Its Meditation this month. Meditation is something I am notoriously bad at. As my gran would say – “You’ve got ants in your pants !” There are so many diffeent types out there now to choose from. Guided meditation, Chaosphere meditation, Transcendental meditation (expensive), this meditation, that meditation. All requiring you to sit still, on your backside normally.
I can’t keep still for a minute, let alone sit in an uncomfortable position on the floor meditating. Is there any hope for me and anyone else who finds sitting still a pain in the backside ?
Well – you’ll be pleased to know the answer is yes. After many years in the martial arts, I have learned that breath is the all important – obviously if you don’t breath you die, so I am not talking about that important bit. Instead, its the manner in which you carry out your breath. Far too man people breath with their chest, especially males (and again especially where I live), who seem to enjoy inflating their chests when there are females about. Abdominal breathing is the thing to learn. Breath in through the nose, inflating both the chest AND the stomach, pulling the diaphragm in a downwards motion. Then breathout again, though the mouth, and just when you think you have that last bit of air out, concentrate, contract all your abdominal muscles and expell some more (you may cough at this moment). Then breath in through the nose again, repeating the above. This type of breathing is very calming. Breath in for a count of 5, hold for 5 then breath out for 5 to begin with. Increase the count as you become more proficient.
Now to deal with the not sitting down bit. Stand with feet shoulder width apart, kness slightly bent, in what we know as horse stance. The back is straight, head facing forwards, shoulders back and tight. Focus you eyes on something in front of you, or if you can, focus on nothing in front of you. As you breath in, bring both arms and hands up the front of the body, palms facing upwards to chin/neck height. As you breath out, turn the palms downwards, pushing against an invisible force as you expel the air. Feel the force pushing against you. Concentrate. You might find your legs and knees hurting – just concentrate on your breathing, and pushing at that invisible force as you breathout.
Once you have that down to a fine art, and can do that for 10 to 15 minutes, imagine you have a ball of energy in your hands. This ball can be manipulated, stretched, squeezed etc. Now, as you breath in and out, play with that ball of energy slowly. Squeeze it, stretch it, move it about. Move the arms and hands slowly as you breath, like a Bruce Lee film in slow motion (very much like Tai Chi). Do this for about 15 to 20 minutes, focusing on the ball of energy, or your inner thoughts – do not allow the pain in your legs to influence you.
I find this wonderfully relaxing. The breathing on its own can be used in conjunction with other sports, such as weightlifting, remebering of course to breath in and out at the right times to avoid passing out.
Competence in this breathing technique can lead to “Chi development”.
If you want to know more, message me 🙂