“It’s the repetition of affirmations that leads to belief. And once that belief becomes a deep conviction, things begin to happen.”

Muhammad Ali

Good morning peeps, meditation done.

Quote for the Day:

“It’s the repetition of affirmations that leads to belief. And once that belief becomes a deep conviction, things begin to happen.”

Muhammad Ali

Positive self-talk is one of the most tried and tested sport psychology strategies.

There are three types of self-talk used when working with athletes. First is task-relevant self-talk. As the name suggests, this involves a focus on the task at hand. A boxer might use the statement “guard up, chin down” to reinforce his posture.

The second type is mood-related self-talk, which should affect the way you feel. Like Tiger Woods shouting as he pumps the air after holing a putt.

The third type is positive self-affirmation. The most famous exponent is the great Muhammad Ali, who told himself “I am the greatest” so many times that even his opponents became convinced.

“I figured that if I said it enough, I would convince the world that I really was the greatest[L1] .” Muhammad Ali

Professor Graham Jones researched then qualities of mental toughness that distinguish the truly elite performers from the rest. He has written and edited a number of books including ‘Understanding Psychologial Preparation for Sport’ and ‘Developing Mental Toughness: Gold Medal Strategies for Transforming Your Business Performance.’

Understanding Psychologial Preparation for Sport’ was a research based book designed to enhance both theory and practice in the psychological preparation of elite athletes, this book integrates relevant qualitative and quantitative research literature with practical knowledge gained from personal experiences of working with elite athletes.

Seven aspects of psychological preparation are covered: basic psychological skills; self-confidence; motivation; arousal; stress and anxiety; concentration; and coping with adversity.

His studies of athletes generated a ranking of qualities needed for mental toughness and ‘Self-Belief’ emerged as the top requirement the most important characteristic of all.

“Having an unshakeable self- belief in your ability to complete your competitive goals.”

Belief also appeared in another form ranked third in importance,

Having an unshakeable self-belief that you posses unique qualities and abilities that make you better than your opponent.”

My old mucker Daley Thompson winner of Olympic golds in the decathaon in 1980 and 1984 had a huge self-belief as coach Frank Dick recalls;

“Just after a hard day’s work, when we were sitting back and feeling the sun on our faces, Daley said to me, “Who was the greatest athlete you ever saw?” I asked if he meant in videos and he said yes. I named someone who had won four gold medals in one day. Daley said, “Forget it, buddy you are looking at him.”

Daley is still the same way now, full of self-belief, confidence and positivity, it is infectious he is the most positive person I have ever met and the best trainer I have ever worked with.

It’s been a few years. But I still remember clearly my first meeting with Daley. Saturday Morning, Battersea Athletics Track. Actually I have found some old pictures at my mum’s house from the late eighties when I was dancing at the London Paladium at the night of 100 stars, when Daley was appearing as well and we had our picture taken together with a couple of other dancers, my good friends Chistian (RIP) and Stacey Haynes, the pictures are classic and I can’t wait to show Daley.

Anyway back to Battersea about 10 years ago when I first met Daley properly and I was in awe as I introduced myself to him.

“Hi Daley, I am Adj.”

Quick as a flash the response was

“Hi I’m Daley, I’m Awesome”.

He is.

For my age I consider myself in pretty good physical condition. Daley’s physical condition is ridiculous. His positive aura shines through and rubs off. Thompson is the best trainer, motivator and inspirer I have ever seen. Daley is the only person who has managed to get maximum effort out of me with so little effort on his part. Whether by witty comment, word of encouragement or just a look. But always with a smile. Daley makes you dig deep, push yourself to knock another second off your time, or do one more rep.

Daley is the man early on Saturday morning I go to whenever possible, to keep myself in shape and motivated. Initially he’d say,

“Adj, you need some fitness goals; otherwise you can’t train properly.”

At the time, I didn’t get that. I do now.

I always leave those sessions buzzing, exhausted, barely able to walk or cycle home, but always smiling.

This could be you soon as I am very excited to say that Daley and I are in the middle of planning some fitness and yoga, retreats, breaks and escapes together. We will let you know the dates as soon as we have them confirmed, they are going to be awesome.

Both Daley’s and Muhhamad Ali’s goal was to win. To be the best, to be the greatest. That kept them going. Even when they didn’t want to. The goal of winning kept them focused. They had a vision, a dream, and nothing would sway them from that goal. Every minute of every day.

In yoga and meditation we use Sanskrit mantras as positive affirmation’s everyday.

Ashtanga Yoga traditionally has both an opening chant and a closing chant. Because of Yoga’s ancient roots, chants (or mantras) are offered in Sanskrit (the ancient language of India), however their meaning is said to be universal as Sanskrit is the language of the heart.

