Yoga is often considered to be only a series of physical exercises or poses but yoga is primarily about the mind. Traditionally the physical practice is intended to prepare the body to sit in meditation. Many of my students tell me they want the physical benefits of yoga in addition to the mental benefits of a quiet mind.
I describe an advanced yoga practitioner as not the student with the most flexible hamstrings or the deepest back bend but the student with the calmest eyes. By that I mean the student whose eyes remain on their own mat and whose eyes do not dart around the room.
To this day the topic of mediation invokes thoughts of sitting still for hours in uncomfortable positions while burning incense and chanting unusual sounds. Facilitating a quiet mind through meditation is possible through various avenues.
This week we look at ways to help you learn to focus and quiet the mind!
So, how do you quiet your mind? My suggestion is that you practice your mediation three days a week and begin with short durations of time. Let's get started!
Moving meditation #1: Practice your yoga for golfers poses without any interruptions and try to focus on one spot on the floor. Stay focused as you move in an out of each pose.
Moving meditation #2: Go for a walk and as you strike your foot against the ground breath deeply with each step. Feel your entire foot striking the ground, heel through each toe. Translate this walking mediation to the golf course and you will find yourself in a zone state of concentration.
Visualization meditation: Every yoga practice ends with the most important pose of all ' corpse pose. As you lie on your back, palms facing towards the ceiling use this time for total relaxation. Your nervous system is integrating the physical practice and you are allowing your mind to rest. Typically this time is spent without thought but for our purposes we will use this time after your yoga for golfers practice to visualize your desired outcome.
Visualize with clarity the body moving in the way you want to optimally swing the club, the trajectory of the ball, the sound of the ball falling into the cup, etc Repeat this visualization three to five times and then allow the mind to drift away for another five minutes.
Quiet meditation #1: Begin with sitting for short periods of time. Find a quiet space and sit upright in a chair or with your back against the wall. Focus only on your breathing. Inhale and exhale slowly and deeply without holding your breath.
Quiet meditation #2: Extend the period of time to five to ten minutes. Your breathing will unconsciously slow down and your mind will begin to settle down as well. When external thoughts creep into your mind, acknowledge them and then let them go.
The more you practice your meditation, whether moving or in stillness you will see and feel a more focused, keen awareness naturally progress from your living room to the first tee!
Special Note: Tune in to The Golf Channel to see Katherine Roberts on How Low Can You Go? Wednesday's at 9:30 PM ET. Check out her new fitness tips in The Golf Channel Video Vault.