Whenever we think about meditation, the image that pops into our mind is that of a person sitting with their legs crossed, holding their hands on their knees. However, this pose is in no way mandatory. You see, meditation is a state of mind and it is something you can do regardless of the activity you are currently engaged in. In fact, a surprisingly large number of people loves to engage in this state of expanded mindfulness while performing a physical activity. With this in mind (no pun intended), here are a few tips on how you can become more mindful while cycling.
- Start by Relaxing
First thing first, you need to be completely relaxed before you set out. By emptying your mind beforehand, you are making sure that the first sensation that comes to your mind is greatly enhanced. For example, if you start thinking about a slight itch or the tightness of your clothes, you might find it impossible not to think about this. Luckily, one of the ways to avoid these physical inconveniences is by stretching beforehand and making sure you always dress appropriately.
Furthermore, you may choose to think about something positive (a good aspect of cycling) before you set out. Keep in mind that it is unlikely for cycling alone to make a bad day into a good one, but on the other hand, it could help turn a good day into a great one.
2. Road Over Destination
Another important thing you need to keep in mind is that the road you take may be much more important than the end destination. Most people see goals in life in form of material achievements. By trying to save money for that car you want, get that promotion you set your eye on or visit that particular location, you can miss out on some of the best things that happen along the way.
When cycling, you should take a rest from obsessing over your final destination (how far away it is and how long until you get there) and learn how to enjoy in the moment. Enjoy the ride by admiring landscapes around you and even stop to take a picture. Finally, keep in mind that potential detours, changed routes and rests at the unusual locations might be exactly what can make your cycling sessions more spontaneous.
3. A Tech Free Ride
Another reason why people have so much trouble turning inwards is because of the overwhelming outside stimuli they receive from their symbiosis with 21st century technology. This is why, you might want to consider making your rides completely tech free. Sure, if you are going on a long trip on the outskirts, you don’t want to fall off the grid, but this can easily be solved by keeping your phone in the backpack. Moreover, this is where you also need to exercise a bit of self-control. You don’t want to check your phone every few minutes to see if there is an emergency call for you.
4. All about the Motion
Keep in mind that physical exercise is not the only reason why meditation through cycling is a great idea. Just the fact that you are in motion may help you break the limits of your consciousness and connect to your surroundings as never before. Unfortunately, people without much stamina can see this as something quite troublesome. On one hand, they too want to enjoy this great experience, but how much focus will they have once they are completely exhausted. Luckily, this particular problem can be easily solved by using one of those great electric bikes or even mobility scooters instead.
5. Repetition as Ally
One of the things that boosts meditation’s efficiency the most is the fact that it is filled with repetitive actions you can turn to your advantage. This is just one of numerous meditation techniques you can exercise. For example, you can focus on the cycling motions of your feet while pedaling or you can start matching these actions with the way you inhale and exhale. Overall, this action can bring you in a sort of meditative trance which will help you transcend your consciousness and enter the land of a perfect peace and calm.
However, keep in mind that this is a double edged sword. While this may be a 100 percent hazard-free behavior for a pedestrian, a cyclist is an active traffic participant. This means that you still need to keep your eye on what happens on the road around you and be ready to react quickly in order not to put your life in danger and that of others around you. Luckily, this isn’t as difficult as it sounds.
The best part of achieving mindfulness through cycling is that you are at the same time doing a favor to your overall health, as well as making an effort to save the planet. Even in case where you resort to a scooter or electric bike, your carbon footprint will be significantly lower than through any other type of transportation. This makes cycling overall worth your serious consideration.