Meditation before or after sports?
Both exercise and meditation play an important role when it comes to physical and mental health. But when is the best time to do it? Should you add meditation to your routine before or after sports? In this article, we’ll explain the benefits of both options and also give you the lowdown on the benefits of meditating in the morning or evening. If you’re new to meditation, check out the linked article for some tips to help you get going.
The benefits of meditation – overview
No matter your reason for taking up meditation – whether for stress management, mental health, or spiritual development – meditation has been practiced for decades in many cultures and is now integrated into various sports. It’s no wonder: Meditation has many benefits for your physical and mental health and, when combined with exercise, is a holistic practice. A study from Harvard University investigated the effects of meditation, among other things, and found that meditation before or after exercise can help significantly reduce symptoms of stress and anxiety. Moreover, an Oxford University study found that meditating can improve your overall mood and reduce symptoms of depression. Meditation can also help if you have trouble concentrating or focusing on one thing for a long time. It also helps you feel more compassion for others and yourself. Do you struggle to get to sleep at night? Meditation can help quiet a busy mind and generally improve the quality of your sleep and how long you sleep.
Meditation and relaxation – how are they connected?
If you’re wondering whether you should meditate before or after sports, you have certainly often come into contact with the topic of relaxation. But how are meditation and relaxation related? In the benefits section, you could already read some of the effects of meditation on the body and mind. To promote relaxation, meditation uses various techniques such as breath control, visualization, and progressive muscle relaxation. You can and should try to integrate these techniques into your daily routine regularly to reap the long-term rewards. Using these techniques will help calm and relax your mind and body, and strengthen your inner peace.
Meditation and exercise – the perfect combo
Yoga, also known as the path to self-awareness, comes from India and was originally a philosophy. The path to self-awareness is followed through physical exercise, breathing exercises, and meditation and is often combined with spiritual and religious practices. The traditions and styles vary – from Hatha, to Kundalini, to Ashtanga yoga. Within the different styles, mantras (reciting spiritual syllables or words), visualizations, and mudras (symbolic or ritual gestures or poses) are also used. During the physical exercises, called “asanas”, the entire body is tensed and relaxed. So, when you combine yoga and meditation, you benefit from a holistic practice that also improves your physical flexibility.
Meditation and yoga
Yoga, auch als der Weg zur Selbsterkenntnis bezeichnet, kommt aus Indien und ist ursprünglich eine Philosophie. Hierbei wird der Weg zur Selbsterkenntnis durch Körper- und Atemübungen sowie Meditation beschritten und oft mit spirituellen und religiösen Praktiken vereint. Die Traditionen und Stile sind besonders vielfältig – von Hatha, über Kundalini bis hin zu Ashtanga Yoga. Innerhalb der verschiedenen Stile kommt es unter anderem auch zum Einsatz von Mantras (Rezitieren von spirituellen Silben oder Worten), Visualisierungen und Mudras (symbolische oder rituelle Gesten oder Posen). Bei den Körperübungen (Asanas) wird die gesamte Muskulatur an- und wieder entspannt. Du profitierst also bei der Kombination von Yoga und Meditation von einer ganzheitlichen Praxis, bei der du zusätzlich deine körperliche Flexibilität verbesserst.
Should you meditate before or after sports?
Now let’s get down to the nitty-gritty: Should you meditate before or after exercise (if it’s not already part of the activity, like yoga)? There’s no right or wrong answer – both options offer different benefits and have a different effect on your body and mind. We’ll break down the benefits of both, so you can decide what’s best for your personal sports routine.
The benefits of meditating before sports
Meditation before exercise can help you to fully focus on the present moment, let go of thoughts, and allow you to concentrate exclusively on your workout. Meditation before a workout also boosts your motivation and energy, and reduces feelings of stress and tension. Meditation stimulates your blood flow and improves your breathing, which can positively affect your workout.
The benefits of meditation after sports
The main benefit of meditation after exercise is that it promotes recovery. Improved relaxation will help your body soothe pain and prevent injury. Just like meditating before a workout, meditating afterward also relieves stress and strengthens your physical and mental well-being.
How does meditation affect the muscles?
Have you ever wondered what happens to your muscles during meditation? Meditation not only improves your blood circulation and aids muscle recovery, but also relieves pain, tension, and tightness. It also supports mobility and flexibility – especially when combined with yoga. As you increase your physical awareness through breathing and relaxation exercises, you also increase your awareness of your body.
Is it better to meditate in the morning or at night?
You can incorporate meditation into your routine at various times of day. Again, there’s no right or wrong way to meditate. You just need to figure out what your personal preference is. Here are a couple more advantages and possible benefits of meditation in the morning and in the evening.
Advantages and benefits of meditating in the morning:
- You start your day strong and focused
- Reduces stress and anxiety
- Boost your creativity and productivity
- Set goals and priorities for the day
- Activate your body
Advantages and benefits of meditation at night:
- Calm your mind and switch off from the day
- Improve your sleep
- Reflect and process the day
- Release stressful thoughts
- Gather your thoughts
- Find inner peace
Where can I meditate?
If you want to start meditating, we recommend meditating in a studio, online, or with a meditation app. With Urban Sports Club, you can choose from a variety of different studios and find a place where you feel comfortable. Urban Sports Club also lets you try out live online meditation or an on-demand class, so you’re not tied to a specific time. Meditation is generally pretty easy to integrate into your daily life.
Tell us about your experience! Where is the most beautiful place you’ve ever meditated? How has meditation benefited you?