Meditation for

Sports

Curve Curve

The British Journal of Sports Medicine recently found that just four week’s meditation led to increased performance scores for elite shooters. Ten top Olympic athletes were studied for three consecutive seasons and were found to have significantly higher levels of brain integration than athletes who did not meditate. Who says you need drugs to take you to peak physical fitness? Beeja meditation reduces lactic acid build up in our systems and aids recovery times; it’s not only completely natural, but incredibly easy and very enjoyable.

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  • The problem

    Sport and exercise are good for us on many levels and should always be encouraged.

    However, it is useful to understand what goes on at a physiological level when we intensively exercise, so we can safely improve our conditioning, achieve peak performance, and feel good.

  • How it affects you

     

    Did you know, the ‘runner’s high’ we experience when we do excessive levels of exercise is due to a large release of endorphins triggered by something called stress-induced analgesia. 

    What that means is, the body receives the signal that all this activity must mean there is an emergency situation on our hands and we’d better release all those endorphins so we can run through the pain barrier while we flee the sabre tooth tiger. 

    But, this biological response was not intended for regular recreational activation!

    When the stress response kicks in, as well as an endorphin rush, we also tend to release other stress hormones which shake up the way our body operates. Our levels of the steroid hormone glucocorticoid, which is responsible for much biological mischief when found in excess, becomes elevated; even when we are completely resting. 

    If this happens frequently, we are at risk of developing osteoporosis which is a cruel outcome for anyone who has been athletic. 

    Our nervous system becomes swayed in favour of a more stressful set of responses, even during normal everyday challenges. 

    Our reproductive hormone levels fall; males develop smaller testes and will have less functional sperm and females often tend to develop irregular cycles and often have more fertility issues. 

    The reason appears to be an excess of a male sex hormone known as adrenal androgen. When we are constantly putting ourselves under physical stress, and depleting our fat stores, we can’t convert these androgens to oestrogen, and reproductive capabilities become impaired.

    Just because exercise is good for you, that doesn’t mean insane amounts of it are insanely good. Too much exercise can be as bad as too little.

  • How can Beeja help?

    So where does meditation fit in? Well firstly, it reduces the number of stress hormones in our circulation such as cortisol and glucocorticoids. 

    This not only rebalances our hormone levels - resulting in much healthier bones, organs and systems - but it also goes hand in hand with better performance. Many of our students have reported performance highs; including shattering personal bests within the first few days and weeks of learning, much greater hand-eye coordination, and feeling more zen and in the flow with the activity itself.

    Meditation also reduces lactic acid build up in our systems after we’ve completed the activity and aids recovery times. It supports the healing of injuries by increasing oxygen flow and nutrient transmission to affected areas, and it helps us achieve more powerfully restful sleep, enabling us to feel more energised when playing or competing.

    We also have a much more balanced nervous system, allowing us to not only enjoy the high of exercise but also to stay balanced and calm during our day. And the incidence of osteoporosis and infertility amongst sportsmen and women are greatly reduced by the hormonal balance brought about by meditation.

    All the while we get to enjoy the happy hormone rushes that come when we meditate.  We get to experience the runner’s high even when sitting down.

    If you like to do active exercise, then there’s no finer way of restoring balance and enhancing performance than adding meditation into the mix. And if you have to choose between the two? Meditation will give you the vast majority of attributes that sport does with far less of the side effects. Game on.

    And if you use sports and exercise as a way to relax, then meditation might be an easier way to achieve that. As one of our clients put it, “I’d have to cycle 100 miles to feel as relaxed and carefree as I do when I meditate, this is such an easier way to get there!”

    For professional athletes, reducing the roots of anxiety can help focus and deal with the fear of failure. The reduced stress hormones also mean we feel fewer nerves before events; our body can compete without error in those critical moments. 

    For this reason alone, top athletes such as Michael Jordan cite meditation as an essential part of their game. 

    Other scientifically validated benefits for athletes are: improved physiological functioning, improved cardiovascular efficiency, improved respiratory efficiency (increased vital capacity), reduction of blood pressure to more ideal levels, increased haemoglobin concentration, improved athletic performance and neuromuscular integration, increased running speed, improved standing broad jump, improved agility, improved co-ordination, faster reaction times. A pretty epic list!

    And if you don’t enjoy your exercise, and feel like you’re slogging away in the gym with no discernable gain, finding an easy and enjoyable alternative like Beeja which can give you the same benefits is definitely worth exploring.

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  • Reviews

    Steven, CEO, Belgium

    “Beeja meditation provided me what I was looking for on a business and personal level. I have read and heard of the many advantages on physical and mental health, and I’m now convinced it literally changes lives.” 

Find out how meditation can help your Sporting Performance
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“Thirty year old athletes who run 40 - 50 miles a week can wind up with decalcified bones, decreased bone mass, increased risk of stress fractures and scoliosis (sideways curvature of the spine) - their skeletons look like those of seventy year olds.”

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Robert M Sapolsky, Biologist & Author

"..I managed to switch off for long enough to get that floaty feeling people from Brighton swear by."

"I have a lifelong tool that has brought me calm, clarity and increased creativity"

"I've noticed that I’m no longer ruled by emotions – I can see when I’m angry or frustrated without being in that feeling.”