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An Alternative Exercise Program for Mind-Body Connection
by Elizabeth Phinney
With more than 20 million people in the United States alone practicing yoga, there’s got to be something to it. But for some, despite trying all different types of yoga, they can’t seem to find the mind-body connection that everyone talks about. Some types are too difficult, others are too “young”, and even others are too long and boring.
There is, however, an alternative way to achieve that mind-body connection while exercising through meditative strength training, which is strength training in rhythm with one’s breathing. In the fitness industry it is standard procedure to exhale during the exertive phase of the movement and inhale during the release phase. Meditative strength training begins first with the breath. Then, the movement is incorporated into the breath. So, during the exhale, exercisers exert and during the inhale they release—for the full duration of the breath. That is, the pace and length of the breath determines the pace and length of the movement. Exertion lasts for however long it takes to exhale, and release lasts for however long it takes to inhale.
Try doing a bit of “meditation” with your next strength training session by focusing on breathing. You will be amazed on the relaxing effect it has not only on your workout, but also on your mind body connection.
Elizabeth Phinney is an ACE certified personal trainer and holds a specialty certification in fitness nutrition. She is the creator of BodSpir® Meditative Strength Training and focuses on fitness after the age of 45, helping people create their physical future. Visit FitnessAfterFortyFive.com for more information. See ad, page ??.