Any discussion of spiritual athletes brings to mind the famous Marathon monks of Japan . These Buddhist monks are famous for stretching the limits of human endurance on their path for Spiritual enlightenment. They follow a ritualized regimen of running 100 consecutive days of 26.2 mile Marathons where they run through the night praying, stopping at specific locations to recite prayers and perform ritual chants.
The monks use the power of meditation and prayer to increase their running endurance over the course of seven years of running 100 consecutive days of marathons. Most of us, however, are not trying to become marathon monks we just want to be able to run farther and faster.
Regardless of the athletic endeavor the biggest barrier to enhanced performance is the inner game or the mental aspect of the sport. Thoughts of anxiety, being a perfectionist, listening to the negative dialogue in your head, and rehearsing past mistakes all hinder your performance.
Prayer and meditation are the keys to mastering the mental aspect of the sport. Prayer is supplication, or reaching out to God for strength, guidance, protection, comfort and love, while meditation is entering into the silence seeking communion with God; listening and receiving.
When you pray to God to be with you and help you to improve your physical endurance you can stand on this promise found in the book of Job 22:28 “Thou shalt decree a thing and it shall be established unto thee: and the light shall shine upon thy ways.”
What role does prayer and meditation actually play in helping to increase running endurance? Prayer and meditation help the athlete to focus their attention on the spiritual plane rather than on what is going on within and around them. If you are not thinking about how sore your legs are, how much your pounding chest is hurting, and what's going on in your environment you will be able to focus a lot more of your energy on your running performance.
On a purely practical level, meditation, which uses controlled breathing exercises while practicing focusing and silencing the mind helps increase your breathing capacity. However, on a spiritual level, the peace and tranquility that come from a heart and mind that are focused on prayer and meditation also helps increase running endurance.
If you want to use prayer and meditation to increase your running endurance, first practice seated meditation until you are able to do it first in silence and then even with the normal distractions around you. Focus on the breath and find the meditative state regardless of your surroundings. Then you can take the practice on the road with you when you run. Pray from your heart and practice your meditations every time you run and you will begin to see an improvement in your running endurance. You will also notice the benefits of this disciplined practice in all areas of your life. The Bible reminds us that we should, “pray without ceasing.” 1 Thessalonians 5:17. Prayer and meditation while running is a great way to observe this scripture.
About the Author
Bonnie Mechelle is the author of the best seller: Overcome Compulsive Overeating... Now, and the executive producer of The Healthtopia Radio Show in Atlanta,Georgia . She has lost over 120 pounds naturally on her own and now empowers women who struggle with weight gain, divorce, single motherhood, eating disorders, chronic illness and clinical depression. See her latest movie, The Inner Weigh and subscribe to her Christian Women's e-Magazine at www.myhealthtopia.com. If you’re ready for one-to-one faith-based weight loss coaching, get started at www.christianweightlossmentor.com. God bless you.
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