Meditation will push the evolution of your mind and snowboarding. It has been practiced for thousands of years, allowing people to reach heightened states of awareness, eliminate fearful thinking and achieve deep relaxation.
By using a meditative practice you can dramatically improve your visualization ability. Mental rehearsal is an effective technique to use when trying to land a new trick or practicing a specific skill in your riding. If you can see it and play out the steps in your mind before you try it on snow, it will greatly help you feel and understand all aspects required for success. All you need to do is get comfortable, close your eyes and breathe. That’s all. Simply do nothing but focus on each single breath in and out.
Headspace is a gym for your mind and an incredible place to start your meditation journey: www.headspace.com. Try their “Take 10 Challenge” which is 10 minutes of meditation a day for 10 days.
On a warm-up lap, it’s easy to use that time riding to get present and just bring awareness to the body and breath. Let your movements mirror your breath. When you bend down, breathe out. When you stand-up, breathe in.
Effectively treats. Stress, worry, sleep problems, lack of focus, anxiety and more!
Leads to. Upgraded snowboarding, better decision making, less fear when trying new things, peace of mind, inner stillness, wellbeing, boosted focus and creativity.
Meditation puts you in a space to watch your thoughts, feel your emotions and observe the reaction. The more you practice, the more aware you become that your inner state determines your outward reality. Renew and recharge your mind with as little as 10 minutes of practice a day. Enjoy inner stillness, revitalized health and happiness. People are even turning to float tanks to boost their meditation sessions. Use the skills meditation delivers to never cave into fear again on your snowboard!
Your Brain On Meditation
Scientists have been carrying out assessments on the benefits of meditation and what areas of the brain are active or not during the practice. Scans during meditation reveal that the areas of the brain that process information are not active like they normally would be. Beta waves are a way to measure the brain’s computing information, and these waves reduce in a meditative state. Meditating puts the brain into an Alpha wave state that encourages healing.
Meditation affects your frontal lobe, parietal lobe, thalamus and reticular formation. These areas are responsible for things like reasoning, planning and processing sensory information. All these areas stop processing as much information and slow when you meditate.
How Meditation Affects You
• Less Stress
First and foremost meditation helps melt away stress and lets you reach deep relaxation. Throughout the day your senses are bombarded and the mind is on overdrive. It is constantly thinking and processing information. Setting aside time to meditate allows your brain to decompress and focus attention inward rather than outward. Practicing awareness with meditation allows you to calm the mind and reboot the brain. It also helps you to perform better under pressure and in stressful conditions, by increasing your ability to cope and focus the brain without getting caught in a panic and letting anxiety take over.
• Boost Focus
Focusing on a specific aspect like breathing develops awareness when the chattering mind takes over and pulls attention to something else. If this attention shift occurs, you can become more aware when the mind is drifting and can bring the focus back. If you can develop this skill in the limitless space of the mind, it helps to channel focus and cut out procrastination in everyday life.
• Reduce Anxiety
The medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) is the part of the brain responsible for computing data on experiences and yourself. Strong bodily sensations and experiencing emotions like fear and anger cause this part of the brain to become overactive and the neural pathways harden and solidify.
However, when you meditate it weakens these connections to the mPFC. As those connections weaken, you boost others to the part of the brain responsible for reasoning. With meditation, you can more objectively and rationally view a situation. If you are personally under attack for instance through gossip or name calling etc, you are not as strongly linked to the sensations that would have been dominant in the mPFC, such as fear, anger, and upset.
Meditation Will Change Your Brain & Riding
• Better Memory
A benefit of meditation that is being increasingly studied is its ability to improve memory recall. People who meditate more easily blank out distraction and boost productivity. If you can blank out distractions it helps the ability to remember quicker and learn new information.
• More Grey Matter
Grey matter in the frontal and hippocampus sections of the brain increases in quantity through meditation. This is a huge benefit as grey matter is linked to a rise in positive emotions, boosted everyday focus and emotional balance/strength. As you age, grey matter becomes less effective and breaks down causing a reduction in your cognitive function. However, daily practice of meditation offsets these effects.
The Body and Meditation
For centuries monks and yogis have known that when you meditate your body undergoes an uplifting physical transformation. Each cell in the body is charged up and infused with extra prana, also known as energy. As you practice daily this life force in the body elevates and you can experience joy, enthusiasm, and peace in everything you do.
• Can lead to a reduction in high blood pressure.
• Reduces the quantity of lactic acid in the blood – helping to stop anxiety attacks.
• Boosts mood and improves behaviour due to the serotonin release during a meditative session.
• Strengthens the immune system and function.
• Activate inner energy and power through your whole day.
• Can relieve headaches, insomnia and soothe muscle/joint pain.
Try to meditate at least once a day to reap the benefits. It only takes a few minutes of your time, and if you don’t think you have enough time, you should be conscious of yourself in your downtime. Are you watching TV, feeling bored, restless and frustrated? If so it’s time to meditate! A meditation practice never becomes perfect and takes daily cultivation to let your consciousness blossom.
Don’t let fear take over and start to push all the boundaries of what you thought was possible. Without daily practice, your brain can revert back to its old ways and engage in recurring thought patterns. Meditation helps you to elevate out of these stagnant damaging thoughts and rewires the brain for positive intentions and success.
W&R Tip: Try Yoga Nidra as a form of meditation before you go to sleep tonight!