In this webinar, we will use the skills we learned in our mindfulness challenge to form a beautiful fitness habit, and overcome the obstacles of exercise.
I’ve broken this webinar recording into two parts:
- Part I – My Talk: Skills we learned in our mindfulness challenge to form a beautiful fitness habit. (See notes)
- Part II – Questions & Answers: Overcoming the obstacles of exercise.
Part I: Leo’s Talk (with notes)
Here are the notes from my talk (video is below the notes):
Forming the active habit can be a challenge for a lot of people â€¦ some of the most common obstacles:
- Feeling lazy or tired
- The habit of being on a computer or phone a lot of the time, staying indoors
- Wanting to avoid something strenuous, and go to the comforts of watching videos, browsing social media, playing games
- Not enjoying the movement, disliking feeling sore or sweaty
- Fear of moving due to past injuries or other health issues
- Fears of how youâ€™ll look to others at the gym, yoga class, or walking at the park
- Fears of not knowing what youâ€™re doing
- Disabilities, current injuries, age-related health issues, and other health issues
None of these obstacles is a problem, in an of themselves. Itâ€™s OK to feel tired or lazy. Itâ€™s OK to want comfort or not want to be sore or sweaty. Itâ€™s OK to feel fear.
But that doesnâ€™t mean we let those fears and dislikes rule our lives. We can work with them, mindfully, for the love of our bodies and our health. For the love of those we want to serve, because being healthy will help us serve them better.
Part II: Questions and Answers
Mindfully Forming the Active Habit & Dealing with Obstacles
Using our mindfulness skills we formed in the last challenge, we can practice in much the same way to form the active habit:
- Make a commitment to practice
- Set aside the time and find a space
- Put aside everything else and just fully be with this practice
- Notice the urges to quit or put it off, and practice with those, taking the smallest next step
- Practicing gratitude during the activity, and to close it out
So itâ€™s just like a meditation practice, but with movement. We put aside everything else, and be fully in this space we created. And we not only move, but are fully with the movement. We are fully practicing with whatever comes up for us.
If we can do this, we might even be able to enjoy the practice. Relax into it and smile with gratitude. Allow ourselves to feel joy â€” the joy of moving and feeling alive.
The keys to using mindfulness to overcome the common obstacles:
- Feeling lazy or tired: Pause for just a minute, and sit with this feeling, dropping into the physical feeling, dropping out of the mental habit of putting off or avoiding, and instead being present with the sensations. After a minute of this, ask yourself what would be the most loving thing you could do. If itâ€™s take one small step (do 1 pushup, just walk for 1 minute), then do that. You donâ€™t have to do the whole workout. Youâ€™re forming the new habit of starting.
- Staying in habit of comfort, computer, indoors: You have to interrupt the pattern of comfort and again, drop into the body. You practiced this habit of setting aside time to be present with meditation â€” you can do the same thing for exercise. Drop into the body, be present with sensations. Then again, ask what would be the most loving thing you could do â€” maybe itâ€™s hold to your commitment to move, even just the smallest amount. Once you do, your old pattern has been disrupted.
- Dealing with fears: Again, drop into the body and feel the sensation of the fear. Itâ€™s OK to feel fear, itâ€™s something to practice with. Do a mini-meditation with the sensation of fear â€” be curious: where is it located, what does it feel like? You can see that itâ€™s just a sensation, and once youâ€™re in the bodily sensation, you canâ€™t be in the story in your head that is causing the fear. If you are in your narrative, drop back into the body. Then again, take just the smallest, safest step.
- Dealing with disability or injury: This is about practicing acceptance. And love and compassion for yourself and your limitation.