Your well-being is no longer associated with only your physical health. With increased (and rightful) attention afforded to mental health by medical professionals and the general public alike, there’s been a larger emphasis on mindfulness, too. Meditation, a practice rooted in Buddhism that aims to train the mind for better attention and awareness, has enjoyed particular mainstream popularity, and is now an important part of many folks’ 9-to-5 (including here at the Vanmag office, where our editorial director, Anicka Quin, hosts daily meditation sessions). It’s even been incorporated into more unconventional spaces, like during the treatments at a recently opened facial bar in Kits.
This weekend, local activewear brand Reigning Champ is teaming up with District Vision, makers of athletic eyewear (it’s a thing!), to introduce a new category of meditation to the mindfulness scene: Radically Mindful Movement. The concept, which is “born out of a community of runners and meditators,” was developed by District Vision co-founder Max Vallot and Mike Spino, author of Beyond Jogging: The Inner Spaces of Running, a mindful how-to guide to running that’s garnered quite the following since its publication in the ’70s. Vallot and Spino are bringing the practice to Vancouver for the first time this Saturday (August 17) and Sunday (August 18) via two workshops at Reigning Champ’s Robson Street flagship in celebration of a recently launched sweat-wear collab between the homegrown brand and District Vision.
“We describe the workshops as a sort of retreat,” explains Vallot. “It’s an opportunity for you to take time for yourself and learn something. And that usually happens through some method of introspection—of looking inside—and contemplation and movement.” Vallot says the one-hour classes are built on Buddhism’s four primary meditation postures— sitting, standing, walking and lying down—while also incorporating “more experimental” movements and positions that are designed to be a workout for the brain. “We really want to draw people’s attention to the simple fact that you can train your mind the same way you train your body,” he adds.
The Radically Mindful Movement workshops are open to folks of all ages. Over the past five years, Vallot has conducted classes at sites such as the New York City Marathon and the Boston Marathon, though he says their debut in Vancouver during the same weekend as the SeaWheeze Half Marathon is a total coincidence. He stresses that the classes are not catered exclusively to athletes and that it’s “at the intersection of meditation and movement,” which, really, is a description just vague enough to pique interest. “We’re not trying to be the authority on one specific way of meditating or working out,” he says. “We’re trying to start a conversation—and that’s usually what happens.”
Radically Mindful Movement Workshop
When: Saturday, August 17, 11 a.m.–12 p.m.
Sunday, August 18, 10 a.m.–11 a.m.
Where: Reigning Champ, 1148 Robson St.
Cost: Entry is free; attendees must RSVP by email