This week we will explore mindful movement. Mindful movement includes gentle and accessible movement that can, and should, be modified to meet your needs, including any limitations. Mindful movement is considered an awareness practice or a noticing practice. While the gentle movements may support flexibility and energy, the intention of this practice is specifically to fine tune the ability to fully inhabit the moments (and postures) of our lives. This noticing practice provides an opportunity to explore both edges and limits with kind and curious attention. How deeply you go into a posture is not important. What is important is how deeply you allow yourself to feel as you move in, hold, and move out of postures. This practice can also help strengthen the attitudinal qualities of mindfulness, especially self-acceptance, curiosity, patience, non-striving and kindness, as each of these may be needed through this practice.
Benefits of Mindful Movement
- Attention – Increases the ability to focus on tasks and reduces distractibility over time.
- Accessible – For those with very busy minds, mindful movement may be the practice that is most easily accessible.
- Health and well-being – Regulates stress, anxiety and depression, engages the relaxation response and increases awareness of what is happening in the body, allowing people to make more skillful choices about self-care and health.
- Daily Movement – This practice provides tools for moving the body regularly throughout the workday, adding more movement and reversing the harm that can result from sitting much of the day.
- Self Regulation – As long as we are alive, thoughts, emotions, urges and body sensations will come and go. This is especially noticeable when we pause to practice mindful movement.
- Engagement – Life is filled with moments that are pleasant, unpleasant, neutral and/or boring. This practice trains us to stay engaged with openness, curiosity and acceptance of what is arising moment-to-moment, even if the experience isn’t fun or desirable or is challenging.
- Continue to practice the mindful meditations you have learned and add one of Amy’s mindful movement practices in this week.
- Incorporate mindful walking into your daily life. We offer you a link to Jack Kornfield’s Walking Meditation as an introduction. You can practice when you are walking anywhere; to the office, to the bathroom, to the kitchen, to a meeting.