Physical training - why it can support your meditation practice.
By Alex Powerlett
Chances are that since you learnt Vedic Meditation, if you have a chance to exercise you’re more than likely to go through the old “Well, I’m a little tired…maybe i’ll just meditate instead today”.
We’ve all been there at some point. Once learning this technique there is nothing quite like sinking deep within ourselves to that place of deep quiet that is the baseline of everything.
We love how energetic, relaxed and clear we feel during and for some time afterwards.
So why shouldn’t we just meditate?
Why should we do any sort of physical training?
For me the answer to this is simple.
I want to have a body that is just as capable as my mind at adapting to any situation or circumstance.
Do you want to be able to challenge yourself mentally, through your physical body?
Great! You understand incredibly complex ideas and you can easily deal with your boss or coworker when they’re in a tizzle over something at work.
You can even adapt these ideas and situations to your advantage and have fun while you do it.
Are you as adaptable with your physical body?
Can you react to something simple like catching a glass or mug before it hits the ground?
Can you easily and nimbly climb that tree to retrieve your child's frisbee?
Can you twist and bend in weird positions to pick an object up while holding five other things?
These seem like simple ways to use the body. But without constant training your body will be sore for the rest of the week after performing a simple pattern of movement. You may even injure yourself.
The best advice I can possibly give to any of my students, patients and friends is this; find yourself a movement practice that resonates with you.
Whether its Yoga, martial arts or weightlifting, find someone who is very good at that form of movement and learn from them and train with them.
For me, this was a mix of Chinese martial arts, weight lifting, acrobatics and movement classes. All with experts in their fields. All with people who inspired me to be stronger, more flexible and adaptable mentally, emotionally and physically.
Training my body helped me to train my mind and helped to prepare my nervous system to adapt to any changes brought on by meditation.
This makes perfect sense as the advanced practice of rounding uses physical practice - in this case Yoga - and breath work to prepare the mind and nervous system for deep meditation.
So move your bodies in different ways. Strengthen yourself in as many ways as possible. Support your nervous system and meditation practice, your body and your health.