If there’s one exercise, one movement, that embodies the kettlebell, it’s the swing. You can get beautifully lost in a long set of swings. You feel the pull on your lower legs as you get the bell going, then your hips take the load, and then your back, and as the bell flies up, your shoulders keep that bell in check. Then you de-load everything as the bell swoops back down, you hinge at the hips, reach downwards as if searching for the bell on the ground between your feet, and launch it all over again.

After a few swings you need to breathe in rhythm with the bell’s to-ing and fro-ing: in, as the bell drops beneath you, out, as the bell is driven up and out. (You can use the out breath to count, too). As you focus on your breath, and stay with the movements of the bell and your body, you become very present in your exertion. Grounded, literally, because every time the bell drives forward you are obliged to plant your feet firmly into the ground to stay put.

Present in the kettlebell moment. Grounded. Mindful of your breath, your movement. The kettlebell swing becomes kettlezen.

Learning to move a kettlebell around takes a bit of time. It takes practice. And so it can become a practice.


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