Running Meditation

Running Meditation

BuddhaAn audio Experiment

I had requests to publish this piece as a stand-alone audio.  Here it is.  I added some meditative music to the end to round it out to about 18 minutes. Enjoy

Right click and Save as to get the mp3 file.

http://www.RunRunLive.com/PodcastEpisodes/Meditate-Run-Final.mp3

If you can’t figure it out shoot me an email.

Cheers

Chris,

I have always considered running a mental activity that calms my mind and sorts out my challenges.  Recently I have been reading about flow states and starting to dabble in meditation.  I find that the universe as always is making a great effort to teach me something and connect the dots.

I suppose I’ve always known, but didn’t have the words or practice for it, that running is meditation for me.  It always has been.  I’ve been probing the mind-body connection in my running and racing for years – that is why it is so important to me -but I never drew the obvious connection to direct meditation practice.

In this exercise I’m going to attempt to create a guided meditation for you that combines running and breathing meditation.  It is intended to be an audio piece for you to use when you are running to encourage a meditative state.

In addition when you get good at manipulating the mind body connection in your running you can use these tools when you are racing or other times when the effort level gets hard, to control your emotions and your discomfort.  We all know running is 80% mental, especially distance running, so why not build out your toolset and understanding of the state of your mind?

I have cribbed much of the wording in this session from a breathing meditation audio by Diane Winston at UCLA because I find her word choice and pacing and tone so effective in my own practice.

Let’s begin.

We are out on an easy run.  Maybe someplace peaceful.  Today we are going to focus deeply on a few things.  We are going to let all the noise of our life go.  We are going to be kind to ourselves.

As we run today we are going to become the mind-body connection.

Breathe easily.  Through the nose or the mouth…whatever feels natural.

Now I want you to notice your body.  Notice your hips.  Relax your hips and push them gently forward, like you are being pulled by the belt buckle.

Notice how when you push your hips forward it pulls your body erect.  Gently relax and notice you shoulders straightening up and pulling back.

You are running effortlessly, tall, erect and relaxed.  Your torso is upright, but relaxed.  Your shoulders are back and high and loose and comfortable.

Your head is high and straight and looking forward, chin up and loose.  Smile.  Give yourself some gratitude for being able to run today.  Let the stress go.

  1. Smile.  Relax.

Notice your hands now.  Your hands are high and loose and relaxed about breast high.  Your arms swing loosely from your shoulders, back and front in an easy controlled rhythm. They don’t rotate around your torso they move back and front with your elbows high in the back at the end of the arm swing.

Your arms move back and front in an easy, rhythmic cadence.

Now notice your feet as they hit the ground.  Slowly and easily shift your upper body forward if you need to so that your center of gravity is naturally over your forefoot.

Feel your feet hit the ground lightly and quickly and gently on the middle of the forefoot pad and it feels very natural.  Notice your feet lifting quickly to kick up a little behind you in a rapid, easy “pat-pat-pat” like you are running on a hot surface and you don’t want your feet to linger in contact with the ground.

Pictures the words in your mind each time a foot hits the ground and flows through and out behind – “Fast – Light – Feet”.  One foot quickly replaced by the next in a natural, easy rhythm.

As you find this sweet spot; your running, your stride, your breathing and your mind all should be very quiet.   Your upper body will be very quiet like you are disconnected from your legs and riding on a magic carpet.

Now relax into this perfect, beautiful form and let your body go.  Let it run free.  Notice your body is comfortable and relaxed.  Notice how your body feels from the inside.  Notice the weight, shape and touch of your body.

  1. Become curious with your body.  Feel your body. Notice the weight of your body as your feet hit the ground and spring back.

Feel the rhythm of the easy foot strike.  Feel the easy metronome of your arms as they float back and front.

You are now a perfect running animal.

Now relax any areas of tension.  Relax and soften.

Begin to tune into your breath in your body.  Feel the natural flow of breath.  Don’t try to change your breathing – just notice it as it is.  Breathe. Relaxed.  Natural.

Notice where you feel your breath in your body.  In your belly, your chest, your throat, your nostrils.  Feel the sensation of each breath.  One breath at a time.  When one breath ends the next begins.

As you are doing this you may notice your mind wandering.  You start to think about other things.  This is perfectly ok.  It’s very natural.

Notice that your mind has wandered.  You can say, ‘wandering’ or ‘thinking’ or ‘returning’ in your head, softly and gently redirect your attention back to your breathing.

Now we will stay with this for a short time, maybe 20 seconds, in silence, noticing our body, noticing our breath, from time to time getting lost in thought and returning to our breath.  I want you to be very kind to yourself.  Be forgiving to yourself.  Smile a bit as you run alone with your breath, your body and your heart.

<20 second peaceful pause>

Now once again feel your body and how it moves.  Relax even more deeply.  Let everything go.

Take a moment and offer yourself kindness and gratitude for having done this practice today.  Give yourself an attitude of appreciation, ease and well being for yourself and this run.

<Pause>

<Chime>

Outro Music from the Music Alley podsafe selection:

“Deep Meditation” by Musical Spa – http://musicalspa.com/

At Musical Spa, we create music to help you relax, unwind and reconnect with yourself and your loved ones. Our Wellness Music catalog includes several styles, such as relaxation, spa, meditation, lounge and baby music, among others. We have the perfect soothing music for your wellbeing.

 

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