Meditation has a wide array of proven positive effects: from reducing stress to improving one’s physical and mental health. Throughout history, meditation has always been a key element in mastering the techniques behind the martial arts.
Research has demonstrated how the two coincide, and how each can lead to an improvement in the other. By making meditation a daily routine, you will slowly begin to see results in multiple aspects of your life, your martial arts abilities included!
What is Meditation?
We live in a very noisy, busy, and chaotic world. It is easy to become overwhelmed by all of the worry and work surrounding us and this can lead to a stressed and unhappy life. How do we fix it?
Meditation is one of the most effective and simple ways to solve these problems, yet it is a technique that has been forgotten and overlooked in a time where we need it more than ever.
According to a dictionary definition, the act of meditating is “to engage in mental exercise for the purpose of reaching a heightened level of spiritual awareness.” Meditating is a way to clear your mind and refocus the purpose behind all of your actions. It not only reduces anxieties and keeps you in a positive mindset, but has also been reported to improve one’s overall health.
Meditation is the ultimate habit to fit into your busy schedule.
Meditation and Martial Arts
Ok, so we know what you’re thinking: how is meditating going to make you into a stronger martial arts athlete?
Well the answer is actually pretty simple. In martial arts combat the mind is just as important as the body. Your mind is a much more powerful tool than you may recognize, and having that mental edge can be a serious game changer in a close match. In a match, often one becomes so wrapped up in the physical actions and emotions that come along with them, that it is easy to quickly lose your cool.
Remaining calm and collected can take you just as far as having a flawless roundhouse kick. With time and practice, meditation instills the art of self-control and teaches you how to wisely use your energy.
Meditation also helps you to keep your eyes on the prize, by clearing the mind of other worries and hesitations. It will keep you focused on what is important, and can open your eyes to the bigger picture. By making meditation part of your routine, it can help you rid of frustration, hesitation, anxiety, or nerves that may be holding you back in practice or in a big match.
The Basics Behind Meditating
Now you know a little about why meditation is so important, but how do you do it?
There are plenty of different ways to practice meditating, but we’ll walk you through the simplest and most widely understood way to meditate.
Begin by finding a quiet and peaceful place where you can be alone, then sit down and cross your legs. Keep a good, but relaxed posture and rest your hands on your legs or in your lap, whatever feels most comfortable. Breathe slowly in through your nose, hold your breath for a few moments, then release the breath slowly through your mouth.
Try not to move or fidget and just focus on your breathing and the stillness within your body. Try to clear your mind of all the cluttered thoughts of stress, worry, and emotions. Let yourself focus on the stillness and try to keep your thoughts directed, or if you can, try to think of nothing at all.
We live a world of constant noise, so keeping your brain blank can be seemingly impossible, but the more you practice the easier it will become!
Meditation is a practice that has been around for ages, but its effects are in need more than ever before in this hectic world we are living in. By clearing the mind of anxieties and stress we become mentally stronger and more focused. It is a huge stepping stone in the process of gaining good mental health. It can improve all aspects of your life, martial arts included.
A sport such as martial arts demands mental acuity, deep focus and the ability to stay collected and centered. Meditation instills this skill in a way nothing else can. Whether you are a beginner or a master, meditation is essential for any athlete in the martial arts.