Studies have shown that when a person chants it can stabilise their heart rate, lower blood pressure, produce beneficial endorphins in the body and boost metabolic processes, so it perfectly compliments the physical practice of asana.

The Opening Prayer is a blessing of gratitude offered to the lineage of teachers and their students who have enabled this ancient practice to survive through thousands of years so that we can experience its benefits today. The recitation of this mantra cleanses the energy of the space we have chosen to practice yoga, as well as preparing the mind, body and emotions for the forthcoming Ashtanga sequence.

Om
 Vande Gurunam Charanaravinde
 Sandarshita Svatma Sukava Bodhe
 Nih Sreyase Jangalikayamane
 Samsara Halahala Mohashantyai

Abahu Purushakaram
 Shankhacakrsi Dharinam
 Sahasra Sirasam Svetam
 Pranamami Patanjalim
 Om

Translation

om

I bow to the lotus feet of the Supreme Guru
 which awaken insight into the happiness of pure Being,
 which are the refuge, the jungle physician,
 which eliminate the delusion caused by the poisonous herb of Samsara (conditioned existence).

I prostrate before the sage Patanjali
 who has thousands of radiant, white heads (as the divine serpent, Ananta)
 and who has, as far as his arms, assumed the form of a man
 holding a conch shell (divine sound), a wheel (discus of light or infinite time) and a sword (discrimination).

om

Ashtanga Yoga Closing Chant

The Closing Prayer brings the practice to a peaceful end; sealing in the work done and offering the efforts of our practice to improve the state of the world.

Om

Svasthi Praja Bhyaha Pari Pala Yantam
 Nya Yena Margena Mahim Mahishaha
 Go Brahmanebhyaha Shubamastu Nityam

Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu
 Om Shanti Shanti Shantihi

Translation

May the rulers of the earth keep to the path of virtue
 For protecting the welfare of all generations.
 May the religious, and all peoples be forever blessed,
 May all beings everywhere be happy and free
 Om peace, peace, perfect peace

When I am meditating on my own every morning I often use my own simple mantra as I inhale for four counts I silently say to myself,

Breathe, Believe and Achieve

As I exhale for four counts I silently say to myself,

Be Happy, Health and Wise

After ten minutes I wake up feeling calm and confident full of self-belief and fully focused on fulfilling my goals and everything I aim to achieve that day.

After a couple of hours of writing I then get on my yoga mat.

Practicing yoga everyday for 10 years has really helped me in all aspects of my own life.

The more I exercise and practice the stronger my breathing becomes and the more control of it I have.

The yoga poses and breathing teach me that if I control my breath I can control my mind. The pain and discomfort I feel in the awkward yoga poses, will go away if I breathe and stay calm. This mirrors situations in life which can seem impossible with no way out, but if you stay calm, focused and breathe then your head clears, the situation does not seem as bad as you first thought and you can see a way forward.

Yoga has taught me to focus my mind and not be distracted by outdoor forces and things that I cannot control.

By practicing headstands and handstands I am able to turn my world upside down and look at it from a different angle, which allows me to see things from other people’s point of view, which again makes me more open in the mind and as a person.

I have also learnt that I cannot do all the poses or asana, but this is not failure, the point of yoga is not to be able to do all the poses, it is the daily process of trying to achieve them that is important. Because as soon as you have mastered a difficult pose, you will come across another one that you will feel is impossible, when you first start, but if you practice every day it will become a little bit easier as you improve every day.

This is the basis of my Elysium Way Training System.

The Elysium Way enhances and enriches lives allowing you to reach your full potential physically, mentally and spiritually.

And one of the main components of the Elysium Way is practicing yoga.

If you would like to improve your breathing and clear your mind by introducing yoga into your life or to strengthen your daily practice to help you focus, smile more and achieve your goals and live the life of your dreams?

Why not take your first step and come on my yoga retreat in Morocco from Saturday March 18th to 25th and join me at the Mazagan Beach & Golf Resort the new five-star luxury destination in El Jadida Morocco

Click Here to find out more

The location is amazing.

It is a truly unique coastal destination resort, less than an hour drive south of Casablanca and set in a region abounding in contrasts that has preserved all its authenticity.

Rooms and suites overlook the lagoon, the golf course, the swimming pool and the patio, plunging down to the sea from the terraces and offering a 180-degree view over the Atlantic Ocean.

The view will take your breath away.

So if you would like to learn more about yoga and join me for some fun in the sun at a beautiful, exotic location in Morocco, then Click Here

Also look out for the exciting news that Daley and I are planning some fitness and yoga retreats soon, I can’t wait for those.

Have a superb Saturday peeps and a wonderful weekend

May all your dreams come true,

Breathe, Believe and Achieve

Be Happy, Healthy and Wise

Keep on Winning, Smiling and Living the Dream

Namaste

steveagyei.com