Unlock the inner dimension of sport. Bring the power of meditation and mindfulness into your workouts with this practical guide from Sri Chinmoy. This is a unique book which challenges our preconceptions of our physical capacities and of the limitations of age. Sri Chinmoy is the world’s foremost authority on the connection between meditation and physical fitness, showing us how anybody can bring the power of meditation and mindfulness into their training in a very practical way.
Advice for Weightlifters and Bodybuilders
Concentrate before you lift
Absolute beginners should not meditate at all; they should concentrate. For an absolute beginner, meditation is a difficult process. A beginner has to first learn
concentration. When he concentrates, his concentration must be on the tiniest part of the weight that he is trying to lift. Suppose I am trying to lift 200 pounds. On one side of the bar is 100 pounds and on the other side is 100 pounds. When I am concentrating, I will focus my attention on my wrist or on my hand, and try to feel the whole weight there. I will not think of the plates on either side. Everything has to be felt at the spot where I am concentrating. While I am concentrating, I have to feel that the weight is smaller than the smallest – no matter how big it is.
Take deep breaths
It is always good to take deep breaths, not shallow breaths. When I lift very heavy weights,I take three very deep breaths before lifting. The best thing is to feel the breath or the life-energy in your spiritual heart and in your forehead. While you are concentrating, you can feel the same life-energy inside your wrist or inside your palm. It is life-energy that enables us to lift.
Setting his standing calf raise personal record of 2,400lbs.
Find your invisible friend
The weightlifters and bodybuilders must find an invisible friend who will help them. They must feel that there is Somebody who is eager to help them. They cannot see Him with their eyes, but they can feel Him inside their heart. Many things we cannot see but we can feel.
Let us say that yesterday some young students lifted 200 pounds. They must feel that they have got this capacity from God. If they cannot give credit to God, they should at least give credit to an invisible friend. Or let them say there is a higher force.
They know their own body because they have worked with it for a long time to develop their muscles. But do they also know what their mind can do? When they have a negative thought, they become so weak! Again when they have a positive thought, how strong they become! While they are lifting, if they think of their rivals, they are bound to fail. At that very moment, they should not think at all. But if they have to think, they should think of their coach who is helping and encouraging and inspiring them.
Become one with the weight
The best thing, however, is not to think of anybody, but to become one with the weight itself. If the weight and I have become friends, then we do not need anybody else. But if I cannot take the weight as my friend, at least let me think of my coach – that he is so kind to me and is always trying to help me. And if I cannot think of my coach, then at least let me think of the joy I get from lifting and not of somebody else who perhaps is stronger than I am.
There are so many ways we can improve if our mind is trained to think in a positive or divine way. We have so many friends within us and around us. We have to accept the world as our friend, and not as our enemy.
Lifting the 2004 Russian Olympian gold medallist in the long jump, Tatyana Lebedeva, on an elephant using standing a calf raise platform.
My Supreme, my Supreme, my Supreme!
When reach I the top,
I cannot stop
And I do not stop
Because I clearly see
A new goal beckoning me.
My Supreme, my Supreme, my Supreme!
~ Sri Chinmoy