SIT ON THIS AND MED­I­TATE HOW TO MED­I­TATE WHEN AND WHERE

TRAIN­ING CALM MINDS

Triathlon Magazine Canada - - FEATURES - BY JONATHAN HILTZ

Com­plet­ing a triathlon is as much a men­tal chal­lenge as a phys­i­cal one. Hav­ing a clear head, be­ing in the right mood and able to fo­cus and con­cen­trate can be just as im­por­tant as preparing your body for the in­cred­i­ble ex­er­tion that lies ahead.

One of the best ways you can pre­pare your mind for the event is med­i­ta­tion. “Med­i­ta­tion gives us the abil­ity to con­trol our minds rather than our minds and senses pulling us in dif­fer­ent di­rec­tions,” says Mad­haven­dra Lo­bel, one of the own­ers and teach­ers at Med­i­ta­tion Toronto ( med­i­ta­tion­toronto.com). Here are some of her tips on get­ting started: Find a quiet spot, sit com­fort­ably and fo­cus on your breath. Breathe in and fol­low your breath through your nos­trils, then into your throat and then into your lungs and belly. Sit straight (you can close your eyes if nec­es­sary) and then fol­low your breath back out into the world. If you find your mind wan­der­ing, which is a com­mon thing, just pay at­ten­tion to it and then bring your fo­cus gen­tly back to your breath. Start with two min­utes each day and then do it for longer as it feels com­fort­able. You will get bet­ter with prac­tice and, if you need help, sign up for a class to take you to the next level. Pick a con­sis­tent time of day: morn­ing, dur­ing your lunch hour or when­ever is most con­ve­nient. Find a “trig­ger,” some­thing that re­minds you that it’s time to med­i­tate: your first sip of cof­fee, brush­ing your teeth, get­ting home from work or some­thing else that will be a re­minder. The more you med­i­tate the eas­ier it will be to calm your mind in any sit­u­a­tion, such as preparing for the big race.

Triathlons re­quire com­mit­ment, plan­ning and the abil­ity to train your body to push it­self to its limit. Hav­ing a strong fo­cus and a calm mind will help pro­pel you to new lev­els of suc­cess. Some­times you need to slow things down to see those pos­i­tive changes.

Jonathan Hiltz is a jour­nal­ist and TV pro­ducer based in Toronto.

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