Running and meditating on the rise

. Picture: Wikimedia Commons/Sigurdas

The latest trend seems to be running in conjunction with meditation. The number of people who run is still increasing. The popularity of running in groups led by a trainer has also grown.

This concept has been used by companies in recent years, to protect their employees from burnouts. "This idea, the prevention of stress and job loss, we have transferred to running. So first run and then meditate." says Joris van Roessel, one of the initiators.

Under the title "Running and sitting" a group of runners come together each week in the city farm at the Spaarndammerdijk in Amsterdam. Van Roessel and co-organizer Norbert Oud set up a trail. During the first kilometers participants are free to talk. The group varies from employees at the Youth Care to managers. They all want to clear their heads.

The tempo varies. After ten minutes Norbert Oud blows a whistle and all the runners gather. From then on talking is forbidden. He advises all participants to pay attention to their breathing, and slowly walk to the assembly point. There they find a small cushion to sit on and everyone gets twenty minutes to organize their thoughts.

It is not clear exactly how many of these groups there are, but the impression is that the number is rising. "We are seeing interest in it", says Van Roessel. "Of course people want to run individually, but they also have the need to walk together as a group and unwind."