Working Out The Mind & Body
Before I came to the West I only knew what was taught in the four walls of the Shaolin Temple. I knew there were other martial arts outside of Kung Fu and Qigong but I had never seen them before. When I came to the London I was curious and went to many classes to study. I wasn't so much interested in the different techniques. I was interested in how the mind worked. Would the mind of a Muay Thai fighter work differently to a Sanda fighter?
But the most important mind that we need to get to know is our own. It saddens me to think of the many people who workout without using their mind. At the temple, our training is always seen as a meditation. The mind and body work in a unique way and by using our workout as a meditation we infuse our self with a deep sense of spaciousness and peace. So next time you are running, swimming, weight lifting, practicing Qigong or doing a kung fu class either through a DVD or in a class, use my seven laws to help you achieve success not just in your workout but in your life.
Now Is All We Have
Our mind is a muddy glass of water. It's only when we allow our mind to be still that the mud can settle to the bottom and we can have clarity. The present moment is changing fast and our mind is constantly darting between the past, present and future. To calm it down, we give our mind an object to settle on. The object is our breath and our movement. Once our mind is calm it can then gain the powerful focus of a laser.
Star In Your Own Movie
There are some places in this world that give us great peace. For some people, it may be a Buddhist Temple, others a church, others may find peace in nature. Before you begin your martial arts session, take a few moments to close your eyes. Approach your workout as if you are about to enter that place that gives you peace. Then, begin to imagine yourself at your best, in peak health, flexible, and relaxed. If you're doing bag training, picture your self kicking the bag with power and speed. If you're going through my Qigong DVD then you're staying completely focused on the movement. Runners imagine yourself running effortlessly, your body as light as a feather.
Believe You Can
" Believing in something beyond the self can have a hugely psychological impact, even if the belief is fallacious." Bounce by Matthew Syed.
Faith is vitally important. Give me a fighter with faith and a fighter with good skill and the fighter with faith will win. We need to believe in our self and in a bigger wisdom than our self. Belief is the first step of our training. A belief that we can do this.
Shaolin Kung Fu Training is hard. It challenges us. This is why we gain in confidence. We are now doing something we never thought possible. We look back and see how far we've come. Our workout has taken us out of comfort zone. It didn't just challenge our body, it challenged our mind. We are taking part in a tradition that is thousands of years old. We are keeping it alive and applying it in our life so that we can become an urban warrior.
Shaolin Training is an effective tool to deal with worries and problems. But how do we apply this? Using our workout as a meditation gives us a mini holiday from the circle of our thoughts. It allows us to let go of our worries and problems. This crucial mini holiday helps us to get a bigger perspective so we can deal with our problems more effectively because we no longer feel swamped by them.
It takes many hours to become a master of something. Once the sport is mastered, a different part of the brain is being used and this is when the workout begins to feel like an instinct. But this only happens with very purposeful practice. Doing the thing that you're bad at makes you into a champion. Failing over and over again makes you into a champion. If there's a certain kung fu kick you struggle with then keep practicing it. Spar against people who are better than you, this is the only way you will learn. Struggling with stamina? Do interval training and hill running.
When you can easily get through your workout, it means it's time to move on. Never stop believing in yourself and never stop challenging yourself. If you are lazy in your workout, are you being lazy in your life? If you're limiting yourself in your workout, in what ways are you limiting yourself in your life?
Your Shaolin Kung Fu Workout is a blueprint for your life. From success in your workout, you can go and achieve success in your life. And remember it's not about winning or losing. It's about doing everything with passion and mindfulness so it has meaning for you. You can't control the outcome but what you can control is having fun in the process.
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