Meditation brings many benefits for those who practice it, The number one benefit is stress reduction, in a world today which is filled with many stress related problems and situations. Meditation for martial arts is something you can incorporate into your training if this is not already the case.
The Benefits of Meditation
Reducing stress, there are many effects on the body cause by stress high blood pressure, This can be dangerous and lead to strokes and heart attacks. Best to monitor your blood pressure as part of your health routine, Stress can also affect your ability to get a good nights sleep, Depression and anxiety has been known to increase due to the build up of stress another effect is fatigue. Checkout this article from the National Library of Medicine: Meditation can produce beneficial effects to prevent cardiovascular disease.
As a martial artist it is essential to learn and practice meditation, put in place a meditation for martial arts for yourself. The benefits in regard to martial arts you will learn: how to start training the mind to increase your awareness, concentration, your ability to keep calm will be increase and your focus and control will be laser like. Meditation must be a habit to get the full benefits best is to meditate at around the same time and place daily if possible.
Meditation has also been known to improve your mood giving you a calm positive outlook.
Increasing your attention span which is great for your martial arts training and life in general, helping you train harder for longer focusing on the task in hand.
Some types of meditation have reports of improving the memory and reducing the risk of age related memory loss as long as the meditation practice is regular. Giving you mental clarity the more you practice.
Has been known to help fight addictions by way of improving your mental self-control and awareness so you can control those cravings. With the reduction of stress this will also reduce the need for any additions your may crave,
Once you have become skilled in meditation you will be able to control your thoughts and stop those nagging run away thoughts in your mind. With the added benefit of now being able to relax at will therefore fall asleep quicker and have a deeper relaxing sleep than a non-meditator.
There has been studies that have found meditation actually reduces pain sensitivity, this would be ideal for martial artists allowing them to be able to block out pain during combat would be a great advantage,
Once you have developed the skills to meditate you will find you have the ability to meditate almost anywhere being able to ignore unfamiliar noises around you, if you are on holiday etc.
Can be practiced from a few minutes too much longer the main thing is to keep the consistency and I would recommend daily to get those benefits mentioned above.
Basic Meditation Technique for Martial Artists
Find a quiet place where you will not be disturbed, this could be your bedroom or another quiet room which is not too bright, you could close the windows and curtains if you need to.
Wear loose and comfortable clothing, remove any belts shoes and watches.
The ideal time would be first thing in the morning but some people meditate late in the evening just before going to bed. It`s what even works for you depend on your circumstances in regard to work and family etc
Items you may need depend on you posture preferences cushion or small bean bag. meditation stool., If you are studying a Chinese martial art like kung fu you may want to buy a cushion and sit cross-legged on the floor with the cushion under you. If you are studying a Japanese martial art like aikido you may want to buy a meditation stool, where you can sit in the kneeling posture sitting back on the stool for comfort.
Take your posture, If you are sitting on a cushion cross-legged on the floor ensure the cushion is under your main torso and your back is straight, take a few minutes to loosen the joints, Your legs should be crossed and comfortable in front of you. Back straight, hands position on your lap or knees or upper thighs what feel best and comfortable to you with palms up or down. Head should be upright as if there is a string at the top of your head pulling it straight, neck straight with the chin slightly tucked in leveling you eye so they are focusing straight forward ahead.
If you are using a chair sit on the edge of the chair with your torso and your feet should be flat on the floor with the hand positions and body positions as above. The feet should be shouldered width apart.
If you are using a meditation stool sit back on the stool with your knees on the floor, again the body and hand position to be the same as above.
Before you start take a moment to relax your entire body from head to toe with one exhalation breathe per body part starting with the head. Feel the body getting heaver as you relax those body parts. Remember to keep your posture this is essential.
Breathe naturally as possible following the breathe using only the nose, When you breathe in follow the breathe through the nose down and into the stomach ensuring the stomach expands on the inhale breathe and contracts on the exhale breathe through the nose following the breathe in both directions, staying relaxed as possible with the eyes close and the mind focused on the breathe and the expansion and contraction of the stomach,
Once you decide to come out of the meditation, bring your attention back to your present location (the smells, sounds, temperature, Then slowly open your eyes, gently relax your posture and gently move your body parts one at time starting with your head and shoulders, Once completed you can stand and walk around the room. You are now all done.
Some martial arts recommend you rest the tongue on the roof of the mouth during the meditation with the mouth closed. This is mainly in Chinese martial arts and is something you may want to include in your practice. This is said to activate one of the meridians allowing the Qi to circulate.
I recommend you start slow concentrating on relaxation, posture, and breathing but most importantly consistency
Martial arts Meditation
Meditation for martial arts is specific to the art.
There are many martial arts and meditation techniques to covering to this post if you are interested in finding more specific martial arts meditations I highly recommend you click the link below which will take you to many martial arts meditation downloads, which may help speed up your progress:
GENERAL MEDITATION AIDS
For the latest technology there are now technical devices like head bands which can guide your through meditations etc,
- Books and Audio books,
- Singing Bowls, kits
- and much more!
Meditation for martial arts have many benefits and is a must for any serious martial artist. The importance of training the mind along with the body is priceless.
They include improvement in concentration, awareness, focus, discipline, along with the benefits mentioned about.
I have included a basic form of meditation to get you started, I would recommend if you are not meditating you can start with this, There are also recommendations of various items, check those out you may find something that will fit in with your current training,
Meditation is a subject that is often overlooked by many martial artists but the benefits are vast and will improve your martial arts and calm you mind and spirit.
Train hard, practice and focus