Is There a Monkey in Your Mind?

Rachel E. Northrup, founder of VA VA Voom Co.

What’s meditation got to do with your muscles?  If you have any degree of stress in your life, sitting down to quiet your mind for 2-5 minutes and breathe can really be a game changer. In fact, one of the most famous rock bands of all times, The Beatles, sat for twenty minutes daily.  Another funny fact is that they also sang about monkeys.

The term “Monkey Mind” is often referenced with respect to what your mind will do when not disciplined or trained to serve you.  The mind becomes a tyrannical leader, however when trained with daily meditation, it can become an outstanding servant to you and your well-being.  What’s more is meditation is free, just like water (for now) … all you need to do is sit your sweet butt down and turn your awareness inward.  Although be warned that the art of meditation is not relaxation, it’s work and requires consistency.  Consciously breathing for a few moments per day will help you strengthen your mind, and this type of focus and practice can be taken to the gym to boost your fitness experience.  In fact, when you use your breath to activate the muscles you are strengthening with resistance training, the efficiency increases exponentially!

Some sobering statistics: after the age of 25 our bone density is on a slow decline unless we do weight baring activity to build and maintain what muscles we have.  It’s a clear "use it or lose it" scenario. You must decide to love yourself to embark on a meditation journey.  Without a doubt, breathing and meditation will help take your physique, using strength training, to a new empowered level.  When training individuals I can tell if they are really present and engaged with the muscles being activated.  It’s really not that easy to tune into yourself and turn off the noise of our minds to focus and feel the breath in our body - and more specifically our muscles.
 Maybe you have been working out with weights a long time, but if meditation is not a part of your program, just start with 5 minutes a day and then add that practice to your workouts to see effectiveness soar!

If you do practice meditation and breath daily and would like to add strength training, join Kim Duke of Core Performance weekly for group strength training classes.  I have enjoyed these classes personally and also co-taught with Kim. So if you’re looking to take your fitness higher and meet new people, this group class is for you!  Kim will inspire you with her own physique and keep those muscles guessing and remind you to breathe. Of course if you don’t live in Ellicottville, check out your local library or google fitness classes in your area.

If your mind is running all over, start working that muscle. Start small with 2 minutes sitting in a chair or on the ground with your hips higher than your knees and follow your breath in and out to build the consciousness muscle in your brain. This will help your mind serve you instead of being some sort of monkey jumping around in chaos beating you up. If you need help cultivating a meditation practice or one-on-one strength training, VA VA Voom Co. is here to serve you.

Train your mind and your muscles; be strong like bull for life, because you never know when you will have to run from a bear or tame the monkeys!

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