#3 Time to focus and meditate

Top tip number 3 helping you to become a strong, healthy and happy dancer is meditation.

Meditation is having a bit of a face lift at the moment. More people are understanding what it actually is and reaping the benefits by daily practise. Meditation has been practised by people since since time began. Meditation or what I like to call it, quiet time, allows you to stop and connect with yourself. What you choose to meditate on is up to you, but I find that focussing on your breath quietens your thoughts and gives deep relaxation benefits.

No one can conitnue to give out and perform if they do not have time to fill up and restore. Scientific research has found that the brain actually changes and is better able to cope with the pressures of life through daily meditation. Our brains begin to re-wire by this practise and over time can dramatically change your outlook effecting your whole life for the better.

Why would you not do it then?!?

Start with choosing a quiet place at home and set a timer on your phone for 5 minutes. Lie on your back either on the bed or on the floor with your legs and arms relaxed by your side. Start to take deep breaths. Draw the breath in from the bottom of your lungs and imagine your ribcage and lungs expanding across the floor to the sides of the room.  As you exhale relax the ribcage and allow it to come back to its naural position. Focus on the rise and fall of your chest. If any thoughts cross your mind, acknowledge them and then set them aside. Return back to your breath.

As a dancer, performer or just the average Joe, we all need to restore and rejuvenate. Give your mind a rest so you can be the best!

As you practise this regularly you can gradually extend the time. It can be quite addictive as you feel calm, centred, relaxed and alive all at the same time! It stays with you for the rest of the day and gives you the strength to perform at your best.

Great people or books to read more on this in a way which is easy and enjoyable, is the amazing Yoga guide Tara Stiles, MindBodyGreen and The Social Animal book by David Brooks gives you a glimpse into the science behind meditation as he explores the unconcious mind. There is much more out there but these are the places I personally have found the most helpful without being ‘werid’ so to speak! This short video by Tara Stiles is great if you are new to meditation.

[youtube]http://youtu.be/YEITKBAQu90[/youtube]

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