Hello, everyone! The other day I was thinking back on some of the classes that I had taken in college. It’s funny that just thinking of certain classes can bring back certain emotions or reactions. I dreaded a certain accounting class and absolutely loved my bio-mechanics class. As I was reminiscing I started thinking about a yoga class that I had taken. It was only one credit hour and only met 2 times a week.
This was 2nd semester in my freshman year and I was not yet aware of how important recovery, sleep, and relaxation was. I was a little stressed. We’ve all been there. Then, I remember our first “relaxation” day. It was 15 minutes of different positional holds, 15 minutes of light stretching, and then the best part! 15 minutes of dead-man’s pose wrapped up the class. It was lights off and our only focus was our breath. I was out cold in about 3 minutes. I woke up and it had felt like 10 seconds had gone by. I was truly able to shut off and relax. I then began appreciating the rest and recovery side of things. My mood was improved throughout the day. I was refreshed and had more energy. My relaxation had come from the meditative aspect of the yoga.
Focusing on my breath was it. This was my first experience with meditation. This past summer and into this fall I was really making an effort to meditate a few times a week for 10 minutes at a time. I had seen tremendous improvement in my mood and sleep, but I was constantly frustrated by my inability to focus on one thing at a time and have recently not been trying to practice consistently. In a conversation, I had recently had with Bill he explained to me that it is not the ability to stay in that place of focus, but the ability to get back into that place of focus. This completely changed the way I had previously viewed mediation. I had become frustrated with something that is supposed to happen.
We hard wired for survival and it is easier to survive if I can be hyper-aware of every little thing around me. We also may see every little thing as a threat. Meditation is a way to forget the threats or find something else to focus on. Combining sessions of mobility and control (yoga) with sessions of mediation can be great for improving mood and recovery. Combining these two training modalities are great ways to boost recovery of the tissues of the body as well.
These are two components of recovery that I am going to refocus in my own training and I invite you to give a try. If you need any help with getting started, please check out the blog next week for more information on something exciting, yet relaxing coming to IFAST! Have great 4th, folks!