Training 24/7 is Healthy for You.
on JUN. / 13 / 2011 | 0 comments
Many martial artist discuss their training with family and friends. They tell and retell their stories from the dojo or dojang with a child-like enthusiasm. This is a good thing and helps create the comraderie we associate with being martial artists. However, when speaking of training time, so often it is relegated to only about the actual time spent in the dojo/dojang.
As Warriors it is imperative to know how to train 24/7. Alertness and awareness is one of the weapons a warrior needs to keep sharp and ready for action and allows you to train throughout your waking state…and at times, even into your dream states. Being mindful of your actions, thoughts, feelings and breathing is a very important part of being a warrior. It allows you to train outside the dojo/dojang.
Since awareness training is so integral to the martial arts, it can easily be part of your everyday life. Whether you are at work, school, or play you can be mindful of your and other people’s activities.
When you go into a restaurant, especially one you eat at frequently, it is easy to let your guard down and go into an autopilot mode with your awareness. Keep it sharp by noticing who is in the restaurant, who is working, where you are going to sit…and be aware of your own breathing, your own thoughts, your own emotions. Awareness keeps you sharp…and healthy.
Mindfulness exercises, whether out in a noisy public place or in a quiet room with soft music, is very healthy for you as well. It releases endorphins and gives you a greater sense of control about the world. Mindfulness keeps your stress levels down and enhances your immune system response. As I posted earlier, Zazen actually enhances your ability to manage physical pain by reshaping your brain and how it perceives pain.
Here is a quick mindfulness technique that works well. It is called ‘Labeling’. Whatever you are doing in the present moment, simply label it. For instance, when you are washing the dishes, you can say, “washing a plate”…or when opening a car door, “opening car door”…or when mowing the yard, “left foot, right foot, left foot, right foot” as you focus on your walking. Be aware of your internal state as well. Note your breathing from time to time and say, “breathing slow and low”. This helps calm you by centering your energy and quieting the ‘monkey mind’.
Every waking moment and its activity is an opportunity to practice your Warrior’s awareness. Don’t miss out on it. If you do you are actually missing out on life and an enhanced state of well-being and health. Be Well.