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Dr. Loretta Standley is a retired Chiropractor, Acupuncturist and a current Yoga studio owner and teacher.  She is a Yoga Alliance Certified Education Provider through Yoga Alliance

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Aerobic Activity | Baseball | Chi Kung | Cross-Country Skiing | Cycling | Gardening | Golf | Running | Swimming | Tai Chi | Walking | Weight Training | Yoga

I remember sitting down with a group of people after church one day to 'shoot the breeze.' There were about 10 of us including the priest yacking, laughing and interrupting each other. We were all discussing how difficult it was to find time to get quiet, be alone or merely sit down and pray.

Finding the time

A couple of conversations were going on regarding the same topic and then someone interrupted and asked Fr. Jim if he was "still going to run in an upcoming marathon." He replied, "Yes," and continued to talk about how much time it took out of his day to train for this marathon and he still had to find the time to pray just like the rest of us.

Killing two birds with one stone

As I listened to the discussion, I chimed in and said, "Ya' know Fr. Jim, I always considered any form of exercise a moving meditation. It's like killing two birds with one stone and I'm all alone with my thoughts. Free to talk to God." He looked at me and smiled and said, "I like that."

Psyching myself in, not out!

I shared with the group how I use to run two 10k's a weekend or wherever I could find a race to enter. I had convinced myself that exercise had a laborious, work related, effort type of meaning. I had to find a way to make this word appeal to me and most importantly in a way that I could apply it to my daily life. Kinda like psyching myself in, not out!

What gels with your spirit?

Once I adopted this new way of thinking, my moving meditations had more meaning. My mind runs (pun intended) a mile a minute and I had to find a way to slow it down. So running gelled with my spirit. I could listen to what I was supposed to be tuning into and I could pray.

State of mind

My moving meditations change according to what state of mind I'm in on that particular day. For some, their routine may consist of lifting weights daily, while others might engage in many different types of moving meditations with no particular rhyme or reason. The important thing is that you can use this time to be alone with your thoughts and gain clarity while improving your physical health.

Think, pray and be alone

When I go to the gym and decide I'm going to get on the rowing machine, it's a day when I'm fired up and possibly ticked off. Rowing works for me by burning off some of those useless thoughts that creep into my consciousness. After 30 minutes of rowing, I'm feeling invincible with more strength emotionally and physically. When I decide to practice my yoga, it's when I'm feeling more centered and peaceful. And when I'm feeling like I just need to get away, I'm peddling my bike or roller-blading through the park. I picture myself traveling and enjoying the sites and sounds of far away places. Other times, going for a walk is all I can muster, but at least I can think, pray and be alone.

Cleaning, Organizing & Clearing

Another type of moving meditation that I do is simply cleaning, organizing and clearing. When I choose to do a Novena, I'll clean, organize and clear old debris and junk from my space. A nine-hour Novena is perfect once a quarter or when Mercury is retrograde in order to gain a new and clearer focus.

A different spin

It is important to understand that the exercise does not have to be laborious, tiresome or exerting when you learn to put a different spin on your intention. If your intention is to gain awareness, clarity and consciousness, a moving meditation can be exhilarating and peaceful. Try looking at your fitness routine a wee bit differently and incorporate movement into your life with activities that agree with you and your lifestyle. Movement is key - no matter what activity you choose. And have some fun.

Enjoy your moving meditations and watch yourself move mountains.

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DISCLAIMER: **This web site's goal is to provide you with information that may be useful in attaining optimal health. Nothing in it is meant as a prescription or as medical advice. You should check with your physician before implementing any changes in your exercise or lifestyle habits, especially if you have physical problems or are taking medications of any kind.