Meditative running is running with a focus on breath instead of thoughts - think meditating and running, yoga and running. I was first introduced to this idea by my sister, followed up a day later by Runner's World Magazine. You would think that this would be a natural fit for me. I (kind of) like running and I like yoga, and I have been toying with the idea of meditation. So today, months after I heard about meditative running, I decided to give it a go (I forgot my ipod at home). My four lunchtime miles progressed as follows:
First .5: Wow - Meditative running. This is going to be great. Breathe in, breathe out, breathe in, breathe out. Hill. I hate this hill. I should write a blog post about how walking up hills is like child pose. I fact, I like child pose. I'll walk.
Second .5: Meditate. Focus on the breath. In one, two, three, four. Out, one, two...boy, my breath sure is shaky. I wonder if its always this shaky. Car.
Second Mile: Okay, screw the breath. Let the thoughts wash in and out...thats meditating too, right? (I then proceeded to draft about 8 blog posts in my head).
Third Mile: I hope Bill wants chicken sausage for dinner on Friday...I hope I get to go to that yoga class Thursday...That means I'll have to go wine tasting on Friday instead...I could get wine to go with the chicken sausage!
Last Mile: Downhill! Thank God. Oh, meditating. Right. Maybe if I work on finding mountain pose in my stride. Breathe innnnnnn, breathe ooouuuuttttt, breathe innnnnnn, breathe ouuuuuuuttttttt. Lift up, mountain pose. Why are my arms so tired? Shade!
Home stretch: I cannot wait to write about how peaceful and meditative that run was!!
In truth, that is a pretty accurate description of my attempt at meditative running. And in fact, besides the hills and cars, it is also similar to what my mind does in yoga practice. Finding stillness in your mind is no easy task. But it is the coming back to it, the constant practice at quiet, at silence, that is so fulfilling, so peaceful.
Also, if you do run and you do practice yoga, try applying mountain pose to your stride. I felt like it gave me a lighter step. Or it could have been the downhill.