Ayurveda recommends working to 50% of our maximum capacity at any given time to help us maintain our health and vitality. It is based on the concept of doing less with comfort and steadiness and achieving our maximum potential.
An Ayurvedic athlete is a balanced athlete.
- He or she works to rejuvenate the body and cultivate the mind, exercises to remove stress and builds mind and body coordination.
- A balanced athlete works at his/her maximum capacity and yet has lower heart and breath rates.
- In addition, a balanced athlete follows a customized regimen for nutrition, lifestyle routines, yoga/meditation.
When we have an intention, we pay attention to what we need to do, and thereby we improve our ability to integrate our mind and body. This helps us focus on our actions and reaching peak performance “zones” become frequent and enjoyable. We begin to reflect a very quiet mind when the body stays alert and active. We are born with maximum capability for mind and body integration.
In a tennis match, you don't think through every point and shot but the actions flow within you by reflex and this translates to our lives too. Yoga conditions us to live and play with more self-awareness so the right actions are effortlessly processed at the right times.
Have you experienced a time when your body is exhausted but the mind is pushing you to either cross the finish line in a race, hit one more tennis ball, or endure one more lap in the swim meet? You may get a rush from this, but is the performance integrated? Has the body incurred fatigue or injury? Even when you finish you can’t move because the mind and body are not coordinated.
What if you could perform with complete mind and body integration and notice your athletic performance reach beyond what is considered normal limits? What if you can lessen the occurence of your injuries?
Do you listen to music, watch TV, read a book, magazine when you exercise? How can you make your exercise, training or practice more fun without resorting to distractions?
Do you consider pushing yourself beyond comfort as the key to success in your performance?
"Developing the muscles of the soul demands no competitive spirit, no killer instinct, although it may erect pain barriers that the spiritual athlete must crash through."- Germaine Greer. The Change: Women, Aging and the Menopause, ch. 2 (1991).