Attitude is everything, particularly for runners. Attitude and outlook can be improved with intentional effort.
Meditation can be loosely described as intentional effort that can lead to greater peace through self understanding and increased mental focus and clarity.
Yogic philosophy provides a wealth of insights to build a meditation practice and develop a more optimistic, positive attitude that can benefit your running performance.
There are a variety of guided meditation exercises that can help guide your performance. From using guided meditation to visualize the big finish and challenges that may be presented during a race, can help you prepare in advance and overcome them.
Since everyone is unique, I can guide you through these exercises individually that will work best for you. Generally, it is more helpful to first be guided through these exercises working with someone. We call this ‘yoga nidra’ or guided meditation.
Once you have experienced the positive effects of this guided meditation exercise, you can work with it on your own as you incorporate it into your relaxation and breathing practice.
Learning key concepts from yogic philosophy can also help to improve the mental game by releasing yourself from mental attachments that can hinder performance and prevent you from negative spirals. Since everyone is unique, I recommend discuss this directly so it is appropriate for what you need.
In addition, working with a mantra can help to improve flow while running and keep you focused and strong. Mantras are personal so choose a word or phrase that is empowering and makes you feel positive. The repetition of the mantra is key for creating a flow state while running and blocking any negative thoughts from creeping in.
There are various meditation practices that can be helpful, and can be combined with breathing practices that create a deeper and richer experience.
In her book, How to Meditate: A Practical Guide to Making Friends with your Mind, Pema Chodron opens with a quote from Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche to describe the practice of meditation:
“The principle of nowness is very important to any effort to establish an enlightened society. You may wonder what the best approach is to helping society and how you can know that what you are doing is authentic and good. The only answer is nowness. The way to relax, or rest the mind in nowness, is through the practice of meditation. In meditation you take an unbiased approach. You let things be as they are, without judgment, and in that way you yourself learn to be.”
Being present is a practice that takes time to cultivate. If you are new to meditation, it can be frustrating if you feel that you are not doing it right or feel that you are not good at it. Let that go.
Listen to this brief audio clip of Pema Chodron sharing the key to meditation as she discusses how to develop the right mindset for meditation and steps to begin a practice.
I’ll be sharing more resources and suggestions for building your meditation practice here, so follow me and get ready to experience the limitless and expansive now.