In last Fridays Yoga for Runners we spoke about being mind aware….
Just as we have looked at how we can begin to be more aware of what is going on in our bodies, on and off the mat, we can bring this awareness to what is happening in our minds too. Being more aware of our mind and understanding that we are not out thoughts can help us to recognise unhelpful thought patterns, make more choices before we just react to thoughts, create space in the mind away from the crowded constant chatter and reduce stress responses.
Using a mantra
a chosen word or phrase that we repeat, can help us to focus our mind and not let it run away with unhelpful thoughts and patterns. In our running this can help set the tone for a run and help us through when things are not going to plan or when we are getting tired. By choosing a positive mantra to repeat when we are running we can use the power of positive thought to help create more positive outcomes.
So I shared my rather embarrassing run mantra which I use when I start out to quiet down the “can’t crone” in my head. “I am strong, I am powerful and I can do this”. I may not fully believe this when I start but the more I choose to rest my focus on this the more I relax into the run and start to believe in myself. So when faced with a huge hill instead of the can’t crone ruling my head and me stopping half way up I have a tactic to quiet her down and then have more chance of making It further up or even to the top.
We looked at how we can employ a similar tool in our practice to help focus the mind in our asana work which will help to bring the mental space in our crowded chattering mind that can help us find more ease, both physically and mentally.
We may call it different things in yoga but this is all the same as sports psychology – employing mental tactics and tools to create those small changes and improvements. If we can use these in our chosen sport and see the benefits imagine how you can benefit from them in very day life…
This week we will continue our exploration of this and also start to look at how we can use visualisation to further this practice.
Look forward to seeing you on the mat!