Target Practice: Yoga With Bullets
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June 18th, 2007 10:33 PM
Target Practice: Yoga With Bullets
Every time I receive a paycheck from my job in education a pamphlet is included in the envelop from some sort of mental health organization that writes about how to control stress, provides a number you can call for free and anonymous counseling as well as tips to improve your general mental health.
I read these articles because sometimes they touch on some very interesting topics and give some fabulous advice.
In the last issue of their newsletter they wrote an article on anger management. They suggested that if you were angry you should refrain from doing anything aggressive, like yelling, target shooting, or boxing, because that only increases your anxiety and aggression.
While most of the time I agree with the points that they make and their advice on certain subjects, I had to disagree with their assessment of target shooting being "aggressive."
To me, and to many, target shooting is the opposite of aggressive. It is relaxing, rejuvenating, intense and calming. There is something about it that sooths, instead of aggravates and I think I know why.
The big kick in the US at this time is Yoga. People preach the benefits of yoga like they preach the benefits of a good night's sleep. If one is stressed, or has some sort of tension in their life, the top recommended treatment is yoga.
Why? What's so good about yoga? While, very simply, it's an exercise of breathing, muscle, mind, and stretching control. You position and stretch the body and flex the muscles while concentrating on clearing your mind. You focus and breath deeply and correctly. It's well documented that all of these things help to sooth the mind and the body from tension, aggression, and/or stress.
What is good target shooting? It's an exercise of breathing, muscle, mind and stretching control. You position the body and stretch and tense certain muscles, while concentrating on clearing your mind from outside distractions, focusing on your goal. You exercise correct tension on your trigger finger, breath deeply and correctly and pull the trigger.
And on top of all that good therapy, when that bullet makes a nice hole in the center of the x-ring you get that feeling of accomplishment and relief that only comes from a job well done.
If anyone tells you that target shooting is aggressive, it may be a good defense to compare it to the practices of yoga, shooting just includes a projectiles.
June 18th, 2007 10:33 PM
June 18th, 2007 10:38 PM
Hum well ill pass on yoga i get into some of them positions i might have to call 911 to get me
I find Target Shooting Very Very Relaxing ..
Course Video Games where ya blow up a bunch of stuff i find relaxing to
June 18th, 2007 10:43 PM
I find target shooting relaxing also, I just picture the s_ B that I hate at the moment on the paper target and all my aggression just goes away after 200 or 300 rounds LOL. Bud I bet you were at the range same time as one of the guys I work with today hes a little short guy and he had a brand new snubby he was shootin, it was around noon time or so.
Gun Control: What a long strange trip it's been
June 18th, 2007 10:44 PM
I don't do as well shooting while angry or upset, but like to take out my feelings by running, exercising or beating my kick bag.
"In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock." Thomas Jefferson
Nemo Me Impune Lacesset
June 18th, 2007 10:49 PM
Naw but i would have been didnt make it today felt like soemone has been playing bongos in ym head all day spent a lot of it sleeping
Originally Posted by frostyeyes
June 18th, 2007 10:50 PM
OH NO!!! YOU BEAT YOUR KICK BAG?!?!
Originally Posted by rocky
That is too aggressive. You shouldn't do such things while upset!
Personally, I think it's a bunch of bunk.. all this new-age non-aggressive stuff, but most of the time it's what what the general populace can identify with.
I try to draw those kinds of parallels to help them understand us shooters and paint a connection that they can identify with.
June 18th, 2007 10:51 PM
Nice correlation there lima - shooting and yoga. Well at least from mental POV I certainly see the connection.
Mostly I do find it pretty calming but if a not-so-good day - a few hollow points into water jugs works wonders for easing any angst
Chris - P95
NRA Certified Instructor & NRA Life Member.
"To own a gun and assume that you are armed
is like owning a piano and assuming that you are a musician!."
- a portal for 2A links, articles and some videos.
June 18th, 2007 10:59 PM
If i could shoot everyday i would probley be the most relaxed person
June 18th, 2007 11:31 PM
I COMPLETELY AGREE, I shot last week and even made it a part of my work day. I need to find a day to shoot this week but tomorrow is my day off and I am kid sitting one of our middle school guys from church (he is on restrictions from the Dr. ). He would love to go out with me to the range and his folks would not care [last week his 14 yo brother joined me] but the range I shoot at has no seated positions for normal pistol lengths (seats start at 30 yards). I hope I can find some time this week. I have not truly had my Day off since I started this internship. I need to find a Youth min Job at a Large church desperately.
Originally Posted by Bud White
"The world is filled with violence. Because criminals carry guns, we decent law-abiding citizens should also have guns. Otherwise they will win and the decent people will lose."
-James Earl Jones
June 18th, 2007 11:35 PM
I tell people that shooting is my therapy and the non-shooters look at me like I am green. The shooters nod in agreement.
If I had a bad week at work, and those seem to be all lately, my wife literally kicks me out of bed on Saturday so I go to the IDPA matches. When I get back, I am happy, relaxed and easier to get along.
I would not think it as yoga but Zen. It cleans your mind and integrates your body to achive a result at a distance with a device that was not issued at birth. When I shoot, my surroundings disappear and so does people. I am alone, concentrated in a miriad of things that are coming together: Movement, position, vision, decission-making, assesing, etc. All unrelated thoughts that till that moment might worried me are set aside.
I read long time ago that the Greeks had some sort of therapeutic island were the patients wers subjected to intense stimuli. One of those were loud sound coming from drums that literaly shook the body and voices from the gods issuing commands. Supposedly the idea was to suddenly stress the individual and then let him relax and contemplate. And IMHO we do the same when we shoot.
Oh hell, it relaxes the living daylights out of me!
You have to make the shot when fire is smoking, people are screaming, dogs are barking, kids are crying and sirens are coming.
Ego will kill you. Leave it at home.
June 18th, 2007 11:41 PM
Yoga blows chunks but target shooting is awesome. I don't think I have the patience to take a shot every ten minutes or whatever they do in NRA bullseye but I like to shoot 5 shot groups for fun sometimes.
June 18th, 2007 11:49 PM
There is less of a parallel between yoga and target shooting than there is between meditation and target shooting. Many people assume yoga is meditation and vice versa but they are distinctly separate.
I get in a zen state sometimes while shooting at the range, sometimes I don't. But it isn't anything like yoga, yoga is hard physical exercise not solely a mental application. Yes, I just said yoga is hard, it is really hard.
I spent far too much time in Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Nepal and India... far too much time.
June 19th, 2007 12:02 AM
June 19th, 2007 12:06 AM
There are also several different types of it. My coworkers are very big into it and I've gone to a couple of the groups with them. I never really got into it, but the thing that made me draw the connection was the "cool down" period the instructor had us all do.
Originally Posted by 0.02
While the actual class is more intensive, and yes, hard, that "cool down" period was more of a meditative, very controlled moment of finding complete stillness and relaxation. I can't remember what they called it, but I found it to be very similar to the times when I'm target shooting and concentrating and focusing and trying to control my body to make a perfect shot.
I found the thought to be almost funny and seeing as how the publication came from work, it all kind of ran together in my head.
It's all Lima theory!
June 19th, 2007 12:10 AM
True Lima, but there is also a big difference between Western and Eastern yoga, no matter what they tell us over here about it.
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