Meditation Basics for Athletes

DRAGON TAO BLOGS are articles and exploratory writings delving into ancient Eastern systems and techniques that are unique to mind, body and soul practices such as Chinese Qigong, Thai Fon Jeung, Tai Chi, Kung Fu, Yoga, and Meditation. With articles being both educational and instructional the reader will gain insight into these systems and themselves through personal practice.

I would like to start off this article with a quote from my Shaolin Master:

"To me, the purpose of Meditation is to have One dominant thought override the 10,000 distracting or meaningless thoughts."

- Shifu Yan Lei (34th Generation Shaolin Warrior Disciple)

In this sometimes hectic and fast-paced world we live in, most people cannot or will not let themselves relax or calm the thoughts even for 5 minutes throughout the day. It has been proven scientifically and intuitively that stress is the #1 cause of illness, disease, and cancer. If one can learn to combat these stresses in positive and enlightening ways one can increase the quality and longevity of life. This information breaks down some basic meditation techniques and is outlined for use by fighters and athletes. The following are positions or postures that can be practiced for focus or relaxation and can be led by the intention of thought or absence of thought.

Lying:

In yoga, this is called Savasana, otherwise known as "Corpse Pose/Relaxation Pose." Lying flat on your back with your legs straight and your feet one foot apart with toes hanging outward. Your arms are straight with hands six inches from the hips palm up. Or you can put your left-hand palm down on your heart with right-hand palm down over the left. This creates an energy (chi) feedback loop cycled from energy entering left palm and channeling through chest down the right arm then back into of the left hand. To me, this is very powerful due to the intensity of the heart chakra (4th energy center – circle). Put your tongue on the roof of your mouth.

Seated:

This will be your more common meditation posture and can be done sitting against the wall with legs crossed, unless uncomfortable to knees and hips then you straighten your legs. Move from your seated base and straighten your posture up your spine, into shoulders and up your neck. Many Taoist meditations will require you to sit on the front of a chair using no back support or you may just sit with the most proper posture using no wall or chair. From here you will put your left palm facing up and your right palm facing down. This creates the Energy (chi) feedback loop. Again, put your tongue on the roof of your mouth.

Standing:

This is perfect for channeling your energy right before, during or after competition. While standing your feet are hip-width apart and your posture is aligned in a neutral fashion from your ankles into your knees, then into hips and up your spine, shoulders pull back and your neck aligns with your spine. Your arms are straight with hands hanging in front of your hips – your palms are facing each other. This creates the energy (chi) feedback loop. Put your tongue on the roof of your mouth.

Choose your appropriate posture position and lets begin….

Adjust body and spinal posture, put your tongue on the roof of your mouth, if you have time close your eyes if not relax your gaze and clear your mind. When in meditation or flow zone one sees everything but focuses on nothing but breath and relaxing the mind, body, heart, and soul. Center your attention 1/2 an inch up from your eyebrows and 1 1/2 inches back inside your mind. Inhale. The breaths are deep and full. As you inhale, energy rises from the of the spine and travels up the back then up and over the top of your skull. From here the energy enters your third eye (6th chakra – 6th sense), otherwise known as the pineal and pituitary glands. From here it connects to your tongue on the roof of your mouth as you exhale the energy down your chest and past your lower energy centers (naval) and wraps underneath. From here the next inhale begins with breaths deep and full. As you exhale you contract your upper ribs, then your outer obliques, then lastly abdominals. This ensures you will exhale as much of the stale, negative air in the bottom of the lungs as possible.

With each breath, you clean your mental slate and defragment your mental hard drive. What I mean by this is consciously analyze your thoughts & identify negative tendencies such as:

Worry – This only wastes vital energy needed for performance since the brain functions on many of the same nutrients that muscles (Glucose, Complex Carbs etc.)

Doubt – If you doubt yourself at all you display that by hindered performance and lack of total commitment. You must free yourself of doubt then change can begin.

Fear – Most are truly more fearful of succeeding that failure. One must conquer fear by relying on training, knowledge of the game and experience oneself through competition and performance.

Stress – The mind creates only two vibrations in response to experiences – positive and negative. Stress is negative and causes repercussions within the body and mind. One must learn to master their own energy, emotions, and actions.

Once you have consciously transcended your emotions you may begin to channel your energy into positive and constructive creations and performances.

Blessings and Respect. Thank You for Time to Read the Dragon Tao Chronicles.

- Brian Seraiah Wood (NSCA-CSCS & CPT)

11/22/13



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