I love routine. There’s something about a consistent practice that feels so grounding and healing for me. While I have many small routines throughout my life like yoga, meditation, cooking my own nourishing meals, making my bed, reading, watering my plants, being in nature, etc. there is one in particular that has helped me become more productive, happier, more connected and more powerful.
While it seems so dramatically opposite to meditation and healing, it’s been pivotal for my own journey. So what is this elusive tool that I use?
It’s very simply ~ daily exercise.
Now if you would have told me this a few years ago, I would’ve thought you were crazy. What does exercise and spiritual development have in common? Well, actually a lot.
Whether it’s long rigorous hikes, HIIT style workouts or intense yoga classes, i’ve found the intensity of these moments to be some of the most profound healing experiences of my life. Let me explain why.
Mindset is a massive part of healing, and because the subconscious is pattered at a very young age, most of us struggle to live healthy, mindful lives. Finding a practice that pushes your limits and the edges of your mindset is valuable because it helps you discover a new level of strength, resilience and power beyond your wildest dreams.
While many think of meditation or prayer as the ultimate spiritual practice, I have found similar moments of peace in the middle of an exhaustive run or yoga class. With sweat dripping into my eyes and raw, achy muscles, I have found a level of euphoria and bliss sweep over me.
As the ancient yogis knew, pushing your limits and becoming non-reactive is a powerful practice. This is why yoga was not about the physical postures we think of now like Warrior A or Triangle Pose (in fact, these poses were not even a thing until less than 150 years ago). So what were these ancient yogis doing 2 thousand years ago long before actual yoga poses had been invented?
They were putting themselves in challenging situations so that they could learn how to control their minds. Whether it was laying on a bed of nails, meditating for hours or walking through a blizzard without shoes, these yogis understood that cultivating control over the mind was wildly powerful.
While I haven’t become enlightened from exercise, I can certainly say that it has allowed me to feel more balanced, more joyful and more in tune with myself and my direction.
My favorite routine right now is yoga 5-6 times per week, an hour long hike 2-3 times a week and intense HIIT style workouts 3 times a week. I try to allow for one complete day off each week.
If you’ve been feeling a bit stagnant, unmotivated or stuck, this addition may be exactly what you’re looking for.
Do you find exercise to be a powerful spiritual tool for you? Comment below!