Why Does Meditation Improve Your Fitness?
Meditation has been referred to as “fitness for the mind.” So what happens when fitness for the body is paired with fitness for the mind? A recent study shows that combining fitness with meditation can reduce chronic depression by an astounding 40%! This makes sense, because present moment awareness is like building a muscle for peak mental performance. Since the body is undoubtedly integrated with the mind, a higher cognitive performance positively impacts the body as a whole. What might happen for new meditators who aren’t experiencing depression?
Research has proven that emotions are expressed in the body. With repeated stress, neurophysiologists show that ‘people over time have shorter neck and shoulder muscles.’ Ask yourself where you store stress, and you can point to a specific place in your body. Strange, isn’t it? The stress you feel in your mind can be translated to specific points on your body! It’s no wonder some fitness routines are pushed aside due to repeat injuries. The good news is, regular meditation is shown to relieve this festering chronic stress from the mind & body. With less anxiety, you can sleep better, focus on things that truly matter, and take your workouts to the next level with less chance for injury.
Another benefit of dissolving mental unrest, is that you have more freedom from the voices inside your head telling you that you can’t do something. Your mind is a precious human resource, why waste it on mental chatter that does not serve you? Why not invest time nurturing the mind as a tool for enhancing the body? Whether you are holding a plank for another a minute, or scheduling your weekly routine and STICKING to it, mental grit is needed to reach your full potential in all areas of your life. Mental stamina is so important to physical performance, it’s why professional athletes like LeBron James, Derek Jeter, and Deena Castor not only practice their skills physically, but also mentally rehearse them too.
The benefits of partnering a meditation practice with regular fitness are clear, so why aren’t more people doing it? Well, the number one reason is that most people don’t think they are good at it, or that it’s too hard to “quiet the mind.” Fortunately, one of the unknown beauties of meditation is that, contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to try so hard to do it. You don’t have to sit on a block for hours in the perfect position. You don’t have to live under a Guru in an Indian ashram. You don’t have to “quiet your mind” or turn thoughts into clouds. You don’t even have to leave your living room. There is an ancient practice where the mind is allowed to flow, wherever it wants, with a mantra lightly anchoring the mind to a space of intention. It’s called Vedic Meditation, and it’s for people who lead busy lives.
Stay tuned for upcoming CORE40 meditation offerings!