7 Tips on How to Be Mindful for Your Workouts
Mindfulness has recently come into the spotlight, and for a good reason. First and foremost, it is a branch of meditation. Mindfulness is great for your mental and physical health; it’s a useful tool for slowing down and appreciating what’s going on right in front of you. If things feel a little hectic, this practised awareness, movement by movement, can allow us to experience things we might not in day to day life. These could include being aware of our breathing, sensations that run through our body, or our passing thoughts.
So, why do this?
Mindfulness practises can help us to de-stress, increase our ability to regulate emotions, and help with mental health issues. Here we will talk about the best mindfulness exercises you can do.
What Can Being Mindful Do for Your Surf?
Being mindful has so many benefits, but are there any benefits specific to kitesurfing? Well, yes, there are! Practising mindfulness can build your focus, attention and concentration; three traits you need at their best when you get into the water. The connection between the surfer and the water is apparent, as surfing relies on the connection of being perfectly in-sync with one another.
It’s not just mental clarity that mindfulness is useful for when it comes to kitesurfing. Physical ailments that come as part and parcel with surfing can be managed with meditation too.
Lower back pain is one of the most common injuries that surfers endure. It is said that mindfulness is an effective therapy towards this.
How Does Your Body Feel?
The first step to being mindful during your workout is to pay attention to how your body is feeling at any given point.
One significant advantage of doing this is that it enables you to really pay attention to what your body is trying to tell you. An example of this would be any aches, pains or possible warning signs. The more we are in-tune with our body, the better we get at recognising the signals our body is sending to us.
How Can Surfers Practice Mindfulness?
People can meditate anytime, anywhere, if they practice enough. However, there are ideal conditions in which beginners can start in. Finding somewhere quiet and peaceful is a perfect environment if you’re new to mindfulness. And, if you’re a kitesurfer, it’s no hard guess where your favourite place might be when you think of these traits.
Guided meditations can be preferable if you are new to mindfulness, as it takes the guess work out. Some may say guided meditation also takes the frustration out of trying to find the ‘right way’ to meditate and be mindful.
It can be quite daunting just to begin, so having some loose instructions laid out for you might help. This is where guided meditations come in.
Guide to Meditation for Kitesurfers
1. Embark on your meditation journey when you feel receptive and ready to give mindfulness a go.
2. You can meditate anywhere, just make sure it’s a comfortable spot. It doesn’t necessarily have to be quiet, but fewer distractions might help for a beginner.
3. Wear something comfortable. Loose clothes can help you feel more relaxed and less constricted.
4. Some people like to meditate with relaxing music, but this is entirely optional.
Once everything is ready, how can a surfer start meditating?
There is no one way to meditate, which is a positive. There is no one size fits all, so find a way that is suitable for you. A great beginner’s meditation is recognising and controlling your breathing.
1. Sit down somewhere comfortably, with good upright posture.
2. Close your eyes. What sounds do you notice? Be aware of your environment through all of your other senses.
3. Steadily inhale and exhale through your nose, counting to five on the inhale and eight again on the exhale, if that helps.
4. Feel all of your muscles relax. Unclench your jaw and let your shoulders loosen.
5. Most importantly, remove any pressure to be relaxed. There is nothing more stressful than trying too hard for something, and it then creating the opposite effect.
6. Keep on track. You will be distracted every second with smells, sounds, and all sorts of things going on around you in your environment. The trick is to keep pulling yourself back to the present moment to concentrate on your breathing. However, some people do meditate by allowing sounds and other goings on to happen and pass through as they acknowledge them.
7. When you have finished meditating, just open your eyes and slowly adjust back to the world around you.
If this has inspired you to try meditation to improve your kitesurfing UK experience, then let us know in the comments how it worked for you!