Sitting still indoors, sitting still outdoors- for many men meditation is a challenge. Uncomfortable and frustrating, men shy away from their meditation practice and shy away from the practice as a whole. Moving away from meditation is problematic for men who are in recovery from addiction. Science has proven time and time again that meditation is beneficial for mind and body, reducing stress, increasing present-mindedness, and reducing inflammation which can lead to illness. Exercise is also proven to have these benefits, which men who don’t like sitting still might prefer. Though stillness has its benefits for meditation, moving meditation can be just as beneficial.
Meditation can be defined in many ways. At its most simple, meditation is taking space to focus on the breath. Outdoor movement requires being present minded and focusing on the breath. Without breathing, an athlete could pass out. With breathing, an athlete sharpens their mind, closes in their focus, and becomes completely at one with their activity.
Running takes on a cadence and a rhythm which keeps the movement perpetuating. Many men are inclined to listen to music for inspiration to keep them running. Running can become a meditation when no music is involved and men get lost in the focus of their breath, their pace, and their movement.
Cycling or biking
Taking a spin class is a great form of exercise. Cycling or biking outdoors can be a great form of meditation. Similar to running, cycling or biking outdoors takes pace, cadence, rhythm, and focus. Focus on the breath, get lost in a pattern, take in the beauty around you.
Get into the water
The water is proven to be as beneficial as spending times in green spaces or the outdoors. Any water based sport requires the breath and total focus, especially when there are potentially dangerous waters involved, like the ocean or a roaring river. Surfing, swimming, paddle boarding, kayaking, and other rhythmic water sports require total focus and presence, supported by the breath.
Yoga and meditation go hand in hand as each movement in yoga is associated with either an inhale or an exhale. Yoga inside a studio is calming and relaxing. Yoga in the beautiful outdoors can be even more inspiring.
Tree House Recovery is a men’s addiction treatment program in Portland, Oregon. Drawing inspiration from the beauty of the Pacific Northwest and the proven success of evidence-based therapies, our programs help men find freedom from addiction. Call u today for information: (503) 850-2474