Performance Yoga – 7.28.14 (Meditation)

 Most of us do this without consciously being aware.  We meditate.  Whether it is during a mindless routine at work, walking from the restaurant door back to the car or in mile ten of a bike ride.  There are those moments when the brain goes on auto pilot and we begin to think.  It can be a very positive time or it can be a very negative time.  “Meditation teaches patience, acceptance, and equanimity, all important mental skills.” (Yoga for Athletes)

  I know that each of us would love more patience, acceptance and equanimity (defined as mental calmness, composure, and evenness of temper, especially in a difficult situation).  If there is a situation at work, a rude waiter or waitress at a restaurant or worn out legs on mile twenty of a ride, we all want the patience to accept the moment and build from it.  What can be done in the present moment to keep that calmness and composure in the difficult situation?  I believe that this skill is truly one of the most powerful a person can possess.  All the hard work and dedication of a lifetime can be undone by a single moment of frustration, ignorance or fear.  I’m guilty of letting these three creep in over my lifetime.  Meditation can actively aid you against these negative thoughts in the present moment.  Will you allow yourself the opportunity to see the benefits?

Meditation

  “Meditation teaches patience, acceptance, and equanimity, all important mental skills for athletes.  Sitting quietly for long periods of time cultivates endurance, as you learn to receive feedback from your body and mind while you patiently remain still.  As you meditate, you’ll constantly shepherd your thoughts back to the present moment, which helps you learn to accept things as they are right now, not as you remember them being in the past or wish they would be in the future.  As you probably know from experience, things on the course often go wrong in unanticipated ways.  The longer the race, the more opportunities for mental distractions (lack of focus, negativity, self-doubt), physical imbalance (dehydration, bonking, discomfort that gives way to pain), and equipment breakdown.  Meditation will impart focus and greater body awareness that will serve you well in critical situations when you really need to keep it together.  And while meditation won’t fix a bent derailleur or change a flat, it will help give you a calmer outlook when things go wrong.

  Equanimity – mental balance across various circumstances – is very powerful.  This positive indifference or detachment comes from being completely in the present moment, dealing with things as they are, not as you wish they were.  The less attached you are to the outcome, the more content you will be.  

  One minor way to foster equanimity is not to start your watch.  A bigger one is to be grateful for what you do have – fitness, health, and the opportunity to step on your mat – which puts minor annoyances into perspective.”

BOOK – “The Athlete’s Guide to Yoga” by Sage Rountree.

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