Meditation Techniques to Improve Your Game
The act of meditation is not reserved for Buddhists, yogis, or priests. It does not require a Zen-like space, absolute silence or stillness. Meditation can happen anywhere. It is simply a state of mind that you constantly create where you are no longer bothered by the chaotic fluctuations of thoughts. It is said that the human mind has over a thousand thoughts per second. Although some thoughts are profound and helpful, most are useless and many are downright damaging, not only to our day to day routines, but also to our workouts.
How? Thoughts work by carrying the seed of their full potential within them. Thoughts trigger hormones, and hormonal releases trigger emotions. Emotions trigger reactions and create situations. Multiply that process by a thousand, every single second, and you may be able to sense the need for meditation.
Meditation is the ultimate form of self-control. It is a deep discipline that crafts a calm, focused and non-reactive human capable of performing at the highest levels. Want to give it a go? Meditation techniques can be applied to just about any sport or fitness activity.
Say, like me, that your discipline is Crossfit, or you like hitting the weight room solo. It may seem that high intensity, loud, dirty workouts may not be the right place for meditation, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact, it is the meditation within the movement that creates a true depth of strength that cannot be managed with weights alone. Try applying meditation techniques to every pull, every push, and every breath. Start with the thought control and everything will fall into order. Before your workout, take a moment to notice what you are thinking about. I will often catch myself looking at the Workout of the Day (WOD) and thinking, “This is going to suck”. If I continue to allow that thought to grow, the WOD will, indeed, suck and I won’t perform to the best of my ability. Instead, think to yourself, “This WOD is going to be awesome!” And, while, it may not be awesome, you will have at least shifted your perception and nipped the nasty thought in the bud, creating more space for a positive performance to bloom. Where your mind goes, your body follows.
This same technique can also be applied to running, swimming or biking. While hitting the pavement, it can be easy to let the mind wander. Often you may start thinking, “Is this over yet?” Instead of thinking so negatively about your workout, stay in the moment, and block out thoughts that aren’t absolutely focused on the moment at hand. In this way, you reserve every single volt of your energy and apply it consciously to where you need it—your workout!
A meditative mind-space belongs to everybody, everywhere, at every moment. It does not have external restrictions that limit it in any way. And, like a good workout, its best applications exist out in the real world. So take your meditation techniques off the yoga mat, and even out of the gym, so that you can live clearly and powerfully every single day.