Meditation With Movement

 Mediation with movement includes a wide range of possibilities. It simply means using mindfulness in any movement you choose. When we feel too energetic for a sitting meditation, it is a great alternative that helps us to release energy and stored tension. Any movement can be performed as a meditation, if we apply mindfulness and a slow pace. Click on the tabs below to read more about each moving meditation.

walking meditationWalking Meditation: Here, the object of the meditation is the process of walking itself. It should not be combined with aerobic exercise, doing errands, or anything else. It simply requires you to pay close attention to each step that you take. This act of mindfulness is often recommended for those who are sedentary or those who have trouble focusing when sitting still.

1) First choose a path. It should be basically straight, smooth and level. It should be an easy path with a beginning and an end to provide structure and foster mindfulness. The length path should be considered, allowing the walk to take 10-30 minutes. (You can walk back and forth on a shorter path.)

2) Before starting to walk, spend a few moments standing still. Bring awareness to your breath, taking in some deep, relaxing breaths. Then turn your attention to the sensations in your body. Notice your posture, your head, shoulders, back, legs, and feet.

3) Let your gaze fall about 2-3 yards ahead, remaining on the path. (During this meditation, we focus only on the path and our steps, there are other meditation walks that include taking in nature.)

4) Begin to walk at a relaxed, fairly slow pace. Focus your awareness to the sensations in your body with each step.

5) When thoughts come in, or your attention drawn to the sights around you, just gently bring your mind to what you are sensing in the body. It may help a wandering mind to think ‘right’ and ‘left’ with each step.

6) Notice the rhythm of the steps, the swinging of the arms, and movement in the hips and knees. Scan the whole body and notice the sensations. Notice the feel of the clothes you are wearing. Feel where they make contact with your skin, or move with your breath. Be aware of the souls of your feet. Notice how they feel inside your shoes, and where the sock makes contact with the foot. As your foot makes contact with the ground, notice the shifts in weight and balance. Feel your weight shift from heel to toe.

7) When you notice tension anywhere in the body, breathe into that space, and release it with the exhale.

8) When the meditation walk is complete. Be still for a moment. Stand in thankfulness for your breath and your body.

Mediation with Movement (Yoga/Dance):
Mediation with movement includes a wide range of possibilities. It simply means using mindfulness in any movement you choose. For this excercise are focusing on using mindfulness with yoga or dance. When we feel too energetic for a sitting meditation, it is a great alternative that helps us to release energy and stored tension.

Most movement practices are structured and linear. We instructor leads, and we follow. While this is positive enjoyable and beneficial, it is also healthy for us to break out of the common practices and let our creativity flow. Intuitive dance is a great way to release and let yourself go. This free movement encourages spontaneity and authenticity. Basically, you put on some music that inspires you and move and you see fit. Slow things down and focus on the body and the breath while you move. See where the body and the mind take you. Allow any emotional energy to draw you into movement. Release what no longer serves you and feel positive energy fill you with your movement.

If you feel like you would like more structure or familiarity of poses, try adding yoga movements to your dance meditation. Get to know a series of poses (asanas). Sun salutations or another series can be used to let yourself flow mindfully and slowly from one pose to the next.

Any movement can be performed as a meditation, if we apply mindfulness and a slow pace. Notice the movement of your muscles. Feel the contact your body makes with surfaces; clothes against your skin, parts of your body against the floor.

Notice your emotional changes with the music or movements. Feel the sensations of pleasure, pain, warmth, cold etc. Bring your attention to your breath. Notice changes in the breath and pauses. Notice how your body parts work together to provide balance and cooperate to get you in each desired pose.

Allow a sense of lightness with no goal or destination, allowing yourself to move freely.

Shower Meditation:
Any movement can be performed as a meditation, if we apply mindfulness and a slow pace. We often rush through our morning or evening shower like it is a race against the clock. Showering is practical but it also has a spiritual meaning in that we can see it as cleansing us and washing away negativity.

As you cleanse your body, you can also take that time to cleanse the heart. It is a great time to de=stress before a difficult task or event. It is also a great time to slow down and pamper yourself a bit by exfoliating, using scents that make you feel nice, and moisturizing your skin.

1) First, wake up early to allow time so your shower isn’t rushed.

2) As you prepare for your shower, relax and take a few deep breaths. Allow your mind to slow down.

3) Once you get under the shower, feel the water flow over your head and body. Lather and wash while imagining any stress, fears or worries being washed away.

4) If you like, you can use an exfoliating cream or a brush. If you have a shower brush you can wake up your skin by brushing your skin towards your heart.

5) Rinsing, feel the water. Listen to the sound of the water. Imagine that it is pure warm energy covering and protecting you as it flows over you.

6) Knowing you are clean and ready for whatever lies ahead, you may want to spend another few moments massaging in some moisturizer. Ahhhhh. Namaste 

Nature Meditation:
Nature inspires us. It has the power to shift our whole perspective. As we see and hear nature around us, we cant help but sense of spiritual connection. Being in nature lifts you up, calm the busy mind, and brings clarity. There are many natural settings. You shouldn't have to look too far.

I love the ocean but for something near by, I just take a little trek to the woods or sit in my own backyard, watching the birds. Even if the weather is not ‘optimal’ we can still be effected by experiencing it. Just a few minutes a day can make a difference in how you feel and see things.

If walking, first begin to walk briskly for a few minutes. This helps to clear the mind and bring in fresh air with your deeper breaths. Breath in the freshness and release stale thoughts with the exhales.

When ready, slow your pace and begin to take in the nature surrounding you. observe it all; the ground, the sky, and everything in between. Try not to label or think about what you see too deeply. Just notice them.
Notice your breath along with the multitude of sensations in your body. Be aware of the sensations on your skin; temperature, clothing, wind etc.

You can choose to sit in nature rather than walk. You may even choose to kayak or bike. Anything we choose to do can be a form of meditation when we bring mindfulness to it.

When we allow nature to be the center of our practice, we can feel a participation and connection to everything. As take the time to embraced the moment, we create opportunity to experience the profound. Simply being in nature supports our path of conscious awakening. With the evidence of interconnectedness surrounding us, we experience our own engagement in the web of life. It is also rewarding to end meditations with a few moments of gratitude for the experience. 

Slow down and enjoy life.
It’s not only the scenery you miss by going to fast –
you also miss the sense
of where you are going and why.
~Eddie Cantor