Live Longer With Exercise and Meditation

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Many people link meditation with exercise, since the ancient Hindu practice of yoga includes both. You can meditate without exercise, just as you can exercise without meditation, but by combining the two, you can achieve great results. Exercise and meditation are both great ways to heal your body and spirit and promote a healthy lifestyle.

As one of the five principles of yoga, meditation works best with this type of exercise. Meditation is also associated and works well with other Eastern forms of exercise, such as Tai Chi. First, learn special meditation techniques to begin your exercising program. When you meditate, learn to focus on your breathing. This control of breath becomes very important in all forms of exercise, and by learning to breathe more deliberately, you will be able to do so when you exercise as well. By learning to control your breath, you also learn how to control your body, helping you reduce pain.

There are even some masters of meditation who have scientifically proven their ability to control heartbeat with meditation! Although you would have to devote your life to achieving this, as a beginner you can still effect your health when meditating. This helps your exercise become more efficient.

One form of meditation that is especially significant if you want to take care of the exercise aspects as well is the body scan. In this form of meditation, you first focus on breathing, and then concentrating on the very tips of your toes, imagining your breath and blood flowing to them. Understand this part of your body, and feel any changes or stimulation happening there. Concentrate on them for about a minute and slowly work your way up the body, concentrating on your feet, all parts of the legs, hips, arms, torso, neck, and head.

Focus on the body in small increments--your fingers, thumbs, joints, palms, and wrists instead of your entire hand for example. Pay particular attention to parts of the body that hurt and visualize healing energy flowing into them. End with the top of your head/hair in a final release of stress. This helps you evaluate your body and is especially good as a cool down exercise after a workout and stretching.

You can also learn to meditate as you exercise, with certain techniques. Many beginners enjoy walking meditation, and in fact, many people who do not regularly meditate go on walk to help "clear their minds." With walking meditation, you carefully concentrate on every step. Joggers may also find this possible, and as you meditate and walk or jog, you can also choose to concentrate on your breathing, helping you achieve greater workouts.

Meditation helps you exercise because they both effect the chemicals in your brain in a positive way. Whether you practice the ancient Eastern forms of exercise, like yoga, or participate in other exercise workouts, such as weight training or cardiovascular exercise, meditation can help you achieve your health goals. Both relieve the stress of everyday life while helping you stay healthy, so you should practice meditation and exercise hand in hand. By getting into good health routines such as these, you can live a longer and healthier life.

By Mike Garrett

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