Breathing, relaxation, and imagery are mentioned

throughout the lessons so often because they’re such

fundamentally important tools for the

Warrior/Champion. I call them “The Critical Three.” I

remember how often Leo-tai spoke of all three. They’re

all crucial in order to help create the Ideal Mental

Climate from which peak performance springs forth.

Sometimes clients tend to get over-analytical about

the “right” way to practice breathing or the “right” way

to go deep into relaxation 먹튀검증. It’s always fun to show them

that in reality, it’s much easier than they ever thought it

could be.

First, let’s learn about breathing.

I have a memory of Leo-tai from a time when I had

been watching him high up on a mountain, and so near

the edge that I worried he might fall. He was practicing

what he called his focused breathing, his hands

sometimes flowing to the rhythm of his breathing in

slow and balanced circular motions, and sometimes not.

He had taught me to do just as he was doing, to

draw the air in deeply and slowly to the bottom of my

lungs through my nose, while expanding the diaphragm.

Then, after holding it momentarily, he slowly pushed the

air out of the lungs by drawing the diaphragm in. He

explained that it’s important to let the air out through a

relaxed and slightly opened mouth while keeping the tip

of the tongue pressed lightly against the ridge behind the

front teeth, with the tongue touching the roof of the

mouth.

Afterwards, I asked him what was going through his

mind as he practiced his breathing.

“Nothing,” he said, “I just observe my breathing.

That’s all. If a thought comes to me, I pay it no attention

and it soon flows away. The more I focus on the

breathing, the more I observe the breathing, the quieter

my thoughts become. And also, notice that I can

practice the breathing without any form whatsoever,

“What do you mean, without any form?” I asked.

“I can practice my focused breathing whenever I

want, even now as I sit and visit with you,” he told me. “I

practice focused breathing to help keep me centered-to

help bring me back to the present. I can do it without

form. You do not see me moving around or flowing as a

tai-chi master does do you? Yet still I am practicing my

focused breathing.”

I’ll never know why, but the sureness and simplicity

of the words that he spoke that day have never left me.

I’m grateful for that because I’ve learned through

experience, that it’s through the focused breathing that

he taught me, that I’ve always been able to begin to

achieve the mental control or focus that was required,

for whatever serious challenge I may have been facing at

the time.

So, from now on, whenever focused breathing is

mentioned in any of our other lessons, you’ll know

exactly what we are describing, how it’s done, and why

it’s part of the mix of tools that helps us achieve mental

control. It’s important to practice focused breathing if

one hopes to ever be able to harness the power of the

technique. Master your breath, and you can master your

mind.

There is a second important concept mentioned

throughout The Art of Mental Training that Leo-tai

never tired of explaining, time and time again, year after

year. Let me explain as he did to me: the concept of

relaxation . . . both physical and mental.

What do we mean by relaxation? And why is

relaxation practice so important for the athlete and

Mental Warrior? Relaxation matters because when used

with mental imagery it facilitates and allows our inner

(subconscious) mind to clearly see our success imagery

and feel our success feelings.

It’s only when we are in a deep state of relaxation

that the conscious mind quits acting as a filter for the

inner mind. It’s when the critical conscious mind is set

aside through relaxation (for several minutes) that our

Imagineering can reach the inner mind directly. Among

other things, the inner mind is a goal-striving

mechanism. Show it your goals through imagery and

with feelings of them as having already been

accomplished . . . and it sets out to help you make it so.

It accepts the input as being true. Seemingly saying to

itself, since this is true, then these must be the actions

that I must be taking that help make it so.

And that’s critically important because by blending

breathing, relaxation and the third critical element,

Imagineering, the mental athlete is able to tap an inner

resource designed to help him achieve his goals.

Coming from within, your motivation and volition

become stronger and more focused. From within, you’ll

soon find yourself more easily doing all the things that

need to be done in order for you to accomplish your

goals. When the inner mind is able to see what you

want, it’s able to help you get what you want. Relaxation

skills are what open up the lines of communication

between the inner mind and your Imagineering. Proper

breathing helps you go deeper into relaxation whenever

you so desire.

So, what does relaxation practice entail? And how

do you practice setting up these lines of communication?

The ability to achieve a state of deep relaxation

easily and quickly comes only through practice. After a

few weeks of practice, one can usually enter a deep state

of relaxation within a few minutes of deciding to do so-

and for some it can happen even quicker than that.

I tell my clients to consider practicing and

developing this skill by using the following process. I

remind them that if they just allow the process to

happen naturally, then it will. You can’t try to force

relaxation, but with practice anyone can learn how to

slip into relaxation quite easily.

