It starts with mindset work, if we want to develop cycling into a practice that supports our entire life.
Leading experts such as Jon Kabat-Zinn make the point that it’s necessary to train mindfulness along with training your body, if we want to experience increasing and consistent health, functionality, balance and brilliance in all that we do. Approaching spirit and purpose in cycling this way, is a powerful opportunity to experience life improvement and flow beyond individual rides.
Let’s dive into some of the key principles.
#1: Inspire intrinsic motivation
Mindset work will remove the perceived pressure from training.
While extrinsic benefits of training such as improved speed will create short-term satisfaction, cyclists most value and are motivated by the intrinsic happiness and functional health of everyday life. It’s about the personal purpose that we see fulfilled in riding a bicycle. Mindfulness will keep this purpose awake and provide genuine motivation for your entire life!
#2: Work on the foundations of mindfulness
These foundations are a beginner’s mind, trust and patience.
All three are the environmental conditions for mindfulness to develop: In the mind of the beginner, there are infinite opportunities to grow — while in an expert’s mind possibilities diminish. Trust begins with ourselves, e.g. by trusting our body and feelings. And patience empowers us to be present and engaged in this moment of cycling.
#3: Cultivate clarity
Non-judging, letting go and non-striving are the skills that create clarity.
When we refrain from judging, we can accurately experience what is happening in this moment. Letting go leads to emotional neutrality — releasing our emotional attachment to how things “should” be. And non-striving relates to dropping impulsive actions, switching to modes of relaxed neutrality — allowing us to draw from our powerful instincts, ready to experience new things.
#4: Create focus
Engage in acceptance, gratitude and generosity helps to stay focused.
Accepting means actively assessing and perceiving what is true here and now. Gratitude leads to fully engaging in what is — it’s the only opportunity that we have. And generosity is our unconditional commitment to invest our attention in this. In total, these three skills lead to a complete focus on the opportunity that we have in this moment.
#5: Expecting skepticism
In Western culture, these skills are sometimes cynically criticized.
You can be sure: None of the nine skills imply naivety or ignorance. Each of it is a powerful tool that requires discernment to build a strong mindset that will strengthen your cycling. All mindfulness skills are part of the Integral Cycling program, which will help you to develop these skills supported by artificial intelligence.
Are curious to try out these skills for yourself?
Let me know via Twitter or Whatsapp if you’re interested in joining the next Integral Cycling cohort. We’ll be starting soon.