Whether it’s in a pool or the open air, mindful swimming is the perfect soothing meditation.
If you’re a confident- experienced swimmer, you can practice mindful swimming with any stroke, but for most people, breaststroke is ideal, to begin with as the technique allows you to glide through the water in a slow and conscious way.
As with other mindful swimming practices, bring your attention to your current-moment thoughts, feelings, and bodily sensations.
How to practice mindful swimming
Most people enjoy swimming because it is so refreshing and good for you. But you can go the extra lap and practice swimming diligently – and get the best of both worlds.
And, because breathing is such an integral aspect of swimming – your breath and body are co-ordinated in each stroke – you can use your breath to anchor you in the present moment.
Here are some suggestions for mindful swimming to get you started.
1-As you get into the pool
Give your attention to the feel of the water as it touches your toes and gradually creeps up your legs. Notice the effect on your upper body temperature as your lower body becomes submerged.
- Is it warmer than the air temperature or cooler?
- Do the hairs on your arms stand up?
- Does your stomach contract at the anticipation of cold water?
Take your time observing the minute sensations in your body, noticing if they bring any thoughts with them, any expectations.
There’s nothing to judge or to change, simply become aware of your experience as it is happening.
2- Once you’re in the pool
pause for a few moments, and observe how it feels right now.
Can you feel the movement of water around you, Do you sense its buoyancy, the lightness of your body, Take a few steps and feel the resistance around your legs and arms as you move through the water.
[su_quote]As you start swimming, focus on each stroke. Notice the feeling of wetness on your skin. Feel yourself – boom – rising through the water.[/su_quote]
3- When you are ready to start swimming
Come to the edge of the pool and prepare yourself to push off from the side. Stretch your arms in front of you and kick away, gliding forwards with your head submerged and your body fully extended.
Feel the exhilaration of stretching from your fingertips to your toes, the sensuousness of the water rippling over your skin as you glide effortlessly forwards, the peacefulness that comes from being in perfect harmony with the water that carries you.
4- When you come to the end of your natural breath
Raise your head and start to swim at a slow, comfortable pace.
Feel the resistance of the water in your cupped palms as you first separate your palms and the pressure on the sides of your body as you push the water behind you with your hands.
Enjoy that moment of suspension with your arms outstretched as you glide through the water once more.
Notice when the sense of propulsion ends and you need to separate your hands again in order to maintain momentum.
5- Now take your attention to your legs
Feel the instant surge forwards as you frog-leg your knees out sideways.
Can you sense the simultaneous release in your hips? Synchronizing your breath with your movements, feel your body working as a fluid, harmonious unit.
Enjoy every sensation, fine-tuning your movements to respond to your body’s needs.
6- When you come to the end of the pool
Rest if you need to and then mindfully turn around and push off to swim back in the other direction.
7- After a length or two
Using the techniques you’ve learned in this Article, such as abdominal breathing, see if you can slow your pace, even more, making two or three arm strokes to each in-breath.
Each time you notice a thought arising, bring your attention back to your breath and your body.
11 mindfulness books on Amazon a definitely worth a read-
- Acceptance- and Mindfulness-Based Approaches to Anxiety:–Amazon
- Mindfulness: An Eight-Week Plan for Finding Peace in a Frantic World– Amazon
- Mindfulness: A Practical Guide to Awakening-Amazon
- Meditation for the Love of It: Enjoying Your Own Deepest Experience-Amazon
- 30-Minute Anxiety Meditation-Amazon
- Chakra Healing: A Beginner’s Guide to Self-Healing Techniques that Balance the Chakras-Amazon
- The Daily Stoic: 366 Meditations on Wisdom, Perseverance, and the Art of Living-Amazon
- Meditation: 4 Books in 1-Chakra and Reiki Healing for Beginners,-Amazon
- Practical Meditation for Beginners: 10 Days to a Happier, Calmer You-Amazon
- Mindfulness Therapy Games: Social Skills Game That Teaches Mindfulness for Kids,-Amazon
- Little Book of Mindfulness: 10 minutes a day to less stress, more peace-Amazon
Mindful swimming Into the wild
You don’t have to restrict your swimming to the local pool. Swimming in the open air can be deeply calming. Just 15 minutes in the deep velvety waters of a lake can leave you feeling peaceful and refreshed.
As you step out of the water, your body feels grounded, your spirit light, and your muscles as if they’ve just had a deep tissue massage.
Add the wind rustling in the trees, the open sky above, gently swaying reeds – with the occasional passing duck! – and you’re left with a sense of serenity that’s difficult to replicate.
Back to nature Wild-
Swimming has become increasingly popular over recent years, and there are new locations emerging all the time.
When you’re surrounded by the beauty of nature- it’s likely that mindful swimming will come naturally to you, but focusing on the techniques above will help you attune to your body when your mind starts to wander.
If you’re not a strong swimmer- just being in natural waters can be equally magical. It’s a wonderful experience to simply stand in a river, feeling your feet on the riverbed while its current ripples through your fingertips.
Resting for a while under a small waterfall gives you a unique moment-by-moment experience as the never-ending cascade of water showers down over you.
In the sea- stand chest height in the saltwater, facing the ocean, and notice if you feel the energy of the waves in your belly – the water itself has to circumnavigate you, but some of its energy will simply travel through your body.
If you’re swimming in a river- throw a stick into the water, and if it moves faster than you can swim, give it a miss.
Most importantly- remember to stay safe. Natural waters are powerful and can be unpredictable. Never swim alone, cover open wounds, check the tides and talk to locals about any currents to look out for.
Finally- avoid freshwater lakes with blue/green algae as it can irritate your skin and eyes, and make you ill if swallowed. You can find tips on wild swimming sites at wildswimming.co.uk.
Simplify things- place a buoyancy aid between your outstretched arms and focus only on your leg movements, or between your thighs to give undivided attention to your arms.
Be single-minded- focus on one experience at a time, such as the bubbles escaping from your mouth/ nose as you exhale, or the movement of your shoulder blades as you extend and circle your arms.
Let it go: exhale through your nose to lengthen your out-breath, or purse your lips and blow gently through your mouth.
Conserve energy: if you get tired, swim a length on your back, using breaststroke legs and small ‘scooping’ motions with your hands.
Here are some Journal Articles for you
If you’re interested in learning more about mindfulness from an academic standpoint, there are a few key journal articles to put on your reading list:
- how to be mindful and 4 mindfulness worksheets
- 10 amazing life changer mindfulness quotes
- How to get started a walking meditation
- 10 amazing health benefits of mindfulness and easy meditation technique
- 5 easy way of Loving Kindness Meditation technique and benefit
- 101 way of Start a mindful breathing well
- 7 ways of mindfulness body scan meditation exercise: benefit
- Walking meditations: with peace is every step
- What is mindful eating: techniques, benefit, exercise
Hopefully, you have got all kinds of information related to mindful swimming and meditation.
Write this article in the comment box below, how did you like it and did you get any kind of benefit from doing these tips of mindful swimming.