MOVING MEDITATION

Meditation

   MOVING MEDITATION: CONNECTION      BETWEEN MIND AND BODY

 

When people think of meditation, they may envision sitting still for a period of time. While meditation does encourage stillness, it isn’t a requirement for the practice.

 

You can move your body and meditate at the same time. How? With moving meditation. 

 

If you find it hard to sit still during meditation, keep reading to learn about an alternative.

WHAT IS MOVING MEDITATION?

Meditation involves resting your mind and immersing yourself in an alternative state of consciousness. It’s a mental exercise that promotes relaxation, focus, and awareness. 

 

With sitting meditation, your attention is placed on your breath or repeating a mantra.

 

However, with moving meditation, your attention is placed on the sensations felt in your body. So, for example, you would become aware of how your feet feel as they touch the ground.

 

Moving meditative can produce the same relaxed state as sitting meditation. The only difference is you experience a shift in consciousness while performing simple movements.

Tap Dance Photoshoot

WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENT TYPES OF MOVING MEDITATION?

Yoga

Yoga shares many of the essential elements of meditation. It promotes mindfulness and a connection between the mind, body, and breath. With yoga, you bring your awareness to how your muscles feel during a movement. 

 

This practice also includes repeating mantras — which also helps shift your mindset and increase focus. For this practice, you may want specific items like a yoga mat and blocks that can help make your yoga practice more enjoyable. A good yoga mat and foam blocks can help increase stability and strength while in some yogic positions.

Walking Meditation

Walking meditation is a straightforward technique for cultivating calmness and connectedness. The art of walking meditation is to be mindful while walking. 

 

For instance, you would walk 10 to 15 steps and then pause to bring your attention to your surroundings. What do you see? What are the sounds? What do you smell? As you walk, also be aware of you what sensations you feel in your body.

 

In walking meditation, there’s more interaction with your outer world than in seated meditation.

Qigong

Incorporating the principles of martial arts and Chinese medicine, Qigong combines slow movement and breathwork to center the mind. 

 

In Qigong, you balance your chi energy — or the energy that runs through your body. Chi energy is believed to provide you with healthy blood circulation. 

Tai Chi

This wellness practice is all about connecting the body and mind. In traditional Chinese medicine, illness happens when there is an imbalance in your body’s energy flow. 

 

Tai chi helps realign your body’s energy through small movements that are accompanied by deep breathing.

 

Dancing Meditation

Dancing and meditation aren’t usually used in the same sentence — but they can go hand in hand. 

 

Similar to the other moving mediation practices mentioned, dancing meditation encourages you to draw attention to your body. 

 

When you listen to the music, how does it make your body feel? How do you want to move your body?

The purpose of dance meditation is to be present in the moment and to move intuitively.

Yoga in the Garden

WHAT ARE THE HEALTH BENEFITS OF MOVING MEDITATION?

Moving meditation merges physical activity with meditation, and both have been proven to offer many health benefits. Here are a few of them:

Decreased Stress and Anxiety 

As we already know, stress has many ill effects o your health. For example, stress can damage your heart by increasing your heart rate and constricting blood vessels. 

 

But research has shown that meditation helps alleviate stress. Another study found that mindful meditation can reduce the inflammatory response caused by stress. 

Better Depression Management

1Moving meditation practices have also been found to reduce depression symptoms. In a study of 112 older adults with depression, researchers found that tai chi helped improve depression symptoms. 

 

Data have also suggested that meditation dancing could also have anti-depressive effects. 

 

According to a self-reported survey of 1,000 dancers worldwide, 98 percent said that meditative dancing improved their mood. The study also found that people who danced for more than five years had significantly higher mindfulness and life satisfaction levels than people who were new to meditative dance.

Increased Brain Power

When you practice moving meditation regularly, it helps to calm your mind. And a calmer mind can focus better. 

 

A study found that those who practiced tai chi for 12 weeks were better at switching tasks than people who did not practice it. The study also found that tai chi practitioners had increased pre-frontal brain activity.

 

Yoga can also have similar benefits. For example, researchers at the University of Illinois found that eight weeks of yoga improved the cognitive function of elderly adults. The same researcher also noted that regularly practicing yoga can have a significant impact on memory.

Improved Conditioning

Although moving meditation doesn’t leave you gasping for air, it can have the same benefits as more intense exercise. According to a 2021 review, tai chi can improve flexibility, muscle strength, and balance. 

 

Similarly, a 2016 study found that just 10 weeks of yoga improved athletic conditioning in male college athletes.

Decreased Chronic Pain

Moving meditation has been shown to help your brain release endorphins — your body’s natural pain reliever. In addition, with moving meditation practices, the muscles and tissues around your joints relax, so you experience less pain.

 

Not to mention, with a calmer mind, your body changes the way you perceive pain. When you engage in a meditative practice, you shift your focus away from aches.

More Restful Sleep

It’s no secret that something as relaxing as meditation can promote a good night’s sleep. Meditation appears to improve sleep quality and reduce daytime disturbances in people with insomnia.

A 2020 study also suggests that deep breathing combined with body awareness meditation positively affects sleep.

DISCOVER THE POWER OF MOVING MEDITATION

We often get wrapped up in the hustle and bustle of life that we forget to be present. And meditation encourages us to slow down. 

 

If you’re one of those people who just can’t sit still long enough to reap the benefits of meditation, practicing the techniques we’ve mentioned may be perfect for you.