Move to a quiet space where you won’t be

disturbed. Lie down on your back with your feet slightly

apart, arms slightly extended from your body, palms

facing down, and make sure you are as comfortable as

possible before proceeding. (In other words: no tight or

restrictive clothing, temperature not too hot, not too

cold, etc. Get comfortable).

Now, fix your eyes on a point above you on the

ceiling. Remaining as still as you can, begin by taking

three long, deep, deep, breaths, inhaling through your

nose. Hold each breath temporarily, and then exhale

slowly through your mouth. And with each breath that

you release, I want you to feel a wave of relaxation begin

to overwhelm you as you let go and begin to enjoy the

process.

As you exhale the third breath, gently let your

eyelids begin to close. Now, for the next ten breaths,

imagine your eyelids getting heavier and heavier. I want

you to mentally repeat the word “deeper” as you exhale

and let all tension and thoughts disappear every time

you breathe out. Let yourself go deeper into relaxation

with each breath that you let out. If your mind drifts,

that’s okay; just gently bring your attention back to

learning how to relax and how to let go as you exhale

and mentally repeat the word “deeper” slowly to

yourself. After ten easy breaths, you are ready to begin

focusing on relaxing the muscles of every part of your

body.

Start with your toes and begin moving up your body

as total relaxation begins to take over. Focus on relaxing

each and every muscle in your body. From toes to

calves, to thighs, to abs, to chest, to back, to arms, to

shoulders, and even to your neck: every muscle letting

go and completely relaxing. Continue all the way up to

the scalp and facial muscles. Visualize each muscle

loosening, and feel a wave of deep relaxation flowing

deeply into all of your muscles, into all of your body.

Allow yourself to go deeper into relaxation with each

breath that you take.

Don’t rush it, don’t force it; simply allow your

muscles to turn loose, go limp and relax naturally as you

experience the serenity of total relaxation. (Sometimes

clients tell me that a leg or arm twitched or moved

involuntarily for an instant and they ask me about it.

That’s nothing to be concerned about; it’s only the deep

hidden tension being triggered and released from where

it has been hiding. The release of this hidden tension is

both therapeutic and healthy.)

Now, allow yourself to enjoy this state of relaxation

for about twenty minutes, maybe a little more. Drift in

this sea of healthy relaxation and during this time, while

in this deeply relaxed state, watch yourself as in a movie,

and project images in your mind’s eye of you achieving

what you desire. See it as being true. Feel it. Show your

mind through images and feelings what you will

accomplish. See it clearly. Watch yourself

accomplishing it. Experience it inwardly as if it were

already true.

Remember that now, through deep relaxation,

you’ve opened a direct channel to your subconscious

mind. Feed it images and feelings of success in your

“movies” that it will then set out to help you accomplish.

With this practice, you are setting a powerful force in

motion from deep inside that will help propel you

towards the success you envision.

After twenty minutes or so of deep relaxation and

“success conditioning” through your use of your mental

images and feelings, it’s time to either bring yourself

back to a state of full awareness-or else time to simply

allow yourself to slip into restful sleep. That’s up to you.

If it’s time to sleep, just let yourself doze off.

However, if you need to bring yourself back to a state of

full awareness, then this is an easy way to do it. Imagine

a staircase with five steps going up. See yourself slowly

climbing up the steps, and tell yourself that with each

step you take that you feel more refreshed, more alert,

and more aware. And, that when you reach the top step,

you’ll feel relaxed, refreshed, and rejuvenated,

completely alert, and ready to carry on with your day.

When you reach the last step, let your eyelids open,

inhale completely, and stretch. (Of course, if you are

practicing your relaxation during the day within a busy

schedule-there’s no harm in using an alarm clock just

to help ensure that you get back to your schedule on

time in case the deep relaxation ever leads to an

unscheduled nap.)

That’s how the Mental Warrior uses breathing,

relaxation and success imagery. He doesn’t use them

only once. Instead, he incorporates them into his

training routine using repetition over several weeks and

months, so that the success conditioning has a chance to

actually be absorbed by the subconscious mind and to

take root, thus helping to improve self-belief, self-

confidence and performance. Through practice like this,

the Mental Warrior is able to engage and use the power

of his subconscious mind in order to help him achieve

his goals.

Remember what Leo-tai once told me: “The

Mental Warrior learns about focused breathing,

relaxation, and imagery-and then he sets off to

actually use them.”

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