Meditation and physical exercise may not seem to have much in common but my experiences in both have shown me that quite the opposite is true. The Great Masters past and present have all said in varying ways that deep meditation is the way to truly unite (while still in a body) with the Infinite. Well respected, science and medical experts now all agree that consistent physical exercise promotes good health and vitality. What is the science behind both of these gospels? Energy. And what about that energy?
Energy is “available power.” Without it nothing can exist. Think about anything (including thoughts) and anyone. Could they exist without someone or some thing’s exertion of energy toward their manifestation and maintenance?
Exercise is basically the purposeful direction of energy in a physical activity for health, fitness and/or aesthetic purposes. Does purposeful simply mean that there is an intent to exercise; therefore, someone exerts energy to work out? That initial drive, will and enthusiasm to go to the gym, for instance, is important but there is something else that is just as consequential – a deliberate, calculated control of the energy behind the intent.
Like many people, I began to go to the gym for health/fitness reasons and learned a few how tos around weights, exercise machines etc. through various trainers. Strangely, it was not until only four years ago after over a decade of exercise that something called the, “mind-muscle connection,” was brought to my attention; and it has given me very positive results in just a short period of time. “Mind- muscle” is a silent mantra in the strength and weight training worlds but does not appear to be known by many people not even some fitness enthusiasts. Simply, the mind-muscle connection is the conscious choice to have the brain focus on the muscle(s) that contracts while an exercise is performed (e.g. focus on the pectorals in order to contract them for chest presses). Studies have shown that the mind-muscle connection technique in weight training develops greater muscle growth and strength (along with healthy nutritional habits) compared to mechanical movements without the mind-muscle bond. In other words, the results are greater when inner energy (life force) is directed to the brain to control with precision the muscle contractions in any given exercise.
Great Yogic Masters, such as Paramhansa Yogananda, have taught that the ability to control the life force can lead to deep meditative states and ultimate union of consciousness with God. For me, meditation is fairly new – just seven years. My particular path of Kriya utilizes a science based technique called, Kriya Yoga, that controls the inner power (life force). And like all true, scientific methods, the same results occur when the technique is done properly regardless of who does it. Like many hard earned goals – intent, enthusiasm, relentlessness and focus are all required to experience the highest benefits of effort. I have come to realize that the practice of Kriya Yoga is greatly improved when the focus is on the heart or Love/source of that Love versus only the mechanics of the technique.
The common denominator of good quality meditation and exercise practices is the control of one’s deep energy. That may seem like a task for only advanced meditators and work out buffs. The truth of it is that people control their inner power every day and are just not consciously aware of it. Anything and everything someone does or does not do is an act of inner control of his/her energy for it requires directed, internal power to think and then make choices (e.g. to think positively or negatively, exercise or sleep an extra thirty minutes, act kindly or uncaringly etc.). With that in mind, awareness of one’s supreme, life force can go a long way toward self improvement in ALL areas of life for awareness precedes control.
Everything is energy. To direct from the heart this innate power flow would necessarily divert attention from the physical state (pre-meditative) to the much subtler spheres (meditation, higher consciousness). In contrast, the same power can be sent to the brain to have it focus on the body to exercise. Since everything is energy and people have the ability to learn to control it within themselves through proven methods like Kriya Yoga, it is reasonable to presume that there is immense potential for self mastery, therefore, tremendous good (goodness) in all human beings.
** The Source of all this energy that makes up everything everywhere? Meditate.
***Featured Blog Photo credited to the wonderful artist whoever you are that created! Namaste