Sunday, December 9, 2012

Meditative Jump Roping

~swish SMACK thump ~ swish SMACK thump ~ 
~swish SMACK thump ~

Arms and legs move in perfect synchronicity as I jump with a rapid cadence.  I change up the jump skill to vary the muscles used, but other than that, this exercise is extremely repetitive. Swing, jump, swing, jump, over and over and over.  Surprisingly, I never become bored or frustrated.  This is mainly because I have been able to use this movement to experience something deeper: a meditative state of being.

Sometimes I focus on sound, sometimes it's my breath, many times I just feel the power of my feet propelling my body from the floor and lightly making contact with the earth again.  All the while, I am calm & focused.

It is possible to experience meditation with any repetitive exercise.  Running, walking, swimming, and skating all help to keep our bodies healthy while our minds are trained in awareness.  Of course it is possible to "zone out" instead, or rely on the distraction of music while engaging in these sports, and I'd bet that's when most injuries happen.  When we are aware of how our bodies are responding and can distinguish between objective thoughts and those of the ego, it is really hard to push yourself beyond your limits and become injured.

So why do I love jump roping in particular?
  • It feels good!
  • I feel youthful doing it, but with greater skill than my younger self!
  • It only takes 15-20 minutes to reap the same benefits as running or walking for longer periods.  For a busy mom, short exercise routines are a must!
  • I can do it anywhere and only need my trusty rope.
  • It gives my mind space - not to roam, but instead to tune in. 
  • It's fun to do with children.  My son is still little, but he can't wait to learn how so we can jump together.

Here is my beauty, a simple speed rope:

And if you are interested in learning more about jump roping, here is an excellent book written by US Olympian and Master Jumper Buddy Lee:

You can also check out the Jump Rope Institute.

Jump roping is seriously good exercise, for body & mind.  I encourage you to give it a try!  

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