Did you know that the number of people that are practicing meditation has more that tripled since 2012?
Some people meditate to relax and de-stress, while others use meditation as a way to connect with their inner selves.
Whatever the reason, there are many benefits to meditation. Meditation has been shown to improve mental and physical health, and can even help to increase focus and concentration.
So you could say it’s kind of like working out. But is meditation actually a sport?
Well… Let’s find out!
Table of Contents
What is Meditation?
Meditation is a technique for focussing or emptying your mind that combines mental and physical approaches.
You can meditate to unwind, reduce anxiety and tension, and more, depending on the form of meditation you select.
Some even utilize meditation to help them improve their health, such as adapting to the hardships of quitting smoking.
Meditation has been practiced for thousands of years, and many styles may be found all throughout the world.
However, contemporary science has only just begun to investigate this technique in depth. Some of the most significant advances in science’s knowledge of meditation have only been made possible by advances in technology.
On the surface, someone who is meditating may appear to be doing nothing except breathing or repeating a sound or word over and over.
Inside their heads, though, the story is quite different. Meditation can improve your brain and mental health, according to modern diagnostic and imaging procedures such as electroencephalography (EEG) and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) studies.
Definition of a sport
According to the Cambridge dictionary, a sport is:
“a game, competition, or activity needing physical effort and skill that is played or done according to rules, for enjoyment and/or as a job”.
Another definition of sport according to the same dictionary is:
“all types of physical activity that people do to keep healthy or for enjoyment”
Can meditation be considered as a sport?
When we take the definitions of meditation and sports (as presented above) into account, meditation can indeed be considered as a sport.
As we explored in the first chapter, meditation combines both mental and physical approaches, and according to the Cambridge dictionary, all types of physical activity that people do to keep healthy or for enjoyment is considered a sport.
Meditation is a form of mental training. It’s like going to the gym for your mind. Meditation, contrary to common belief, is quite active and has major physical impacts on the body.
Of course, the key muscle it exercises is your brain. This is backed by current studies on the influence of meditation on the brain.
Meditation, according to research, alters the chemistry of your brain. Regular meditators have a smaller amygdala, which leads to less stress, and a growth in grey matter, which leads to an improved capacity to solve problems.
These are just a few instances of how meditation builds brain regions that enable more mental discipline and clarity.
People who meditate may think more clearly, handle problems more effectively, find solutions faster, are more creative, keep cool under pressure, feel less stress, live longer, recover from disease faster, and stay young longer. Most significantly, they have a better quality of life.
Meditation induces changes in the heart as well. When you concentrate, the heart, which contains neurons and transmits more impulses to the brain than the brain sends to the heart, enters heart cohesiveness.
Because all organs are controlled by the heart, the result is that all organs in the body will be in harmony.
Best meditation for athletes
Whenever athletes think of growth, usually the first thing that springs to mind is throwing around some big weights. Lifters, particularly bodybuilders, also see nutrition as an important component of their training regimen.
However, most athletes don’t take into account what is possibly one of the most important aspects of heavy lifting – mentality.
Meditation may have a huge influence on your recuperation, stress reduction, and even helping you grow stronger and create more muscle tissue in the gym.
Meditation may not be the first thing that athletes think of when they want to better their training regimen or break through plateaus.
However, learning to meditate and keeping it a constant practice may assist strong athletes get to the top of their game.
Learning to meditate when you dislike meditation might be challenging, but so can improving your deadlift or benchpress weight.
If you can include meditation into your training routine, you’ll be entering a whole new realm of possible lifting triumphs.
Meditation is not always about being physically motionless. As we discussed before, meditation may be defined as a technique for focussing or emptying your mind that combines mental and physical approaches.
In that way, you may already meditate more than you realize – for many athletes, lifting weights is a sort of meditation.
If being aware of what your body is doing seems too difficult or daunting, you might choose to be mindful of something that you already regularly do.
Try paying attention to what’s going on in your mind and body when you wash your teeth, fold clothes, clean the dishes, or prepare your gym bag for your next workout.
Do you have stiff shoulders? Do you have a clenched jaw? Is your breathing quick or slow?
Calling these items to mind will assist you in maintaining a contemplative, “in the moment” mentality even while moving.
To “do it correctly,” you are not required to meditate for long periods of time. In the end, there is no “right” method to meditate. The following athlete meditations should just take a minute or two to complete, and you can incorporate them into your day anytime you feel like it.
You may progressively increase the length of these brief meditations once you’ve become used to them. As you become more accustomed to the practice, you may gradually increase the length of time you spend meditating, similar to how you gradually raise your exercise intensity or volume.
Breathing in Squares
Square breathing is an excellent method for calming your mind and body. You may use this strategy while you’re laying in bed, trying to persuade yourself to leave the coziness of your blanket and go to the gym.
According to research, this form of regulated breathing might improve your emotional control and social well-being.
Square breathing is extremely simple to execute since its name makes it easy to remember what to do. You’ll be breathing in a square pattern.
For example, inhale four times, hold four times, exhale four times, and hold four times. Then start over. You may perform as many rounds of square breathing as you choose.
Even one or two rounds will take less than a minute and will help acquaint you with the vast realm of meditation.
When was the last time you were consciously aware of your breathing? When you detest meditation, one easy approach to learn is to just count your breaths.
They don’t even need to be especially slow or deep. Simply make a mental note to glance away from your computer screen — or squat rack — long enough to count 10 breaths.
You may close your eyes if you choose, but it is not necessary. Neither is sitting or laying down in a certain manner.
That is why counting to ten breaths is such an approachable type of meditation.
If you lose track of your rep count on your way to 10, that’s fine; everyone does. Give it your best guess and keep on, or if you’re feeling adventurous, start from scratch and try again.
Online Meditation/Mindfulness courses
So as we discussed, Meditation can definitely be seen as a sport since it’s a “physical activity that people do to keep healthy or for enjoyment”, which is literally the definition of a sport by the Cambridge dictionary.
Meditation has many benefits, some of which I have had the joy of experiencing myself (I noticed that I am way happier and grounded since I started meditating regularly).
If you have any questions, feel free to let me know in the comments below!