Meditation and relaxation is not something that comes to mind when you are thinking about working out but meditation can complement a workout quite well. Here is a simple meditation to practice before you exercise. Train your mind as well as your body!
This meditation is best done in a lying position rather than sitting or standing. Lie down in a quiet place with your arms relaxed at your sides and your palms facing upwards. You must concentrate on your breathing and be practicing “belly” breathing. If you tend to breathe low from the chest put your hand on your chest initially to ensure it is not rising. Push your belly outwards as you breathe in, use it to push the air into your lungs with your diaphragm, exaggerate this movement initially until it becomes a habit. When you breathe out pull your belly in pushing your breath out. Concentrate on just doing this for a few minutes until you feel relaxed.
When you are in a state of relaxation, use your mind to envision your body and how it will look because you are exercising. Think about the body you desire and envision it. Think of each body part and how it will look. Imagine your legs, abdomen or arms, firm and toned. Use your mind's eye to see these changes. You should start to feel excitement about these changes. Enjoy this feeling and revel in it.
Practice this meditation every day to really reap the benefits. It is so simple and will only take you 5 – 10 minutes depending on how deeply relaxed you become.
Relaxing your body before a workout can be quite beneficial. Many people enjoy a relaxing stretch and soft meditation after a hard workout. Think about turning this around and doing it before. I often do a yoga class with a short lying down meditation right before an active exercise class. I just find it invigorates me. My body is stretched and relaxed and ready to take on the hard work!