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GRIT LIFE Members on Mindfulness and Meditation

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In our final REFLECT post for the month, we bring you the stories of two of our amazing community members. Learn more about how Amee and Jessica have used meditation, breathing and mindfulness to achieve focus, relieve stress and improve other areas of their lives. At GRIT Life we believe that mindfulness, meditation and positive intentions are a crucial part of healthy lives and fitness routines.

We want to thank Amee and Jess for sharing their stories and giving back to our community. We’ll continue to share stories of our members in the coming months. And if you need any help setting up a mindfulness or meditation practice, don’t hesitate to grab us after class.

Meditation Experience and Practice – Amee

Meditation Experience and Practice – Jessica

We want to hear from you too! Interested in participating in future member spotlights? Touch base with Craig or drop us a comment here or on Facebook. Our community is so important to us and we want to make sure that you have your say.

 

Improving Mindfulness and Reflection: Box Breathing

Every day, I try to spend a minimum of two minutes practicing box breathing. I think of it as mental hygiene, because it’s like giving your mind a bath. It helps us to focus and clear our mind of distractions.

For me, it’s best to perform this exercise first thing in the morning, but as you begin to see and feel the results, you may find yourself sneaking away throughout the day to refocus your attention.

During your practice, focus on your breath. If your mind wanders, don’t allow yourself to become frustrated. Return to the breath. Like any other exercise, the more you do it, the better you’ll get.

We begin box breathing by exhaling all of the air from the lungs. Once we’ve emptied, we inhale deeply into our bellies for a count of five and then retain that breath for a count of five seconds without closing off our airway. It may be tricky to resist the urge to “hold our breath” and close our mouths at first but with practice it becomes more natural.

Exhale slowly for a count of 5 seconds as you slowly push the air completely from your lungs. Suspend and hold the exhaled breath for an additional 5 seconds without closing the airway to complete the “box.”

Once you’ve mastered the box breath, you can deepen your impact by reciting a mantra each time you are on the hold portion of the exercise. For example: “I ___ know, see, hear and feel that I am _____.” (Fill in the blank with whatever you need to help you power through your day: “powerful, complete, loved, strong, etc.”)

Look at the diagram provided here for a visual of how the box breath works. Give it a try and let us know if you have questions on box breathing in the comments or over on our Facebook Page.

Executing The Box Breath

People have been using breathing exercises for centuries to help them focus and clear their mind of distractions and many of us at GRIT Life know the power of this mindfulness technique. Have a great week!

September’s Focus Pillar: Reflect

Sun Tzu Statue

“Victorious warriors win first and then go to war, while defeated Warriors go to war first and then seek to win.” – Sun Tzu

In September, we reflect. Reflection means many things to many people. To us, it’s about mindfulness.

“Mindfulness” is a popular (but subjective) word that’s often associated with meditation, yoga and spirituality. In experimental psychology, the word is more rigorously defined as controlled attentiveness, a deliberate “awareness of what is happening in the present moment.” In the case of the Sun Tzu quote, mindfulness is about understanding how you’ll win before you even step onto the field of battle, or into the gym!

This month we’ll explore all sides of mindfulness, because each of the definitions are a crucial benefit to health, exercise and recovery. Just like our muscles, it’s important to give our brains active work to stay strong and healthy, as well as time to rest and recover. And if we don’t have our minds right or understand the battle in front of us, we’ve already secured our own defeat.

Each week, we’ll focus on a different piece of mindfulness and reflection. We’ll touch on proper breath, meditation techniques and setting intentions to achieve “deliberate attentiveness.” We’ll even share some thoughts and lessons from the members of our amazing family of GRIT LIFERS.

Here’s what you can look forward to over the next four weeks:

Week of Sept. 4 – The importance of staying mindful during exercise

Week of Sept. 11 – The Box Breath

Week of Sept. 18 – Meditation and our brains

Week of Sept. 25 – Mindfulness and our members

We hope you’ll stick with us, participate in the comments and conversations on Facebook. As the seasons begin to change, it’s the perfect time to reflect, adjust our goals, set intentions and get ready to crush our goals. Interested in being part of our member stories this month? Drop us a comment below or send us a message on Facebook.