Thinking itself is not meditation. Thought is to meditation as rapids are to a kayak. Focus is not meditation. Focus is to meditation as the bullseye is to the bow. Concentration is not meditation. Concentration is to meditation as magnifying glasses are to reading.
Similarly, exercise, movement and breathing alone are not healthy fitness. Without proper technique, without sound mechanics, breath
ing and posture, you can become very strong - but at dysfunction. You can work harder and get worse. We must also work smarter.
Once while teaching a train-the-trainer course to qualify instructors for a major health club chain, one of the trainers said during the Q&A, “You make people think about technique and breathing and posture so much. When people come to my class, they just want to turn off their brains and be told what to think about and what to do.” I replied, “Maybe that isn’t what they want, but what they get. Have you offered them the chance to be more mindful rather than mindless? Perhaps of you did, they would receive even more benefit from your expertise.”
No one can tell you what to do, how to think, or how to move. They can only turn your awareness back to your internal experience of action, behavior, thought and motion. You only ever adapt specifically. You can become stronger at dysfunction or function, depending upon the form of your practice. So, if you’re not mindful of them, then you’re going to move, think and do at BEST at the level you’ve last practiced with mindfulness. To get better, stronger, healthier, fitter, be more mindful.
Technique mindfulness, practice with structural alignment, conscious breath, and deliberate movement are the only ways to assure functional development, rather than dysfunctional. Without being mindful of them, you cannot adapt with complete positive growth. On a scale of 1-10, even if your technique is an 8 - very good form - your still lack 20% mindfulness. You still are adapting 20% dysfunction. Those 20% accumulate like barnacles on the hull.
We are all imperfect beings, but we can practice with perfect awareness. Perfect practice means only that we simplify the exercise, shorten the distance, decrease the duration, and lessen the intensity until we can hold the form with perfect awareness. Then, as we adapt with 100% positive growth, we incrementally increase complexity, distance, duration, intensity…
Be the tortoise, not the hare.