We all need to relax. True.
Some people, some cultures, some countries do it better than others, just like there are some animals that do it better too. We all need to relax. That much is true.
And physical relaxation is important but I think it is second to mental relaxation. A relaxed mind is a relaxed body. Not necessarily the other way round. You see it when you watch elite sportsperson in competition and you hear them talk about their mental state being the difference between winning and not. The mind is intricately connected to the body, you all know that.
What I mean is that mental relaxation and peace of mind is one of the most important ways each and every one of us need in our lives to truly relax because it helps boost our sense of vitality. The quantity of hours of sleep is not as important as the quality of sleep but sleep in and of itself is not enough to attaining a relaxed mental state. Your mind being at rest. A quiet mind. You know the type, the people who sleep more than the recommended 8 hours a day and still seem more restless when they wake. They probably have not quietened their mind, not truly allowed their minds to rest. Slowed their minds.
It is a need, not a want. Remember this.
Everyone is searching for that something, that medium that would allow them to feel relaxed. Some go to a church or mosque, some do yoga, meditation classes, some surf, do gardening or fish. Some turn to alcohol, some to drugs. Some go to the other side of the world in search of a way, of a magical drug to find a way to calm, to rest, to slow their minds. Some find it, most never do.
What if I said that you don’t have to look very far. What if I told you that the essence of meditation can be had in the gym. Yes, your gym down the road.
Apart from all the physical goals you set yourself to achieve by visiting the gym, the most important benefit – NOW, to you is the intangible benefits of mental rest and relaxation. How is that so, you say? Well, I don’t think everyone has the required skill level to truly absorb the full benefits to the mind that working out with weights gives. However, it can be learned just like anything else, with patience and a good teacher.
How do you define a workout? Some of you may say words like “lifting weights, with reps; intensity; hard work, lots of sweating etc ..” All good.
I define a workout as a “continuous progression of 15 to 45 second FOCUSED MOMENTS”.
Now, here’s the thing – what are these ’15 to 45 second focused moments?’ Well, they’re simply what every gym goer calls a ‘set’. A number of sets of exercises comprise a workout. I refer to a set as a ‘focused moment’. Now, how does this allow my mind to relax?
Well, think about it for a second … if you really focus for the 15 to 45 seconds and become one with the weight and perform the set, your mind will be thinking of nothing else but getting through each repetition. All other thoughts are blocked out of your mind just for those focused seconds. Don’t let anything or anyone distract you for those seconds. If you add up all those 15 to 45 seconds for the duration of your workout, you would probably get 30 minutes of ‘quiet time’ or totally ‘relaxed mind’ for that period of time.
Now that is food for the mind.
Each workout is my meditation hour. Make it yours too. I have anywhere between 3 and 5 workouts a week. So that means I get 3 to 5 meditation hours every week. Do you get yours? Do you get to rest your mind through your body? Do you give it the respect it needs? What you get out of it depends on how much effort you put in to it, how well you focus. Learn proper exercise/meditation technique and practise, practise, practise. Set after set after set.
If you don’t already visit a gym, do so and try it. Try this meditation technique. Even if you don’t get it the first few times around, you’re still going to benefit from increased muscle size.
Its a WIN-WIN for you!
See if you feel the essence of your workouts.
Until next time,