|Get the best of Oprah.com in your inbox. Sign up for our newsletters!|
How to Have a More Mindful Workout
There's nothing wrong with that, but for variety's sake, you might want to try tuning in to a different kind of audio during your next workout--like your breathing, and the sound of your feet hitting the ground, and the swish of your arms. Sakyong Mipham, the Tibetan lama and leader of the Shambhala Buddhism community, is (naturally) a strong advocate of this kind of in-the-moment workout. The Sakyong (his title means "the king" in Tibetan) may spend a fair amount of time on a prayer mat, but he's also an athlete who has completed nine and a half marathons, and his recently-published book, Running With the Mind of Meditation, serves as a guide for integrating elements of meditation into the physical act of running.
Basically, the Sakyong advocates tuning into how the run makes us feel (even if the answer is, "pretty crappy"), and claims this will help strengthen powers of concentration, bring clarity and calm to our day, and might even bring us a little closer to enlightenment. Considering the Sakyong's fitness level and appearance (he's nearing 50, but looks much younger, as you can see in the photo to the left), he's definitely on to something, whether it be running, meditation, or doing both at once.
We figured that it might be kind of tricky to skim the Sakyong's book while pounding the pavement, so we asked him to create a mini-meditation that you can listen to on your computer while stretching, on your iPhone while you're on the road. As the Sakyong says, "Let's go for a meditative run."
Meditate while you work out
More mini meditations you can incorporate into your day
As a reminder, always consult your doctor for medical advice and treatment before starting any program.