Took a long bike ride after lunch today and kept repeating this mantra in the form of a question: "what am I doing right now?" This kept me focused on what my body was doing, literally, for the 75 minute ride. Each time my mind went into ideas and exploration, I re-focused on the physical activity. This was a hard practice, physically and mentally, because I kept looking down at the earth when usually my eyes and mind wander the external and internal landscapes.
What I noticed is that my abdominals, glutes and hamstrings were the most engaged part of my physiology. Left and right sides of my body were not working with equal effort, which is something for me to keep building towards. As I became aware of these active areas my shoulders would relax and my breathing would deepen.
This was a hard practice, physically and mentally, because I kept looking down at the earth when usually my eyes and mind wander the external and internal landscapes.
I was also aware that my mind would wander into what I am labelling "mind map spiders" of ideas. One thought would ripple out into multiple thoughts and within seconds I was no longer present. Revisiting my mantra "what am I doing right now" would bring me back to the moment. The pathway rolled beneath me and I was able to ride 12 miles in what felt like 20 minutes.
My gratitude today is in my ability to meditate and ride. For the next several hours after the excursion my breathing was centered, deep and calm. I am committed to incorporating this meditation practice into my rides, at least once a week.