Meditation for Athletes and Non-Athletes

By Dr Daniel C. Batchelor

Not everyone practices meditation, but just like eating healthy foods, exercising and getting enough sleep, everyone knows that meditation is a healthy thing to do.

What I would like to do today is help you learn the very basics concerning meditation so that you can implement it into your life and become a happier, less stressed human.

I’m a single boy. I have very little stress in life, no kids, no wife, no debt, no disease, no sickness, no addictions and no problems. Perhaps I have much less stress in my life than the average person, but nonetheless, meditation still allows me to be the very best that I can be. You do not have to be under stress to benefit from meditation. Young or old, everyone can benefit from it.

Meditation basically helps us reset our minds to focus on the present. Some of the greatest athletes in the world practice meditation, but it is not necessary for you to be an athlete to benefit from meditation.

The biggest opponent that we have is always inside our heads. Meditation gives you ways to come to terms with this opponent.

Meditation helps you focus more efficiently, but it can also help you deal with stress, pain and fear. It also improves the way your immune system functions. I have never missed a day of work in my life due to sickness or disease.

Meditation makes you more resilient to stress. Have you ever had a major stress in your life only to find that after a hard workout the stress vanished? Meditation is even better than that. It helps you detach yourself from the negative thoughts that keep you from achieving your goals.

I’ve won over 350 endurance races. Before a big race, I always meditate. It helps me focus on the present work at hand. If I look at some of the larger past races that I’ve won, I can always recall meditating before the race and feeling very focused before, during and after the race.

When I meditate, my sleep is deeper and I wake up with more energy and more focus in my daily activities. I can deliver more efficient care to my chiropractic patients when I meditate.

When we compete, we need that extra edge to help us win. If the other athletes in the competition have the same fitness level that you have, meditation will allow you to move forward one step further and bring home the victory.

What is inside of your head is as important as your physical preparedness. You must exercise your mind to keep it fit. The mind benefits from mental training,

Now that I have your interest and you want to begin meditation, let’s begin with something that can make you a better you for the rest of your life.

Just like running a marathon, you can’t go out the first day and run it. You need to begin very basic training and then follow the training program over several months before you can lay it all on the line and complete the race. The same thing with meditation. Don’t expect to meditate like a monk your first time out. Begin with something very basic and work upon that.

You don’t have to cross your legs and sit there like the Dalai Lama. You can be anywhere, even a passenger on an airplane. Try to find a comfortable chair to sit in. It is best not to lie down in bed, since you will probably fall asleep.

Start with breathing. Start in your stomach, let your diaphragm pop out, and then move your breathing all the way up to the back of your chest, the exhale is longer than the inhale. Exhale while your mind is fully connected to what’s happening. Repeat, repeat, repeat. When your mind wanders, just gently recognize that you’re away from your breath, and gently refocus all your attention back to your breathing: the inhale, the exhale, the sensations of your body. Close your mouth and focus entirely on your breath as it enters and leaves your nose. You can focus on any element of your breath that you want – from how the air feels as it enters and exists your nose, to how the air feels as you inflate and deflate your lungs, to the sensation under your nose as you breathe in and out, to the sound you make as you breathe. Don’t force your breathing here – just breathe naturally and observe your breath without thinking too much about it. Don’t think. This is the hard part. Don’t analyze your breath; just bring your attention and focus to your breath, without thinking about it or analyzing it.

Bring your attention back to your mind when it wanders. When your mind wanders, and it will, gently bring your attention back to your breath once you realize that your mind has wandered. You may not clue in at first that your mind has started thinking again, but when you do, gently bring your attention back. Don’t be hard on yourself during this stage. Just gently bring your attention back.

When your mind begins to think about how boring meditation is, gently bring your attention back to your breath. When your mind becomes restless, bring in your attention again.

Do this for ten minutes per day. Eventually, just like brushing your teeth, you should meditate each and every day.

You can meditate in the morning before work, during lunch or even when you are waiting in the waiting room of Dr. Batchelor’s office.

Roswell,  GA Chiropractor Dr. Dan Batchelor is Metro Atlanta’s top doctor/athlete.  He is the winner of over 350 endurance races and has treated thousands of patients over three decades.  Be the best you can be. Let the doctor who practices what he preaches show you how.  770-992-2002 DrBatch@aol.com.

Batchelor

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