INSIDE: If you become restless or agitated when you sit down to meditate, moving meditation could be your solution. Let's learn what moving meditation is and how you can use it in your daily life.
We all know the positive effects that meditation can bring to our lives. But let's face it, with the many errands and responsibilities we juggle on a daily basis, who has the time to sit in the lotus position and be very still and peaceful for a half an hour?
This is the first thing that discourages us from engaging in this wonderful practice, especially for those who have active lifestyles. However, there's another way to meditate that will allow you to meet these standards.
Movement meditation uses the same techniques as traditional meditation, but with one important difference: you can do it while moving! Let's delve into this exciting practice and enjoy the benefits of aligning with your inner self.
What is Movement Meditation & Who is it For?
Movement meditation is a unique and dynamic approach to traditional meditation. It combines the benefits of tapping into the present moment through your breathing with physical activity. This practice involves rhythmic and intentional movements that synchronize with the breath and focus the mind.
Best of all, you don't have to be a certain age or have a certain level of fitness to practice it. It's perfect for people who find traditional meditation challenging and feel discouraged from moving forward.
It can also be especially beneficial for those seeking a holistic approach to physical well-being. In fact, meditation can improve concentration and performance, making your exercise even more rewarding. But the benefits go even further.
What Are the Benefits of Meditating While Moving?
Meditating while moving, also known as movement meditation, offers a unique set of benefits that result from the combination of being in the present and engaging in physical activity.
Here are some of the most important ones...
Engaging in rhythmic movement while meditating helps reduce stress and anxiety. The combination of physical activity and mindfulness promotes greater relaxation and a release of tension than doing each activity separately.
Moving with intention and awareness sharpens focus. This can improve concentration and mental clarity both during a meditation session and in daily life.
We deal with all kinds of challenges on a regular basis, which can lead us to experience a wide range of emotions that can be overwhelming. Movement meditation can help regulate our emotions and improve emotional intelligence. It provides a healthy outlet that helps us process and express emotions effectively.
6 Movement Meditation Ideas to Try
Now that we're familiar with the benefits of meditation while moving, let's explore six of the best ways to practice this technique, ranging from actual exercise like yoga to everyday activities like gardening.
Remember to choose the one that best fits your preferences and lifestyle so that you can sustain this practice and create a new habit for wellness.
Yoga and stretching are powerful forms of movement that require you to be fully grounded in the present moment to achieve the best results. Each posture is combined with conscious breathing and focus to promote flexibility, balance, and inner peace.
Begin your session with gentle stretches to awaken your body and make sure you flow through the poses, aligning each movement with your breath. This will help you discover a deeper sense of mindfulness and it will calm you as you move through your practice.
This is a perfect alternative for the most active. Walking and hiking meditation requires you to make deliberate, unhurried movements while remaining fully attuned to each footstep. Ideal for nature lovers and city dwellers alike, these practices offer an opportunity to connect with both the environment and your inner self.
Find a quiet place, be it a park, a forest, or an urban sidewalk. Then, walk at a comfortable pace, focusing your attention on the sensation of each step. Let your thoughts pass without paying too much attention to them. Instead, embrace the sights, sounds, and sensations that surround you, cultivating mindfulness with each step.
Dance meditation invites you to unleash your creativity and release pent-up emotions through uninhibited movement. Whether you're an experienced dancer or a beginner, meditation while moving can be a joyful and liberating practice when you're feeling particularly drained or stressed.
Choose music that resonates with your emotions or intentions and move without inhibition, allowing your body to express itself freely. Focus on tuning into the rhythm and energy of the dance, which will lead you into a meditative state of flow.
Tai Chi/Qi Gong
Tai Chi and Qi Gong are ancient Chinese practices that combine slow, flowing movements with controlled breathing and mindfulness. These disciplines promote balance, vitality, and serenity, and they can help you enter a deeper meditative state.
Learn a sequence of tai chi or qi gong movements under the guidance of an experienced instructor. Execute the movements with grace and intention, synchronizing them with your breath.
Cleaning meditation transforms mundane household tasks into opportunities to connect with your higher self. Plus, cleaning with intention can lead to a more organized and peaceful living space.
Choose a cleaning task, such as washing dishes or sweeping as your focus. Then fully engage your senses: feel the temperature of the water, savor the scent of the soap, find rhythm in your sweeping.
At the same time, let go of racing thoughts and immerse yourself in the act of cleaning. You'll get the same effects as traditional meditation, and you won't even have to leave your chores for another time.
Do you find gardening a relaxing and fun activity? Well, it can also be a deeply meditative practice that helps you connect with the natural world by grounding you in the present. Whether you have an extensive garden or a single indoor plant, you can practice gardening meditation and enjoy its benefits.
Choose a plant or garden space to care for. Plant, water, or prune with purpose, observing and mindfully meeting the needs of the plant. You may even feel a stronger connection to these living beings as you deepen your meditation.
A busy lifestyle filled with all kinds of activities and commitments doesn't mean we can't enjoy the many benefits of meditation. The key is simple: focus on your breathing, ground yourself in the present, and enter into a deeper state of consciousness while hiking, doing chores, or gardening.
I strongly encourage you to try the practices described in this article, especially if you find yourself restless while sitting in the lotus position. Movement meditation will not only help you feel more connected to your spiritual self, but it will also improve your performance, allowing you to have your cake and eat it too.
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