.

Whether you run, swim, dance, lift, do yoga, etc., that same experience of thoughtlessness pops up during that hour or so when you are in the zone. There is a gap in your consciousness that allows for the mind to quiet, bringing you to the present moment. This is meditation.

Meditation can be experienced classically by sitting down and tuning into your inner self, but what people don’t realize is that it can just as easily be tapped into by doing the things that you love.

When you are in flow, otherwise known as the zone, thoughts and worries dissipate and life seems a whole lot less serious. This is where we experience feelings of true happiness and joy; at first, they may seem small and fleeting, but with practice, meditation becomes a part of everything and you find yourself moving through life more peacefully, joyously, and easily.

Have you ever experienced a gap in your thoughts, a moment when you were free from thoughts of worry and fear?

I know I have, and ever since I’ve wanted to experience it all the time. So often, our minds become muddied with regrets of the past, fears of the future, and feelings that we aren’t doing enough in the present moment. I’m here to tell you that none of those thoughts are true in this moment, and none of them truly matter in the grand scheme of things.

When you focus on the present moment, there’s no room for anything except what you are experiencing right here and now. When you are knee-deep in clean and jerks or when you’re finishing that third mile, nothing matters except that moment. Your mind is clear, your heart is open, and you feel free. This is moving meditation, and it leaves you feeling more clarity and energy for hours afterwards.

So if meditation doesn’t seem realistic for you, start by using exercise or physical activity as a means for meditation.

You are important, and your health is a hundred times more important than your homework assignment or deadline.

I challenge you to take time to yourself as often as you can to escape from the demands of everyday life. Sure, you’ve got to take care of your responsibilities, but don’t sacrifice your own well being in order to do so.

Do ya thang, whatever that may be, and open yourself to the peace that comes from it. 

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About The Author

Hannah is a sophomore at Virginia Commonwealth University studying Health Science and English with hopes to become your go-to trainer, dietitian, and wellness expert! When she's not planning her next four meals you can find her at a music festival, a yoga class, or the cutest coffee shop in proximity.

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