The process itself is often initialized by putting all of your attention on some kind of stimulus. It may be a particular sound or a repetitive occurrence. Or just solely focusing on your own breathing rhythm. Breathing in particular is the very foundation of all meditation and it is by filling our lungs we regulate the cardiac function, allow the muscles to relax as well as improve or concentration.
Let’s divide the meditation into three stages. They all offer different levels of relaxation.
In the first stage we are the most vulnerable to external influences and our thoughts easily wander off. A whole arsenal of possibilities for this restless mind is in front of us and we lose ourselves in a memory of yesterday’s events, plans we have for the afternoon, the conversation with a friend or analyzing our latest dream. It is at the starting point of our session, when we are trying to establish a quiet and calm mind, either by counting or consciously breathing, that we realize how many thoughts we actually have to interfere our spiritual peace with. This is our greatest challenge in the beginning, trying to accept their existence and realizing that we can not escape them. Instead, we should simply try to avoid becoming a part of them since they are an unwanted distraction.
It is at the second stage we start to disconnect our senses. As we continue our deep breathing we find ourselves increasingly absorbed by both the physical and mental calmness we first imagined. Over time, we also learn to let go of the need or the mere will to move, correct or even care about any of our body parts. As an amateur in meditation practice you will probably not enjoy this relaxation to a full extent. But the more you develop your capacity to concentrate, the more clearly you will experience this condition which in fact can only be achieved through practice.
As we move through this phase, while maintaining the focus on our breathing, we gradually move towards the third and final level. It is when we find ourselves on the “other side” that we may fully enjoy absolute tranquility. There, our consciousness is of a magnitude that we actually feel that our mind has been released from our physical body, leaving nothing more behind than complete emptiness. We stop our counting or focusing on filling the lunges and instead become one with life in a way that is impossible to put in words.
The question many people ask is whether daily meditation can add something valuable to training or not. Is it possible that, through meditation, explore our individual potential and use it as a tool to achieve our ultimate goals in bodybuilding, running or other sports? The answer is without a doubt yes! I will tell you more about this in an upcoming article.
Getting yourself in shape is not done overnight. It takes perseverance, dedication and time - just how much time depends on you and your habits. You might be aiming to improve your physical shape a little faster than normal if you have an event coming up or you can feel the summer just around the corner. Like with almost everything in life, if it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing properly. No half measures, no short cuts, no extreme fad diets and no four-hour gym sessions. If you want to get in shape fast and stay fit over the long-term, it’s worth forming the correct habits now, so you can take a new recipe for fitness forward with you.
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