Making Exercise a Prana Ritual
My yoga guru was talking this week about prana rituals. Prana means energy or breath and ritual is described as a series of actions or type of behavior regularly and invariably followed by someone. He describes prana rituals as habitual things we do to bring energy and meaning to our lives. It can be as exotic as meditating or as simple as spending quality time with our children and family. He asked us to think about the rituals that bring meaning to our lives.
It led me to think of a prana ritual going on all by itself in your body. If prana is breath and energy that means it’s the essence of your life, which starts with the beat of your heart. That is something quite meaningful in your life.
The heart is a living miracle: Work it with a Prana Ritiual
A complex system of tiny cells making electrical signals that contract sending blood in and out of the heart and through the body allowing you to live and breathe. It generally maintains a steady heart rate of 60 to 100 beats per minute. It increases to meet the demand of physical activity or lowers during rest. It does this every day and every minute hopefully without fail. It is a prana ritual that keeps you alive.
Think about the rituals in your life you probably take for granted but give you meaning? Brushing your teeth every morning keeps you clean and healthy. Having a cup of coffee gives you sustenance for energy and in my case happy feelings. Checking your email keeps you close to the people in your life and work that gives you security. You may not remember when or how these things became habit in your life but you probably do it without much thought.
What if you honored your heart, the miracle inside your chest and developed a daily ritual to keep it strong and vibrant?
You would think such a perspective could motivate you to exercise with the consistency of brushing your teeth or having coffee every morning. We often don’t appreciate our heart’s health until it’s taken away. Then medications and physical therapy is used to try and bring it back to normal.
Unfortunately, researchers have found that a healthy heart is not enough motivation for most of us to find and maintain a regular exercise regimen. Rather establishing a ritual is more effective. Instead of thinking you will find more time to go to the gym or take a jog you must make a commitment by putting it into your daily schedule and make it a part of a routine. Maybe you can make it a habit to walk or bike to buy a coffee. Or check your email on a treadmill or stationary bike.
Daily physical exercise can create a lot of meaning in your life and be part of a Prana Ritual.
Superficially it makes you stronger and look better in your clothes. More significantly it affects your overall health and wellness in exponential ways. I always advise people to make time for exercise now or they will be making time for doctor’s appointments later.
Develop a new prana ritual.
- Think about your daily routine
- Schedule then figure out where you can put a 30-minute activity that will increase your heart rate
- Researchers say for a higher rate of success write it down or print it in your schedule and begin to execute.
Click on the “Power of Positive Rituals” link below for more guidance about a prana ritual and be sure to talk to your doctor before starting a new exercise routine.
Success for exercise routines: http://jamesclear.com/implementation-intentions
Effects of Exercise on the heart: http://www.nytimes.com/health/guides/specialtopic/physical-activity/exercise’s-effects-on-the-heart.html