Bring some yoga zen to your ninja training! Addie Wales is a yoga teacher and a ninja. She shares how yoga can be a benefit to ninja warrior by pacing your breathing, helping you to find your inner calm, and training your balance.
Practice breathing with Addie and Cara, and check out the "5 Yoga Moves for Shoulder Mobility" video on The Ninjababes Youtube channel: Shoulder Mobility Practice
After discovering yoga as a major stress reliever in college, Addie decided to pursue her passion at the next level by earning her 500-hour yoga training certification, following her initial 200-hour certification. Yoga encourages Addie to slow down during the day so that she speeds up progress in other areas of life, such as ninja. She advocates controlling your breath to establish a positive mindset that’s necessary to your goals.
Yoga isn’t just about stretching; it’s about mindset.
Our mindset, sets up for success in ninja warrior and in life. Our mind literally controls everything we do. Therefore, practicing positive mindset strategies is essential to phenomenal, breakthrough athleticism.
Mindset determines whether you give up or grit it out.
Gaining awareness of your mind is the start to gaining control of it. A beginning step you can take is noticing your breath. Pay attention to your breathing right now. Is it rapid? Calm? Your breath says more about your current physical and mental state than you might realize. Now that you’re aware of your breath, you can begin to change it. You can intentionally calm your body down by taking slower, deeper breaths. Try it. You’re in control.
When it’s competition time, 100% focus and release of all distracting stressors is needed to achieve your highest performance.
Focusing on breathing before and during competitions can release all stressors from your mind, allowing you to concentrate solely on the task at hand. The reality is that on competition day, a million things may be buzzing around in your mind. Staying completely present in the moment, while challenging, is the key to success on the course. Your mindset must stay firm, you’re here to perform.
Effectively managing your stress will be the difference between success and surrender.
Our thoughts drive our actions. Since we want positive actions, we need to create positive thoughts. During the day, notice how many of your thoughts are positive and how many of your thoughts are negative. Which type of mindset is running your life? Remember, you have power over your thoughts. Create in your mind what you dream to see in real life.
Begin a positive, present mindset the moment you wake up. Consider starting your morning without your phone instantly in your hand, Addie suggests. Take 10-15 minutes to yourself to simply be present, awakening your thoughts and body. When taking the time to relax for the first few minutes in the morning, Cara says, “Everything is just able to tune up in its own time without putting so much force and pressure into jumping right into a list of responsibilities.” Ask yourself, who do you want to be today? Focus on you and your goals first before spinning into the social media lives of others. You have the power to achieve whatever you set your mind to, and it’s your mindset that decides whether you go after it or not.
With National Ninja League World Finals Season 4 just around the corner in Connecticut, it’s important that we pay crucial attention to our mindset. When it’s go time for big competitions, remind yourself that you’ve already done the training to physically perform your best. In order to access your best at the precise time, however, your mindset needs to be in the right place: confident, relentless, limitless. Visualize yourself breathing as you see yourself doing the obstacles, and physically do the breathing during your visualization of the course before the competition. This will help activate your focused mindset.
Speaking of mindset, I find it only fitting to mention my newest and biggest athlete inspiration for mental toughness: David Goggins. His grit factor for athletics and life led to his major life transformation in which he went from 297 pounds, to a NAVY Seal, to an extreme ultra marathon runner. In two Joe Rogan podcasts, and in his new book Can’t Hurt Me, David discusses the difference between motivation and driven, beginning with your mindset. “Motivation is deciding to go for a run, opening the door, and realizing it’s cold outside. So, you don’t end up going. Driven is deciding to go for a run, and not caring in the slightest that it’s cold out,” (David Goggins).
Get after your goals today, Ninjababes. Stay driven. Stay in control. And start with your breath.
Written by Janelle Kopa