In the morning - meditate & then exercise or ...hmm
Recently a member of the private davidji facebook group page asked this question which I thought long and hard about. I remember going through this very experience way back when and it got me thinking. I wondered how many more of us have these similar thoughts so I thought I would share my response for those of you who may be interested:
The question: I usually go to the gym in the morning. I don’t have time to meditate after the gym and get to work on time. I can get up a little earlier to meditate before the gym, but this feels counter intuitive. I’m trying to wake up and be energized not calm and relaxed. Not sure what to do?? Any suggestions??
This is a great question –I remember vividly being at a weeklong retreat with davidji in Tulum and starting each day with meditation at 6 am. I remember thinking how in God’s name will I do this when I get home?!!! Fortunately, I had seven days of meditating twice a day under my belt when I got home. Plus, I had clarity as to why I wanted to create a ritualized meditation practice. This helped me a lot that first Monday back because a tremendous amount of “resistance to change” certainly surfaced (note: resistance is a sign that you are already on the path to healing). I faced “head on” significantly entrenched habits of getting up around 6:30 am, trolling social media and the news all the while sipping two cups of coffee half asleep and then heading out to the gym numb.
I would ask you to come back to your “why.” Why do you choose to meditate? Why now? We all know that having a meditation practice is a choice. I ask my students to reflect on this and write the answer down in a journal. It helps especially when you experience days where you just don’t feel like meditating. I sometimes silently ask myself this very question in the settling phase of my morning practice. Sometimes the answers come but mostly I live the answers throughout my day as I experience my life. Something doesn’t go the way I planned; someone says something that triggers me, etc. Something aw inspiring, joyful occurs.. Suddenly I notice, I become aware of that space between the stimulus and my response…it’s a beautiful thing.
Personally, I chose to follow and still do this - what davidji taught us that first week in Tulum – RPM - rise, pee, meditate. However, davidji is the first person to tell you “whatever works” for you. These are simply guidelines.
I am not sure where you are in your journey but if you are new to meditation I hope you are taking it nice and slow…showing up consistently is more important then how long you are sitting. And, if you really want what you say you want from your practice it will mean getting up 16 seconds, five, ten, 15 or 30 minutes earlier each morning. Also, keep in mind; no two meditations are ever the same so try not to judge them. There are many meditation sessions that I experience that are far from calm and relaxing. It is simply a loving practice of training in awareness and surrendering to "what is."
My final suggestion is have an upbeat music playlist ready to go when you get into your car or on your walk to the gym. That’s what I do!! I am a big fan of Eminem! And finally, your meditation practice will help you immensely in the gym. You will become more mindful during your routines. My meditation practice has allowed me to be more present during exercising. It has also helped me become more accepting of my body, all its changes and has helped me become more grateful for the opportunity to be able to exercise.
Thank you for meditating and if I can answer any other questions please reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I am an advanced certified teacher from the davidji academy and have been honored to have the privilege of hanging out with davidji for many years. (This is Tulum, Mexico) - magnificent right?