Say “spirituality” and a lot of people just freak out completely. But whether you’re religious or not, or whether you believe in souls or an afterlife, “spirituality” is something that can be thought of as a matter of developing your character, your inner self, and finding a connection with the rhythms of life.
In today’s world, everything’s fast-paced and bust and, especially if you’re the type of person who’s heavily driven in an entrepreneurial sense, you probably struggle a lot to find any time during the average day to just pause and take a breath.
Doesn’t sound strong and outgoing enough to you? Keep in mind that in his biography, Arnold Schwarzenegger himself reveals that he relied on regular meditation classes to help him keep his mind balanced and relaxed to support his extreme go-getter lifestyle.
As it so happens, a lot of great “spiritual development” techniques include a physical element, and don’t require you to just sit in one place cross-legged.
Without further ado, here are some key physical techniques for spiritual development.
Tai Chi and Yoga
Tai Chi and Yoga are both ancient practices that use slow and deliberate movements in order to help you centre yourself and expand your consciousness.
Between the two, Tai Chi is a more reflective and meditative system, focused on feeling and directing the inner channels of energy. You could begin practising Tai Chi with a class, if you can find one, or you can learn at home with instructional videos from Tai Chi Productions.
Yoga is more strenuous, and can be turned into an intense workout all by itself. The practice of Yoga helps you to “become one” with your body and undo tight muscles and imbalances. Focusing on your movements and your breathing will act as a sort of meditation, helping you to find tranquillity in strenuous moments.
I’ve given Yoga a try in the past but never really stuck to it for long, the funny thing is I felt great whilst I was doing it. My local gym offers Yoga classes so I may have to get re-invested and dig out my old Yoga mat.
HIIT with a “no quit” mindset
You’ve probably never heard anyone talking about HIIT as a “spiritual” form of exercise, and on the surface, it’s anything but. HIIT stands for High-Intensity Interval Training, and includes things like sprint intervals, where you go all out, reduce intensity for a bit, and go all out again.
The thing is, though, that HIIT is really harsh and tough, and the act of pushing through no matter what will help to develop a “no quit” mindset.
Subject yourself to this intense exercise often enough, and you’ll do a good job of developing the inner “steel” to stay consistently on course when times are tough.
Again, another practise I have given a shot. Often relaying back to interval sprints as my go-to HIIT exercise. It takes a lot out of you but the reward outweighs the effort input.
Active mindfulness meditation
Mindfulness meditation is something that people usually do sitting down. But the entire idea of mindfulness is to be present with your full attention, rather than getting lost in thoughts.
For this reason, almost anything can become a form of mindfulness meditation. Even walking. Next time you’re going for a walk, focus entirely on the sensation of your feet against the pavement and the sounds you hear. When you get distracted, bring your attention back calmly.
Over time, this will help you to get out of your head and into the present more and more, to appreciate each moment, and to stay productive despite bad mood and distracting thoughts.