Or is that live like a dog?
Or any animal, really
Mindfulness. In the now. Being present. Animals, it seems, are the ultimate yogis. I’ve actually taken to calling Bandit Mr. Yogi because of his frequent down dogs. Of course Lola does them too, and Gizmo, but it just struck a chord with me with Bandit.
Animals don’t worry about the future. They don’t spend time contemplating their past. It’s why they’re so darn happy to see you, whether you’ve been gone for 5 minutes or a week.
Dogs run because they love to run. They don’t worry about how fast they’re running, or if those tights make their butt look big, they don’t worry about injury, they don’t even worry if they don’t have all 4 legs!
Dogs run because they love to run!
Being fully present is the best guarantee for a bright future.
— Guy Finley
The time crunched runner
That was me a few weeks ago — it was my peak week of running and because we took the time to celebrate my mom’s birthday with her, instead of just losing one day that week, I lost two.
So I headed out for a 7 mile easy run on what should have been a picture perfect day for it, which was a real gift. Instead of being in the present, though, I was worried about squeezing in the run in time to make it home to shower before meeting with the new pet sitter.
Little wonder that those 7 miles just seemed to drag on and on and brought me little joy.
Buddha mindfullnes is about the present, but I also think it’s about being real. Being awake to everything. Feeling like nothing can hurt you if you can look it straight on.
— Krista Tippett
So what’s the time crunched runner to do?
I really wish I could get that day back, but I can’t. As runners we all have all sorts of tricks to get us through the bad runs, but we seem to forget about one of the best tricks of all: being present. Not worrying about what comes next or checking things off of your to-do list, but just being full present to what you’re doing in the moment.
So how can we turn off our brains and really show up for our runs?
- Take several deep breaths before you start your warm up or your run
- Contemplate why you’re doing this run before you start
- Try a music-podcast free run
- Take a moment to feel the sun on your face or enjoy the beauty of nature around you
- Concentrate on your breath while you’re running
Unless you try to do something beyond what you have already mastered, you will never grow.
— Ralph Waldo Emerson
You may also surprise yourself. You may just give yourself a little burst of confidence. You may grow as a runner.
A few mindfulness resources
I went looking for a few other articles on mindfulness and running:
- A whole site devoted to mindfulness & running! Click here
- Mindful running can make running effortless
- How mindfulness can help you get a better workout
- Mindfulness and running
- Take a deep breath
Do you practice mindfulness while running? Any tips for us?