Stop. Sit. Do Nothing. Breathe.
Sounds easy enough, right?
In theory, yes, but in practice, not always.
Ironically enough, today's #MoveItMonday requires absolutely no movement at all. I'm talking about taking a few moments to meditate to get your mind right after your daily movement. While we can most definitely benefit from doing this a multitude of times throughout any given day, for the purpose of this post, today's post is talking specifically about getting your #MindRight following your workout.
This morning at the gym I had a few extra minutes so I decided to do a brief #MindRight meditation. This practice is one of my favorite things to do, yet for some reason, I don't find myself doing it enough. After leaving the gym this morning feeling more grateful, uplifted and calm, I'm reminded how awesome and beneficial this time is and am vowing to get my mind right each day from here on out!
Ok, cool. But, what does #MindRight even mean?
While it may be something different for all of us, to me, #MindRight means better mental health including but not limited to lower stress levels, less anxiety and a better attitude. Getting my mind right helps me focus and to clear my head. Taking a few extra moments post-workout to sit, be still, be present and breathe can make all the difference in how I approach my day.
Where did this idea of #MindRight meditation come from?
I first discovered this "#MindRight" practice by watching Whole30 headmistress Melissa Urban's IG stories. She'd post her daily #MindRight practice and I became intrigued and inspired. By nature of social media, I then learned that fitness professional Todd McCullough created this #MindRight meditation so I dug in a little further.
So, what is a #MindRight meditation?
In short, this #MindRight practice is a brief four-part, four-minute meditation Todd created to help him get his mind right following his workouts. It's a simple way to take a few moments, be grateful, lift up those around you, set your intentions for the day and be present. Todd shares a brief video on his website that walks through the #MindRight meditation to help you get started, but I'll share with you my approach.
As you've read and you'll see in the video, the idea is to do this #MindRight meditation post-workout. Now, I know what you're thinking...' So I'm supposed to sit in the midst of a crazy, loud, sometimes chaotic gym and that will help me clear my head and meditate?!' And, as crazy as that sounds, the answer is YES!
The key is to find a nice corner of the gym that you can sit quietly alone and unbothered. You don't need a lot of space. As long as you're able to sit criss-cross apple sauce, that is all the space you need. Initially, it might feel awkward to sit in the hustle and bustle of the gym with eyes closed but eventually you get used to it (not to mention, the reward makes it totally worth it). Following my workout, I usually move to a hallway or group exercise room that I know will be unused for the duration of my meditation. If the clanging of barbells and racking of weights isn't your thing, put on a little music to help drown out the noise. I will often put on my headphones and queue up a soft, calming tune on Spotify while I do my meditation because it helps to keep me centered and connected. Each of us is different and there really isn't a right or wrong way to do it.
Another thing that I love to implement into my own, as well as my clients, #MindRight practice is to read a passage out of Melody Beattie's book, Journey to the Heart. The book includes a short reading to include in your daily meditation. I like it because it gives me a little something extra to meditate on for the day. Each passage is uplifting with so many great takeaways.
This all sounds awesome, but..
The top excuses for not implementating a meditation practice are lack of time, 'it's boring' or 'too hard'.
You know that you'll benefit from it, but carving out the time to do it is a whole other thing. I get it, we are all busy people hurrying from one commitment or task to the next. I'm with you 100%, I'm busy too. "Lack of time" is the most likely reason I have not been implementing this practice in as much as I would have liked.
But, here's the thing....it's only four minutes. I'm telling this to myself as much as I am to you. Build these four minutes into your workout. If you exercise for 45 minutes, start five minutes earlier so that you can fit this in. Or, shorten your workout by a few minutes to take the time to get your #MindRight at the end of your session. If you absolutely don't have four minutes to add, evaluate where your time goes in any given day. Guaranteed you can take four minutes away from social media scrolling or tv watching and sneak in a quick meditation.
As for those that consider meditating boring or difficult, I understand. I have been there before and still encounter these roadblocks. Power through. Sitting still for four minutes may seem boring when you have a lengthy t0-do list or other more exciting things on your agenda, but give it a chance. You'll likely find that taking a few moments of stillness will actually add enhancement to the rest of your day. You'll have more energy and stamina to tackle your to-do list and be in a better mood for those exciting 'other things' you have going on throughout your day.
And, yes, meditating can be difficult. If it was easy, everyone would be doing it and I probably wouldn't have this post to write. Being alone with our thoughts is scary. Don't let your thoughts overrule. Again, it's only four minutes. Once you watch how Todd explains his #MindRight meditation, you'll find that it is a little easier than you think. He gives you some guiding thoughts that provide direction to your practice. And, if it is simply too challenging to be completely still during your #MindRight session, add in some light stretches. I'll sometimes do some neck stretching or simple twists as I begin my meditation. It helps my body unwind and focus in at the task at hand.
I promise it's worth it!
It's so worth it! Your mind, body and soul need this, they just might not realize it yet. Yes, it's true that exercise in and of itself makes me feel better. Beginning my morning with a workout improves my mood and mental health and starts things off on the right foot. Adding in a brief #MindRight meditation takes all those feels exponentially further. Not only am I am a better mood after my workout, but after my meditation, but I'm relaxed and calm. I have more gratitude for the effort I've just given. I'm centered. I've taken time to be grateful for the people, the places, the things and experiences that surround me. Rather than feeling beat and worn down after a tough workout, I have more gratitude for my body that has allowed me the ability to move and complete the workout. A brief meditation gives me time to set positive intentions for the day before the day has gotten away from me. I'm connected to myself, my feelings, and my surroundings so much deeper after meditating.
Wouldn't be a #MoveItMonday without a challenge.
First, I'm challenging myself to recommit by adding this #mindright meditation to the end of my workouts. My short-term goal is to do this every day this week. I've already got day one under my belt! My challenge for you is to join me. I highly encourage you to give it a try. Watch Todd's video to get an understanding of how to approach the meditation and then go for it. Carve out four minutes into at least one of your workout sessions this week and get your #MindRight.
Last but not least, if you are still not convinced and want to get a little more background and detail around #MindRight meditation, check out Melissa Urban's Do The Thing Podcast. She featured Todd a couple of weeks ago and they talk about all things #MindRight meditation. It's a great one and definitely worth checking out!
Special thanks to Melissa and Todd for sharing the #MindRight mission! I love it and I hope you all will too!