“Meditation is like giving a hug to ourselves, getting in touch with that awesome reality in us. While meditating we feel a deep sense of intimacy with God, a love that is inexplicable.” Paramahamsa Yogananda
What is meditation? Well, it is defined quite simply as a devotional exercise of or leading to contemplation. It has a great many benefits such as increased focus, self-discipline, stress reduction, memory, creativity, compassion, and many more. According to a 2011 Harvard study, meditation rebuilds grey matter in the brain in as little as 8 weeks!
So, How can it help you to improve your physique? It’s very simple. The increased focus and self-discipline will result in improved workout quality and better dietary choices.
So, how should you meditate? Well, I find that to get the most out of meditation, much like anything else, you need a simple routine. This should ideally be tailored toward your schedule.
Many people find that meditation first thing in the morning allows them to be more present throughout the day, but some schedules don’t permit that.
Truth be told, you can meditate at any time of day, though it’s easier when you are already in a relaxed state, such as first thing in the morning, or before bed.
Fifteen minutes is ALL you need. Simply find a comfortable place to sit. Somewhere you’ll be uninterrupted, set a timer for 15 minutes, and close your eyes.
Breathe naturally, through the nose. Relax your entire body, starting with your toes, and working your way ALL the way up to the top of your head.
To do this, mentally say to yourself, I’m relaxing my toes. Then, feel them relax. Repeat this with every part of your body. Next, observe your breath.
Watch it go in, and come out. From time to time, your mind will begin to wander. When this happens, bring your attention back to your breath, again and again.
As time goes on, your thoughts will become less and less prevalent, before ultimately ceasing ALL together. This, is the meditative state. You may not reach this state for days, weeks, or months, but it will come sooner or later.
Don’t become discouraged, it’s ALL part of the process. The mental presence required to focus only on the breath is a skill that takes time to develop. Eventually, this skill will give you super-human focus.
Apply this to maintaining absolute focus on each and every rep and it’s easy to see why meditation can help you to take your physique to the next level.
If you find that you enjoy the process, add a second meditation later in the day. I find that first thing in the morning and before bed are good times to meditate, but you’ll have to find what works best for you.
Remember, the things we do outside the gym reflect our results every bit as much as the things we do inside of it. I hope this has inspired you to give meditation a try if you haven’t, or if you have, I hope that it can reinvigorate your practice.
ALL MY LOVE,