Running is My Meditation

When many think of running, they think of pain, grinding, sweat, and discomfort. While yes, this may be true, to me running has brought a sense of stillness – a beautiful paradox that has brought stability to my life.

I have practiced yoga for eight years, and took a particular liking to the practice of Yin. This is a restorative and meditative practice which works by holding the poses for longer periods, generally 3-5 minutes. The poses are long stretches, often with less intensity as you find stillness and slowly release fascial tissue. Why I was so attracted to this was because of the issues I had with my attention deficit, and inability to sit still and focus. I began this to become better at being focused on a single thing – in this case it is the present moment and my breath. As I got better at figuring out techniques to zone in my focus, it directly translated to my running.

When I am on a run, I feel absolutely free. In the higher intensity runs where I’m doing a tough workout on the trails or track, I find an inner stillness that comes through despite the discomfort of the workout. I’ve learned to calm my mind at my moments of pain, focus through each step when it feels like I can’t take another. Running is my meditation. In these moments, I become completely immersed in the now. The more I run, the more I learn about myself. I can mentally push myself to stay accountable to the moment. It is one thing to run harder, but it is another to find stillness in it – it is a skill that I challenge you to work on through all moments of discomfort you may find, whether that be in a workout, a challenging assignment, or any situation where you are going outside your comfort zone. Find stillness in your mind – it is the most rewarding experience to come back to the hectic reality after having escaped it for even a little while.

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My sanctuary that can be found anywhere that I can run.

My sanctuary that can be found anywhere that I can run.

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