Running form as a meditation practice
As I was running today, I thought about how my running has become a meditative process, and how I have benefited from that. My training partner told me his wife used to be a runner, but quit. When I asked her about it, she said she had used running to work out problems and conflicts.
She worked in a very high stress job, and running was the only thing that kept her sane. The run that ended it all was on a really bad day, after dealing with a difficult co-worker. She took it out running and was so into the conflict, that she found herself arguing out loud as she ran, and stopped when she started yelling. She decided there that running was not helping her but making her more stressed.
It’s too bad she didn’t know about ChiRunning and its aim to change running into a holistic practice by focusing on form. Each time I head out for a run, thinking about my running form (through focuses and body sensing) has a way of clearing my mind of all the clutter. In this sense, running becomes a meditative practice. As you become more in tune with your body and your running form, your mind gets clearer and your focus improves. Because my mind is on form and body sensing, there is no room for that difficult co-worker, or any other issues causing me grief. And, as in a meditative practice, when my mind does wander, I can always bring it back to the present, just by remembering my focuses and checking my form. The issues I left at the doorstep may still be there when I return, but I’ll be better prepared to deal with them. And no one on the trail gets yelled at in the process!