This simple meditation exercise is good before you begin any type of mixed martial arts training or to center yourself during a break while training. And it is also good after training to re-center and see what’s going on in your body.
- Take a stance like you’re riding a horse. Feet spread at least shoulder-width apart and bent at the knees until it’s only slightly uncomfortable. Spine and neck should be straight. The further apart you spread your feet the harder it will be. Do not overdo it.
- Focus on your breathing. Watch it and pay attention to it. Notice how it moves in and out of your nostrils. Notice the rise and fall of your chest as the air moves in and out. Feel the rise of your belly as the air enters, now feel it contract while focusing on the area just below the navel. Feel the power in your core.
- Pay attention to what’s going on in your body. Where is there tension? Of course there will be tension in your knees and ankles and feet from the horse stance. Try to breathe out the tension wherever you find it in our body. Shoulders and back are common areas that will try and compensate for poor posture. Hold this horse stance as long as you find it beneficial but try and test yourself and how long you can do it. All the while you should still remember to watch your breathing. At first you may not be able to hold it but only for a few seconds and that is fine. There is no rush. You will strengthen your lower body naturally over time through this exercise but that’s not really the focus here.
- When you’ve held the horse stance long enough stand straight up, close your eyes and relax with your arms at your sides while still paying attention to your breathing and what’s going on in your body. You may need to shake out your legs and stretch your arms and twist your torso after the horse stance depending on how long you held it. If you feel the need to move around do it, but then come back to a standing position, close your eyes and pay attention to what’s going on inside. At times you will likely need to adjust your posture. Stay standing in this position as long as you want to. This is your center.
Play around with this simple exercise and let us know if it helps. There are no hard and fast rules with this. It’s your body. It’s your breath. And the more in touch with both we are the better we will be for it.