As Fitness Professionals we are in the go-go-go state quite often. Whether it is client to client, class to class, or a combo of the two. You can even be a manager balancing paperwork on top of it. If you are running your own coaching business then it is most likely all three even if you are solely online there is still this fast pace. Meditating allows us to slow down out of the coaching and life we get caught up in. In this article, I will teach you what meditation is, how to meditate, and some activities that may work for you.
What is Meditation?
There is a common misconception about what meditation is. As a 500 Hour Yoga Teacher and a Life coach, I feel like it is my duty to clear this up for you. I am super passionate about mindfulness and meditation. Meditation is a state of being. Kind of like flow state. Actually, just like the flow state. They can often be referred as each other if you want to get technical with it.
The Difference between Meditation and Mindfulness
Although these topics are similar, there is a difference. I cover mindfulness in a different article, but here is what you need to know about it. Mindfulness is focusing on one thing at a time and being fully present in the moment. Meditation is under the umbrella of mindfulness, but is more so of a result from it. Most Mindfulness activities can help you get into a meditative state.
How do I meditate?
Meditation can be done in many different ways. It can be most commonly thought of as visualization or breathwork. These activities are great ways to get fully immersed in the moment. But, I get it if it isn’t your cup of tea. There are other activities like journaling, Yoga, Qi Gong, Tai Chi, mindful walking, and more. For our sake, I am going to teach you a basic meditation that you can do for however long you like. 3-5 minutes is all you need as a minimum.
P.S. Just as a fun fact, Yoga is designed to prepare you for meditation. If you aren’t already familiar with it send me a message or ask your fellow Yogi at a facility you work at.
A Secular Meditation is a type of breathwork and it basically is following your breath. This activity helps you get into your parasympathetic nervous system (restful state). As fitness professionals we are commonly in a stressed state(sympathetic nervous system) from the hustle and bustle of our professions. Therefore, it is nice to add more parasympathetic activities into our routines. All it takes is 3 minutes and you can add more from there.
Here is how you Perform the Secular Meditation:
- Find a distraction free environment (the best you can)
- Come to a comfortable sitting position with a straight spine (you can also lie down)
- Soften Your Gaze or Close Your eyes ( Closing Your eyes is more powerful due to decreasing another one of your senses)
- Start to notice your breath ( Take note of its feature, shallow or deep, through the belly or in the shoulders, tension in the body?, anything else you can think of)
- As you become more aware of your breath, follow it in through your nose (mouth close, lips can be pursed if that isn’t possible) and follow the breath back out of your nose. When you inhale the torso expands in all directions and filling the belly. As you exhale the torso and belly come back to neutral.
- Notice any thoughts, feelings, sensations that arise, then return back to following the breath.
- Do this for 3 minutes and work your way up. The most benefits come between 3 and 15 minutes.
P.S. It may be hard at first, just like increasing your weight on an exercise. As you do it more, it gets easier, It is a muscle that is being worked.
This is the most basic meditation and you can check out my intro package of guided meditations and other bonus materials here.
Breathwork is focusing on the breath. The above exercise does this. There are others like the 3-4-5, 4-7-8, Square Breath, Even breathing, and much more. If you’d like to explore those more, check out that meditation package above or stay tuned for my YouTube channel where I post one breathwork exercise a week.
Visualization can be done in conjunction with the breath. They are often called guided meditations as well and you can also find these in the 26 videos I have in the package above. Basically, a visualization meditation can guide you through imagery. This is seen as floating in water, visualizing the ocean, body scans, and other amazing internal journey’s.
Getting into the Rested State
I preach this to my clients. If you are constantly running around, you will hit a wall and have a decrease in energy. Making sure to have rest will help. Meditation is just one tool to help you do this. Stay with parasympathetic activities on getting one in at least a few times a week if not making a routine out of it. You are not a robot and need time to rest and recover.
Establishing a meditation or self care practice will help you keep doing what you love and prevent you from burning out. Be mindful of your energy and set boundaries so you can do this profession long term. Even taking a day off to where you chill, get in some nature, a bath, meditation, stretching, or having some family time outside of the hustling from one errand, client, or class can help. I recommend having at least 2 full days off and not working more than 45 hours a week.
Meditation gets you into a flow state and transitions you from your sympathetic (stressed) nervous system to your parasympathetic (relaxed) nervous system. Meditation is a state of being and can be achieved through mindfulness activities. The activities in this article go over Secular Meditation, Breathwork, and Visualization.