Self-Care Sunday: Exercise and Meditation Edition
When I’m exhausted or stressed out, the idea of vigorous exercise is often not appealing in any way whatsoever. I know that it helps me with my stress and anxious feelings. I know it has tons of benefits. But sometimes, I’m just tired.
Several months ago, I went to a class at my yoga studio in which the teacher blended yoga and pilates strategies for a calming and effective workout. Basically, we did core and arm workouts, but focused on slow, deliberate movements that allowed us to maintain a consistent, calm breathing pattern. And once we closed our eyes, it was like a meditative state while doing our crunches, or our forearm planks, or whatever else we were doing. Mainly because the focus was on maintaining our breath.
Deep, slow, consistent breathing patterns are so calming. Whenever I’m feeling stressed out, I find a few minutes to sit in a quiet place and just take a few breaths.
So, today, if you’re feeling anxious and don’t have the time or energy for a long, vigorous workout, pick a few simple workout moves and try to perform them slowly while breathing calmly. This could be lunges, squats, push ups, sit ups, leg lifts, or any other activity. The slow, deliberate movement will enhance your muscle strength and control, and the calm breathing will help ease some of that anxiety.