Move Your Way to a Mindful Meditation Practice
If you have trouble sitting still, you may think that meditation isn’t for you. Thankfully, this assumption is totally wrong.
Meditate while moving
Sherrell Moore-Tucker, a wellness professional and yoga and meditation teacher, says that meditating while moving is totally natural. In fact, “moving mediation” can help the mind in the same way a seated meditation can benefit the mind. “It’s about awareness,” says Moore-Tucker.
What type of movement?
Any kind of movement that helps a person feel still and calm can clarify as “movement meditation”.
For example, J. A. Plosker, former social work counselor (LMSW), religious studies instructor and author, says that meditation does not have to be something onerous or formal. “My practice started quite simply: focus for a few minutes on breath—that’s it,” says Plosker.
Plosker explains that mindfulness can happen while walking in the mall or doing yard work—activity doesn’t negate a meditative moment.
Amanda Stemen, MS, LCSW, owner of FUNdaMENTALs, adds that a lot of her clients struggle with traditional sitting meditative practices, so she assists them in developing other ways to quiet the mind.
“Often, they already have meditative practices in place that they don’t realize are [meditative]—I encourage them to continue with those practices,” says Stemen. “This may include forms of movement (e.g., running, hiking, yoga, dancing), listening to music, gardening, cleaning, art, writing… the list is endless. Any task can be meditative when you’re fully present and engaged in it.”
Starting a practice
Pablo Solomon, artist and designer, says he found peace in practicing jujitsu. Solomon started the practice at 12. From there, he started training in Zen philosophy, Japanese design, Feng Shui, Tai Chi, and yoga.
Solomon suggests the following general advice for someone who is trying to start a still meditation or movement meditation routine:
- Concentrate on the task at hand while being aware of your surroundings.
- Time and focus one’s breathing in harmony with one’s movements.
- Have proper posture, flow, and balance while moving.
- Move in harmony with your surroundings, with whatever you’re doing. It should appear to the outside observer that you are moving smoothly and are in balance.
- Even the most mundane tasks should be done with a calm and harmonious spirit that exhibits tranquility, quiet joy, and economy of motion.
- Meditation should be practiced as an integral part of life, not as an escape from life.
- Life should be productive; meditation while moving should increase your productivity.
- Any task done with proper technique, breathing, posture, and flow should leave you refreshed, not exhausted.
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