In last week’s blog article I touched on the importance of consistent training to achieve a mind/body connection for a higher level of fitness results. This week let’s delve into the world of mental focus for body results.
As you read through this post, keep in mind that training in a heated, infrared energy environment can heighten your cognitive awareness. In a previous blog article I reported research of findings that sauna use substantially increases norepinephrine levels, a hormone that increases focus and attention span. Infrared heat also induces the production of the hormone prolactin promoting the growth of myelin. Myelin insulates nerve fibers in your brain and is a factor in determining speed of cognition. An infrared sauna can help you to attain the all important mind/body connection during workouts.
Training consistently inside of an infrared sauna is highly recommended for a faster path to a more effective environment for mind/body awareness.
I went to great lengths last week to drive home the point of consistency for training results. Drilling down a bit on the same topic, consistency of workouts and exercise postures is important if you want to understand how you can connect your thoughts to your movements. It’s time to graduate your program. Athletes who reach high levels of success know how important this is to the game. Mind/body connection will be your ticket to high level fitness success as well.
In one 2019 article, “5 Ways a Consistent Yoga Practice Can Change Your Mind, Body and Life”, the author states that consistency with yoga, “Creates a mind-body connection for optimal mental, physical and emotional health: When you’re able to connect your movements in your body with self-awareness in your mind, it can create confidence and a holistic impact on your mental, physical and emotional health. This powerful combination can translate to success in both your personal and professional life.”¹
It’s important to know that the word “yoga” originates from the Sanskrit root word “yui” meaning union. In the most ancient Hindu scriptures The Veda, written in Sanskrit, the word ‘yoga’ is used to mean “yoking”, or “coming together” as a way to describe the focus and concentration for an individual’s attention.
Based on its history, yoga is the exercise form that is most often referred to when fitness professionals write about the importance of mind/body connection, but yoga is not the only workout that can be improved in that way. Pro athletes cross-train hard with many workout types to achieve this level of awareness and they reach this through consistency of exercises and repetition with the utmost of focus and determination.
FOCUS is the bridge between the mind and the body!
Let’s take a simple plank posture, for example. When you focus on proper form while in a plank you are forcing your mind to stay in the game with you. Conversely, when you allow yourself to become distracted, with thoughts of boredom, or just because you might have lost your discipline for a moment, you will disconnect the mind from the body. When you are engaged with yourself during training you will never get bored. Getting bored is not possible when you train with a high level of focus and intensity. Anything less is just plain laziness. Own that plank!
Get your mind in the moment and focus your body into perfect form for every posture, set and rep.
Where you focus is what you get!
Goals do wonders for mental focus and muscle performance. Determine what you want to achieve with each and every set for each and every posture and turn your focus to that. If you remain consistent with your practice like that, then you will begin to excel with much better form.
Your newfound awareness from the union of mind and body will result in greatly improved breathing and oxygenation, as well as strength and flexibility gains. Focus your mind on your body and make every workout moment count!