A lot of us use swimming as a great exercise to stay healthy and fit. When practised regularly, it’s not uncommon for us to become lost in own worlds and switch to autopilot, however, swimming is a great opportunity to practise meditation and increase the awareness of our minds and bodies.
To help get you started, I have compiled a list of tips and advice that effectively allow you to meditate and become aware every time you exercise, allowing you to stay fit and healthy and become a calmer, more stress-free and positive person in the long term.
Start at the Beginning
Firstly, even when you’re on your way to swimming pool, place yourself in the mindset that you’re going to be present when you’re swimming. You could even meditate for 5-10 minutes before you go, just to ensure your mind is in the ready state to become more aware when you’re in the water, not just trying to rack up the number of laps you can achieve.
Draw Your Attention to your Movements
When you’re in the pool, notice how you move through the water. Pay attention to how your skin feels and how the water moves over your body. Feel how you float and how the edges of the pool feel against your skin. You may find your body starts to wander as it normally would and, like meditation, it will take practice to get into this mindset.
Concentrate on your Breathing
As with meditation, focus on your breathing to ensure you’re breathing naturally whilst maximising your breath. Try and find a constant, satisfying rhythm that allows you to concentrate and exercise efficiently. Draw focus to how your body is reacting to your breath.
Feel your Strokes
Notice the changes in your body as your arms, legs and feet leave the water and re-enter it. Notice the air on your body and the feeling of your body parts re-entering the water. Become aware of the changes in temperature.
Listen to the Sounds
Can you hear the splashes around you? Can you hear the bubbles and your own breathing patterns? Listen to the sounds around you. This will enable you to become a lot more present while swimming, a practice you can then apply to everyday life. Practice seeing how quietly and peacefully you can swim.
Each stroke, each breath, each movement your body makes should grow to be more and more defined and precise. Make each movement you make as defined as it can be. Aim to be as ‘tall’ as possible. Move with the water.
Swimming is a fantastic form of exercise and when combined with meditation, it can become even more beneficial to your mind and body. By practising meditating at home and when your exercising means you are maximising your opportunities to become mindful throughout your day, leading to a more positive and self-aware existence.
Have you practised becoming mindful when swimming, or in any other exercise? Do you have any tips for other people or looking for some advice to suit your personal situation? Let us know in the comments below!