Meditation is largely known as something you do while sitting down and being still. While this works for some, it doesn’t work for everyone. That’s why moving meditation is a Godsend. Not only does it allow you to move your body as part of your meditation, it also helps you to quickly get out of your head.
Moving Meditation Definition
Basically, any form of movement can be turned into a meditation. Whether it’s walking, eating, dancing, jogging, pretty much anything you can do can be used as a meditation. Movement helps with meditation because it helps to rapidly get you out of your head and into your body
I’ve worked with thousands of people who have had trouble sitting still or turning the chatter off in their head when they try to mediate. For some, this is one of the main reasons they end up quitting meditation long before they get to enjoy it’s many benefits.
I knew that I wanted to help more people to meditate so I traveled the world in search of the best moving meditation teachers. This led me to discover just how powerful moving meditations are and why they work, especially for people from Western cultures.
What Are Some Moving Meditation Techniques?
Moving meditation is not about doing a workout with your body. It’s about connecting to your body so that you can let go of your mind. In fact, it’s so simple to move your body and meditate that it can be done in just minutes.
So what kind of movements can you do?
I recommend you do any form of movement that you enjoy. The more fun it is for you, the deeper you will be able to meditate. If you love to dance, then put on your favorite music and let your body move freely. What helps though is for you to move your body and keep your eyes closed.
The reason why you keep your eyes closed is so that your energy and focus stays with the body. When your eyes are open you can easily get caught up in your environment which moves your energy away from your body.
Meditation at it’s core is all about going within and keeping your focus there. It’s about being with yourself and letting go of what’s going on around you or anything that might be coming up later that day so that you can relax into yourself and just be.
When you approach your moving meditation exercises in this way then you are setting the intention for your movements to be part of your meditation journey. In the example of moving to music you just need to close your eyes and let the music move your body.
You can dance to just one song if you like, or make-up a playlist of your favorite tunes. I try to use music that doesn’t have any singing it so that my mind doesn’t get caught up in repeating the words that it’s familiar with. The more your music is made up of beats you enjoy the easier it is for you to let go and just move.
The bottom line is that whatever movement you do for your meditation the focus is to just let it be some quality time that you get to spend with your body. It’s not about sweating or working yourself into a frenzy, it’s just about moving and feeling good about it.
Even slow movements such as you’d do in yoga or Tai-Chi can be a great moving meditation technique because it invites you to slow down and be present with your body. Anything that allows you to connect to your breath and notice the sensations of your body is also a great form of moving meditation.
Why Is Moving Meditation So Powerful?
One of the other huge benefits of doing moving meditations is that it gets you more in touch with your body. So why is this important? When you’re not connected to your body it is so much easier to feel overwhelmed, anxious, stressed and where it feels like you can’t focus and be present.
All that comes from spending too much time in your head. Just as emotional upheaval or distraction that keeps knocking you around also comes back to your thoughts and what you’re saying to yourself in your head in an ongoing basis.
When you’re in your body though, you can actually relax, breathe and feel into the reality of the moment and what is happening right now instead of the past or the future. In essence, being in your body helps you to be present and centered which is one of the the main aims of any meditation practice.
If you’re like most people and spend a great deal of your time in your head analyzing, worrying, planning, thinking, stressing, then it’s safe to say that your brain is constantly in a state of stress. When this happens then it triggers a stress response in the brain that makes it next to impossible to relax and recharge.
That’s why so many people find it hard to focus, sleep well, or stay on top of their energy levels. It’s because their body is not getting enough nourishment time. When you meditate, it triggers a relaxation response in your brain – even if your moving.
Anything where you get to use your body and move your body without having to think about anything is the best form of moving meditation you can do. The less thought you have to put into it the better.
What’s The 1 Thing That Makes Moving Meditations 10X More Effective?
So you’ve been moving your body with your eyes closed for 5, 10 or 20 minutes and now it’s time to stop. The mistake many people make is to stop their moving meditation and then jump straight back into another activity that gets them back into their head.
The secret sauce that makes moving meditations so deep and powerful is to give yourself some time to integrate the movements you have been doing. In other words, either sit or lay down and be still for at least 5 minutes after you’ve stopped moving.
During this time you may need to cover yourself with a blanket and put a pillow under your knees if you are lying down as your body temperature will drop. I call this part of the meditation the integration stage.
If you neglect the integration stage then you are missing out on 50% of your meditation. It’s during this stage that you will feel your mind slowing down and your body relaxing deeply. You might even doze for a few moments which is perfectly fine. If you have a deadline for something be sure to set a timer.
The longer you meditate, the longer your integration time needs to be. I meditate for an hour and 45 minutes of that is moving and 15 minutes is integrating the movement. If you meditate for 30 minutes then 10 minutes would be for your integration period.
This is the time when meditation happens naturally and spontaneously without you needing to do anything. Just because you have moved your body it has prepared your mind and body for meditation. Now you get to relax and enjoy the benefits.
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