Here are for me the three main aspects..
When we meditate and focus on our breath, we train your mind to a single point of focus.
Our minds (re)learn to do one thing at a time instead of trying to multitask.
This is called Dharana in Sanskrit. It is one of the eight limbs of yoga
Today, we are bombarded with external stimulations all day long: emails, notifications, texts, tweets, calls, advertising...etc
Everyone is screaming at us to catch our attention.
It is not a surprise that the attention span of people and kids is decreasing.
The ability to focus is a skill, so as any skill, it is trainable. We can then transfer this ability to focus on our relationships, work, education and any creative practices.
How can we learn if we are not able to focus?
Being able to focus has probably never been as important and valuable as today.
To learn a new pattern in a martial art, you need focus, to learn a new skill in your sport, you need to focus.
By sitting still with the eyes closed, we train our minds like a little animal.
Have you heard about the monkey mind? 🐵
Watch this animation by Headspace 👇
When we meditate we tame the mind, we exercise him to observe reality as it is. We realise how agitated our minds are.
Slowly we can experience some glimpse of peace between our thoughts, some clarity, some headspace.
Most of the types of meditation are practiced eyes closed.
It is a way of withdrawal from our senses, called Pratyahara.
It is one of the eight limbs of yoga.
We remove visual and auditory distraction for a certain period of time. We can see our minds as a place where we can find refuge.
We can make it a place where whatever chaos is happening around us, we will find peace.
It is called Pratyahara, the withdrawal of the senses in Sanskrit.
As martial artists, finding calmness before a presentation, a fight or even a dangerous attempt finding calmness in our mind is very important.
As an athlete finding calmness, stillness is ideal to cope with stress and pressure of a game or a competition.
🧘How to start meditation?
Start small, with baby steps.
Here are some guidance that I use when I teach meditation before a yoga class:
" Sit still in a comfortable position with your eyes closed.
Keep your back straight, chest open shoulders back.
Start with a calm and quiet mind.
Focus your attention on your breath and observe the movement of your own breath.
Feel the air coming in through the nostrils, filling the lungs, the diaphragm, the belly, and feel the same air coming out, slightly warmer through your nostrils.
Stay there and observe the movement of the breath.
Witness, observe what is happening inside you
If your mind is wandering away, simply notice it, without judging yourself.
Let your thoughts go, like clouds passing in the sky.
Slowly bring your attention back towards your breath"
Start with 2 minutes and slowly increase the time.
Make sure you stick with it every day.
Stay rigorous with it if you want to cultivate it as a new habit.
Commit with someone else.
Track your habit on a calendar.
Listen to the legend Kobe Bryant talking about his practice.
As Kobe said they are performance enhancers
So this is what you gain with practicing Meditation