Mindfulness Activity #3
If you are following these mindfulness prompts daily, yesterday you practiced connecting with your body through a body scan. Today, you are invited to continue to connect with your body with mindful exercise.
For this activity, your task is to exercise briskly for at least twenty to thirty minutes. Noting your present level of fitness, choose an activity you can do, but one vigorous enough for you to focus on 100%. This may be walking briskly so you feel your heart rate increase. Or, if you are more physically fit, you may wish to do squats, jumping jacks, push ups, or jumping rope. Feel free to mix up your activities. Just make sure you choose things you can physically do and be mindful of the space you have available. Make sure that you continue some movement for the amount of time you decided you would practice.
If your thoughts wander, focus on the form of your activity and the location of your arms and legs as they move. Do not forget to breathe.
When your practice is concluded, notice your body with awareness as it goes from very active back to a resting state. Breathe as your heart rate slows.
Note that this is not necessarily meant to be pleasant. For some it may be pleasant and for others, it may be uncomfortable. For some, the act of being willing to make your body active may be very hard. For others, there will be thoughts that are self-critical or thoughts telling you to stop and that you cannot continue. This is all part of the practice. Being effective means if you are too strained to continue, slow down, walk or stretch, but do your best to continue to practice.
Each time we practice mindfulness, we learn something about ourselves and our experience. If you do this practice, ask yourself ”what have I learned about myself?” Be nonjudgmental and gentle in your practice.