Sochi Olympics 2014: Meditate Your Way To Gold, Says Anderson


 

With Jamie Anderson winning slope-style snowboarding, its a double win for America. Draped proudly in stripes and stars, she revealed the secret behind her flawless win: candles, incense and Yoga.

When asked about how she coped up with pressure of huge expectations, she replied,

“All of the above. . . . Put on some meditation music, burn some sage. Got the candles going. Just trying to do a little bit of yoga.”

Yes, she meditated the night before tournament finding herself crumbling under the tremendous pressure of repeating another success (just a day before, her compatriot, Sage Kotsenburg had won a medal in men’s category). Even after a world class training from the masters of this sport, loads of confidence from past wins, and blessings of the whole nation, there is no guarantee of a stress-free life.

But, she did it all with the help of meditation. Read on to find out how you too can learn to meditate easily.

For those who don’t know much about Anderson, she is one solid snowboarder with many versatile tricks in her kitty, the only women snowboarder to have soared this level of success. In spite of all this, thoughts of self-doubt did cloud her, but she winded them off with yoga and meditation. This helped her even next day to maintain her sanity and not lose her cool during the tournament.

What is candle meditation?

Often people find sitting still for meditation difficult.

Those who are able to feat this, face the problem in focusing thoughts on a point, forget emptying your mind completely off them. Hence, for beginners, there are “Open Eye Meditation techniques” to help them reap benefits of meditation, but through an easier path. Candle meditation is one such open eye meditation technique. Others also include meditating on a fresh flower.

You focus your thoughts on the flame, and let the flame guide you to your inner self, where you finally discover heavenly calm and peace.

Time required: 15-30 minutes

Difficulty level: Beginner

Things Required

  • It is usually practiced in an empty room, so that distractions are minimized, but one can also do it in a room with furniture. Just make it a point to sit in a direction where you face no physical objects except wall.
  • Next, you need a candle to focus your gaze, and incense to fill the room with soothing aroma. This immensely helps in transition.
  • You can also play some mantras (vedic chants) in background, or some melodious tune that unfailingly calms your senses.

How to candle meditate?

Position: Lotus pose or cross legged on floor or yoga mat. Sit straight, not slouchy, and place your palms gently in center, left on on top of right.

Candle: Its advised to use keep candle on a stand, so, the flame lights on your eye level. This is to reduce strain on back of your neck and shoulders. Keep the stand about 50 cm away from yourself.

Room: Dimly lit, and warm. Avoid thermostat.

Steps for candle meditation:

  1. Light the candle and focus your gaze on its flame. Notice the colors, and the way it is flickering gently.
  2. Its most likely that, you’ll find some distracting thoughts coming to you by now. Try taking one thought at a time, and incinerating them into the flame. Take beauty in the glow and warmth.
  3. Make sure you breathe evenly and slowly. This way, gradually, you’ll feel everything fading into darkness except the candle.
  4. When you start getting a feeling of oneness with the candle, close your eyes. You’d still be able to see the flame inside you. Continue focusing your thoughts on that circle of light to experience transcendental joy and serenity.
  5. Stay as long as you want to without worrying about the ticking of clock. After you are done, lie down for 2 minutes in Savasana (Corpse pose) and let go off control of your extremities.

Why go for candle meditation?

  • Quickest way to relax
  • Easiest technique to learn to meditate
  • Relaxes senses like re-calibrating mind
  • Energizing and rejuvenating experience
  • Improves concentration and memory

So, five steps for five benefits that last your life. Sounds like a good deal provided you only need to devote only 15 minutes of your day. Next time you panic and don’t understand the logical step of moving forward, just take a deep breath and sit with your candle. With tons of information bombardment and responsibilities, learn to slow down, and take everything one at a time.

“Pick one, conquer it, move ahead. This is the only way to do, everything.”

Stay Blissful!

Suggested Readings

1. How Arnold Schwarzenegger Overcame Self Doubt

2. Effect of Meditation on Brain – he Science Behind “OM”

Last Updated: May 29, 2014

Next Scheduled Update: Jul 29, 2014

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