Let’s start with a very basic question, what is mindfulness? Mindfulness is having an awareness of our thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations, and surrounding environment in the present moment. So how can this be achieved while paddling? Take a read below about mindfulness in paddling.
Allow your thoughts to turn to the actions of paddling, your paddle strokes, the journey, and those you are paddling with. It doesn’t matter if you are on a paddle board on a lake or in a canoe on a river, paying attention to your paddling is a great way to stay in the moment.
We get on the water and paddle to have some fun and enjoy ourselves. So be aware of this joy you are feeling, the pride when you learn a new paddle stroke, and the sense of accomplishment when you complete a long paddle. Allow yourself to feel good about taking time to paddle.
We all know that paddling is a good form of exercise that can help keep you fit. Feel how your body moves, the increase in heart rate, your lungs filling with oxygen, and how your core engages. Paddling activates the majority of your body, so by being aware of how it is all working together will put you on the right track for mindfulness. Paddling can also be used as a form of moving meditation. The repetitive nature of paddle strokes helping you focus in on your breathing.
One of the best things about paddling is that it can take you out to some incredible places among some fascinating nature. Take in your surroundings, enjoy the wildlife you may see, the sounds of the water, fresh air on your face, and enjoy the view from a different vantage point. Every time you get on the water you are going to experience something different. Be it changing seasons, different creatures, change of lighting. Focusing on this natural world around you allows you to be in the moment.
By taking in everything happening in the moment while you are paddling you are on the way to achieving mindfulness. It comes in many different forms for people. However it can be agreed that time spent paddling on the water is beneficial for both physical and mental health. So take advantage of your local water, and take your steps towards mindfulness.