Notes from Mindfulness Workshop by Shyamal Vallabhjee, Sports Scientist

5 minute read

I had an opportunity to attend a “Mindfulness” workshop with Shyamal Vallabhjee earlier this evening (on Day 15 of Work-From-Home), a South African born sports scientist and an EQ consultant, who has worked as a performance coach to various high-profile athletes, assisting them to enhance their competitive edge. Like: Mahesh Bhupathi, Rafael Nadal, Amitabh Bachchan, Sachin Tendulkar, etc. Thanks to our investors (& mentors) at Blume Ventures for this.  

Sharing on this blog my notes from the workshop / part of it being my inference wrt what I was thinking about when I heard him, what do I relate to, my thought loops: 

Like athletes – be the student of your art. Always be in a student mode / think about how athletes adapt, learn, win by having mentors/coaches by them for 15-20 years. 

Leave everything on the field after the game everyday. Toughest, and most important thing to succeed. 

The person who takes their job seriously, will have a penalty for failure built into daily routine, into every practise. Cultivating positive habits, routine, process ~ a penalty for not achieving. 

What are the behaviours that will allow the organisation to sync in together during the toughest phases. The Redwood Trees (in California) Ethos / the Gary Kirsten example – he’d not fine the person who is late 10,000 bucks, but the entire team, each one, because they are all responsible for each other’s success, and hence the team’s success. 

Core Values – how to define for yourself 

⁃ Qualities that have contributed the most to my success 
⁃ How would you like to be remembered when you leave a room 
⁃ What part of your job do you love the most?
⁃ What is the most rewarding feeling that you give to others?
⁃ What are the qualities that you are most proud of?
⁃ What do others say you are good at? 

👆🏼detail out answers, then look at repetitive words, and then pool all of those words together – you will get 4/5 words or phrases at the end of it. 

👆🏼because moving ahead, you need to take decisions at a large level, as a CEO, in alignment with who you are as a human. 

⭐ Relationships are held on core values 

For example – core values could be loyalty, honesty >> an employee could do everything that is right, serve their notice period and then go join a competitor, — but it will upset you because it is not in alignment with your core values, of who you are. 

Basic Breathing Exercise: 

4 second inhale + 8 second exhale. The long exhale helps cool down the stress hormone. 

^ important to pause and center the mind before reacting, taking decisions / so as to not react incorrectly & hurt a relationship. 

♟should do the core values’ exercise within teams – to align values, and purpose 

Core Conflict Relationship Theory 

In every single relationship, be it at work or at home, a person wants to:

⁃ Be understood
⁃ Be empathised with 
⁃ Be seen or acknowledged 
⁃ Be respected 
⁃ Be seen as valued 
⁃ Be treated fairly 

👆🏼these 6 words define conflict in every single relationship 

🧢 if you can create a sense of belief, being understood/ heard / respected – then you can do most difficult things within the relationship. 

Matrix – Potential Scenarios of where tough things are headed – Strategy, Dollar – down to every timeline 

Type of words to communicate in each of these scenarios 

👆🏼be mindful of the situations before getting to that point 
👆🏼to have the ability to “choose” how you react & have your core values shine at a tough moment 

⭐ To be happy at the end of the tough period, about how you managed things during it. 

Exercise to-do: Call 5 people every single day – to whom you can bring in a positive message / and make their entire day be better (that one call, can make their day brighter, and everything in their environment be happy & healthy) 


Changing the frequency of the vibrations you are operating at 

Healthy Body & Healthy Mind Go Hand In Hand 

Enough rest – get to bed at same time & get up at the same time everyday / work routines also to follow a rhythm

Eating needs to remain a need, and not a habit. Practise intermittent fasting if possible. Dinner by 8-9 pm & next meal not before 12 hours. 

Hydration – super imp 

Cold showers in the morning. They help increase blood brain integrity.

Just one tiny LED light can disturb sleep. Cut all artificial light. + If you can look at red light before you go to bed, it helps with deep sleep. 

Have a routine for every morning (I do have & practise one) 🙂 

Brain 🧠 likes familiarity / hence we tend to do the same thing again and again 

You need 5 sleep cycles. These are karekt of 90 mins each. Could be 85/80 for some. > can also be used to calculate what’s the optimal nap time. 

++ have a shot of espresso before you go to bed, because it takes 45 mins to hit hour blood stream, and will wake you up just in time 

Just 30 seconds of high intensity workout / exercise before each meal – simply running at the spot – really helps 


Meditation – not let fatigue come in, make the brain like it & then it will let you do more of it. Can use it at the start of the day or also right at the end to decompress the day. 

How to not sleep while meditating 🙂 – Posture / be in the first third part of your seat / keep the back straight. 

Science of Friendship

⁃ Be positive (5 positives for every 1 negative interaction)
⁃ Consistency (regular touch / deeper connections)
⁃ Vulnerability (bonding happens the most on truly emotional connections)

Story about Rafael Nadal 

Before every practise, he takes 1.5 hours to get ready for it. And if ever something is wrong about this preparation (some tape is short, something else), he wouldn’t say a word to anyone else, but would just come half an our early the next time. 

👆🏼for all great athletes, the buck stood at them – for every loss, every failure – because that gives them the power to change, adapt, improve – & because they never want to believe that their destiny is in someone else’s hands. 

Johny Rhodes Story from 1999 

He would get his stump everyday, put it on the ground, and spend hours throwing at it from different angles. 

When asked, he said: “One of the greatest travesties on earth is to get an opportunity you aren’t prepared for.”

Am I getting ready everyday for the big opportunity when it comes to me?

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