Are you getting ready for the big race?
It’s all about maintenance now. All the hard work is done, the training plan is under the belt. It’s time to relieve tension and maintain fitness without unnecessary physical stress which might cause injuries or niggling pains. Calm the mind to keep a lid on any nerves and to maintain focus on the end goal. Balancing the body and mind to stay on an even keel.
Take the time after your runs to stretch out properly, especially the legs! Use some of the poses we’ve learnt and don’t forget to breathe!
We’ve looked at visualisation of your running goals. You can also use this technique to calm the mind in general. You can use the same running story as before or even use memories, for example, a full moon, flowers, village green, a path through the woods, a burning candle.
To go deeper into goal setting we can use yoga’s traditional practice of ‘sankalpa’, or resolve. This goes far beyond “I will…” and the desires of the ego. Resolutions such as, “I want to lose weight this year” and so on usually fail because they start from the assumption that who you are is not good enough, and reinforce the mistaken belief that your happiness depends on acquiring what you want.
Sankalpa practice starts from the idea that you’re already who you need to be to fulfil your life’s dharma (our ultimate purpose or true nature). All you need to do is focus your mind, connect to your most heartfelt desires, and channel the divine energy within. A Sankalpa is a statement that does this for us. However, it’s not as easy as it sounds.
A Sankalpa is either a literal and simple statement of who you are, for example, “I am already whole, and already healed,” or “I am peace itself”, or of a specific intention or goal. It’s very difficult to come up with your dharma on the spot. It can take time to listen to your own self so instead you can think of reaching milestones. Think about what you need to do this year to set you on your path.
What do I really want? Start where you are now and use that as a stepping stone. Use the present tense. So, instead of saying to yourself, “I want x” say “I am x”. Just like the visualisation, your mind will consider it true. It reminds you that you’re already enough.