Readiness: Maintaining The Mind & Body Connection
Eric C. Bringas, MA, USAW, PES
When I first interned with John at the Riekes Center for Human Enhancement, his message to all the interns before every training session was to “lock in; whatever was going on in your life outside of present the training session was to be left at the door until the session was finished.” As a young undergraduate intern, though I understood his message, I did not understand the mechanisms that allowed you to be “locked in”.
Now fast forward a few years, I have completed my internship, have obtained my undergraduate degree, and have started the application process for graduate school. During this same time Murray Athletic Development was just getting started and our first client was the varsity basketball team at Saint Ignatius College Prep, a San Francisco based high school. It was with this team John introduced “Breathe and Be” a practice he has used for a lifetime, but for me as a young strength coach it was something very new, a foreign concept.
So, what is Breathe and Be? Is it mediation? A new approach to Mindfulness? Or a technique that puts you in your “flowstate”? The answer really is all the above. Breathe and Be, as we implement it, is meant to be a foundational practice to help build and maintain the mind and body connection.
“Bringing your attention in line with your intention”
Now, how does it work? According to Dr. Pedram Shoja, a doctor of Oriental Medicine, an Herbalist, Acupuncturist, and an acclaimed practitioner of Qigong, breathing and being can be an extremely powerful tool.
In his interview on the Podcast, “Finding Mastery” hosted by the acclaimed Dr. Michael Gervias, Pedram explains the power of Mind Body practice:
“It takes you out of wartime to peacetime [sic] economy. The mind body practice stimulates the prefrontal cortex which allows for higher moral reasoning, negation of impulses, and higher cognitive thoughts….It’s the nature of the human mind and sympathetic overload to keep opening “windows” (his expression for impulses)... [people or athletes] just start opening these loops of to do’s entrapping them in future time or past time not allowing them to be in the present.”
Like any practice the goal is to ensure that Breathe and Be, becomes a routine, and then a habit. In this process we hope to develop an operating system that brings focus to the present and allows for “windows” to be closed as fast as they are opened. Having this practice in your daily routine maintains the mind and body connection allowing you to always be ready to “LOCK IN”.
Click HERE to listen to this episode of the Finding Mastery ft. Dr. Pedram Shoja