The onset of the holiday season is a natural time to reflect and express gratitude for the people and things we love. While many of us are heading indoors and running fewer miles, it's still a busy time of year. But gratitude shouldn't be addition to your to-do list. It's a daily practice that begins with yourself.
No mater how many miles you've run or whether or not you set a PR this year, when was the last time you paused and really acknowledged all of your hard work? When was the last time you thanked yourself, thanked your body for all that it is, all that it does, and for gifting you the ability to run?
Use this simple meditation to give thanks to your one and only, truly unique running body and experience, helping to set the tone to share that love and gratitude with others:
- Sit comfortably. Prop yourself on the edge of a pillow or folded blanket, or sit in a chair if needed to sit tall so that your architecture is optimized.
- Close your eyes, signaling a shift in your focus from the external to the internal.
- Take a deep breath in... a slow breath out... Continue to deepen your breathing.
- Visualize yourself running — see your surroundings, feel your body moving through space. Really feel it — the effort, the joy, the feeling of flight.
- Hold those feelings as you continue to breath deeply.
- Now, inhale: “Thank”… exhale: “You”…
- Continue to repeat those words to yourself, in your head, as your breathe.
- Notice if there are any aspects of your running, or any specific areas of your body that feel difficult to thank — and spend extra time thanking those even if it feels hard.
- Stay with it.
- Finally, take that feeling of gratitude out of your head and put it into your heart.
- Join your palms in front of your chest, and choose for thankfulness to set the tone.
For more ways to find balance this holiday season, Hit up The Yoga for Runners Collection — a video series to optimize your running.