“Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far they can go.” – T.S. Eliot
The snowshoe season has officially ended in most parts of the world.
Off-season training regimens are important because what you do now will have a dramatic impact upon your snowshoeing a few months from now. The benefits of a consistent off-season regimen will be profound whether you use your snowshoes to leisurely walk on trails with your family, photograph nature, hike at altitude, or partake in elite competitions.
Meditation is an appropriate first step to commencing your off-season program. It is an ideal cleansing exercise that you can incorporate year-round in your life. Meditation is exercise. Meditation is not relaxation, concentration, or visualization. These and other techniques are often used but by themselves are not forms of meditation.
The goal is discovering your Higher Self through a state of nothingness. You can use this bliss to improve your snowshoeing and your life. Purity of your mind is absolute.
Meditation does require discipline. It is not easy, however, consistent practice with your breath and posture will reap numerous physiological and psychological benefits:
*Reduces heart rate;
*Reduces oxygen consumption;
*Enhances cellular production;
*Increases energy levels;
There are innumerable forms of meditation being taught through spiritual teachers, coaches, tapes, CDs, DVDs, videos, and books. The scope of this article is simply to acquaint you to the purpose of meditation and its potential role in your life. Meditation may occur during passive or pleasurable pursuits such as walking in the park or riding public transportation. Meditation may occur during more dynamic events such as shoveling snow or housework. Meditation is most known in its traditional form of formal sitting in solitude or in a group session.
Meditation is training your mind. We know that snowshoeing is a strenuous activity. Ask yourself how many times—snowshoeing or not—you quit because your ego mandated it. Perseverance is an arduous discipline requiring mental and physical harmony. Meditation can help you transform rudimentary activity into a transcendental experience by quashing fleeting thoughts with mental clarity and focus.
Meditation encourages personal growth by challenging you to abandon the comforts inculcated by society. It is a rigorous test to withstand egocentric needs, tap your inner presence, and achieve awareness.
Part of the reason we engage in snowshoeing is its purity. Winter imparts its own pureness to accentuate the clarity and heighten the awareness of the moment. An inner-directed snowshoer will become part of this experience versus merely “doing” it. There is much more to snowshoeing than slogging about in the snow. Use the off-season to revere the lessons learned by your winter exploits.
Meditation will shift you to higher levels of awareness. Henry David Thoreau once stated that a person’s riches are based on what s/he can do without. I challenge you today to incorporate meditation into your daily life. Alleviating the clutter and clamor of mainstream society will allow you to nourish deeper intrinsic snowshoeing rewards next season.
Meditation is a powerful exercise to attain personal growth and enhance your snowshoeing. According to Sujata, it ought to be practiced “every minute, every day, every year, from one to another.”
According to Steve Ilg, creator of Wholistic Fitness, “Meditation is not about divinity; it is about daily life and staying centered in the purest of human action.”
*”The Winter Athlete,” by Steve Ilg;
*Asian Health Secrets, by Letha Hadady, D.Ac.