Cognitive Cardio™ – A practical, simple, fresh approach to mindfulness meditation
Hey Total Gym team! Master trainer JayDee here to share a 3000-year-old discipline that has made the greatest positive impact on my life. Smart people learn from their mistakes. Really smart people learn from other’s mistakes!
As a Type A personality who loves fitness and constant movement, I struggled with meditation for years. From the minute my alarm went off my brain would go a 100 miles a minute, and then it would prevent me from falling asleep at night. So read on, learn from my struggles, and learn how this simple “gift” to yourself can be so powerfully beneficial to your health.
Let’s face it, in the West we want to know WHY we should do something. Right – what are the benefits? After many years of practice and vehement study, I wanted to teach meditation in a simple, practical way my students could relate to. That is why I coined the term Cognitive Cardio™.
What is the purpose of cardio exercise? To make your heart a more efficient and effective organ, make it last longer and to prevent heart disease which is the #1 killer in our country. You with me?
So, why should you meditate? To make your brain a more efficient, effective instrument that will serve you better in every facet of your life. Also, it has been proven to protect the brain against cognitive diseases such as dementia, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.
Another reason I call it Cognitive Cardio™ is because there are many misconceptions about meditation. I teach this to corporations and even the word “meditation” freaks some people out. Here are three things meditation is not:
1. Meditation is not cessation of thought. The only way I know how to stop the brain from having thoughts is to have someone hit you in the head with a hammer! The brain was given to us to think. The problems come when the thinking becomes incessant. That mental chatter can often be negative. Meditation is becoming aware of your thoughts. When a thought pops in that doesn’t serve you, meditation allows you the ability to acknowledge that thought and change the channel.
2. Meditation is not religious, although it can be and has been suggested by varying religions for thousands of years.
3. Mediation is not woo-woo spirituality, although it can be for many people if they desire. Two examples are Tiger Woods and Steve Jobs, both professed meditators. They honed in on the focus and creativity benefits from meditation.
If you Google the phrase “Benefits of Meditation,” you’ll get over 15 million results! Today I want to share with you my three favorites.
1. Increased Focus – In today’s myriad of distractions, could this help you? Are you in control of your thoughts or are your thoughts controlling you?
2. Neuro Plasticity – Since we now have the ability to take vivid pictures of the brain, we can see that meditation increases grey matter density, neural connections AND it protects your cognitive health. Cool, huh?
3. Peace – Could you use a little more peace in life? If you give this a shot, I promise you that more and more peace will start to flow into your life.
Watch the accompanying video to learn some simple, practical methods to get you started.
Meditation is a truly a gift to yourself. Please don’t approach it as something you should do or something that you have to do. Approach it as something you want to do knowing it will make you the best, authentic YOU that you can be.
JayDee Cutting teaches meditation and fitness at Rancho La Puerta spa in Mexico where he was introduced to it 20 years ago. His company, CuttingEdgeSalesPerformance.com teaches Cognitive Cardio™ to businesses including Google and Dow Chemical.