Superbowl XLVIII: How Did Meditation Effect the Seahawks Dominant Performance?
To all those who’ve been congratulating me for predicting that the Seahawks would win the Superbowl (original article: Meditation & Yoga? The Seahawks’ Superbowl Advantage) because their training included Yoga and meditation, let me put the record straight. I made no such prediction. I simply said that the documented effects of meditation on brain and body could easily put a team of meditators at a distinct advantage over their non-meditating opponents. Transcendental meditation – which is my particular area of expertise – has been shown to change electrical brain wave patterns in a favorable way and increase the efficiency of fight-or-flight response responses, which are so crucial in the sort of do-or-die situation that champion ballplayers experience.
Such advantages that meditation confers might, I suggested, provide a crucial difference in a closely contested battle. There was, however, nothing close about the way in which, contrary to almost all predictions, the Seahawks demolished their illustrious opponents, led by the legendary Peyton Manning. Broncos’ fans in orange jerseys cleared the bleachers in droves well before the game was over, perhaps to beat the traffic but more likely to distance themselves from the embarrassing trouncing that their team received. The question that arises at this point is, “To what extent might Yoga and meditation have conferred such an overwhelming advantage to the Seahawks as to explain such an unexpected and decisive victory?”
When Malcolm Smith returned the intercepted pass for a 69-yard touchdown, was there some extra-special brain coherence going on (such has been described to occur with Transcendental Meditation) that might have explained in part the longest interception return in Superbowl history? When Percy Harvin returned the opening second-half kickoff for a touchdown, was this amazing comeback after his concussion in his previous game somehow related to meditation, which is known to speed up recovery to baseline following jarring experiences? And finally, was quarterback Russell Wilson’s flawless game, in which he appeared to be in an invincible zone throughout, somehow related to fluxes in alpha-rhythms across his pre-frontal cortex – the brain’s command and control center – that has also been reported to occur following meditation? Of course, these are all rhetorical questions, and we are not even certain that these guys meditate, yet for each one an affirmative answer is certainly possible.
In conclusion, this time I will make a prediction: In the year to come the phones in yoga and meditation centers will be ringing off the hook as a result of the astonishing upset that we saw yesterday. Not only will competitive ballplayers take note, but all of us who compete and jostle for advantage in the hurly-burly of our daily lives. And for those of you who wander into the locker rooms of the NFL in the coming season, don’t be surprised to see suited players sitting on the benches, eyes shut, as they quietly contemplate their mantras.
Wishing you Light and Transcendence,
For more information regarding meditation and its benefits you may wish to read my book, “Transcendence: Healing and Transformation Through Transcendental Meditation.”
Superbowl photo credit (See all photos here): Andrew Mills/The Star-Ledger