Mike Tyson On The Benefits Of Meditation: “I Pretty Much Die When I’m Meditating”  - Men's Health Magazine Australia

Mike Tyson On The Benefits Of Meditation: “I Pretty Much Die When I’m Meditating” 

The former heavyweight champion opened up about his love for the meditation practice, describing divine feelings in its aftermath.

Despite sport seeing many a legend shoot to fame, only a handful of stars possess the kind of reverence that sees the knees of fans buckle and legs go limp simply due to the sighting of their last name emblazoned on a team jersey. But such a status belongs to Mike Tyson, the former heavyweight boxing champion who seems to defy the ageing process with a commitment to his workout routine and the promise of a comeback (despite being in his 50s). 

Tyson was certainly known for his right hook and upper-cuts, but he’s now making a name for himself as something of a shaman. On a recent podcast episode of his show Hotboxin’ with Mike Tyson, the sports star talked about his takes on the state of modern boxing before going into meditation. In recent years, meditation has gone from a fringe activity to the mainstream. Only a decade ago the practice would have been associated with man-bun-sporting hippies, but now it’s a beloved ritual of athletes, fitness enthusiasts and simply those looking to centre themselves or practice gratitude in the morning. And even Tyson is singing its praises. 

Even just five minutes of meditation has been associated with improvements in mood, attention span, problem solving and stress management. Of course, Tyson doesn’t do anything half-heartedly and so, when he goes to meditate, he prefers to go deep. “I pretty much die when I’m meditating,” he said. “I’m like a borderline shaman, I use plant and animal medicine. I won’t say I’m enlightened, but I’ve had divine feelings…I was told silence is god’s language, and that’s why we meditate.”

Speaking about meditation with New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley, the NFL star admitted that while he’s yet to try meditation himself, his father does it and he’d be open to trying. “I know some players who do it too,” he said. “I’m always trying to find any way to gain an advantage on your opponents and try to bring the best side of you…I wouldn’t say I’m not willing to try.”

Tyson’s co-host and actor, Jeremy Piven, explained that the image of meditation has changed significantly. You no longer have to be sitting cross-legged on a straw mat under the shade of a palm tree wearing white linens as you chant “om” in various octaves. Instead, you can make meditation work for you – wherever you are and on whatever personal level you require. 

“It doesn’t have to be intimidating,” said Piven. “It’s just taking 15 minutes every morning and quieting your thoughts and focusing on your breath. And you can do all those things, because the discipline you’ve had to have to get to the point where you’re at, just to sit and be present with yourself, and then you’re working on a higher vibration. I’m not trying to peddle meditation on anyone…There has to be something to it, it’s been around for thousands of years and we’re still talking about it, there must be something to it.” 

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