“Become aware of your surroundings and slow down. Remember, your life is meant to be lived in the Present.”
- Sabrina Morici
When we think of meditation, we often picture a silent and still position. This may look like reality on the outside, but most meditations are not truly silent, whether the sound is from within or the external environment. And meditations do not have to be still either. There are many different styles of meditation to choose from. Each practice will work differently for the individual practicing.
Moving meditations are great for people who have trouble sitting still and staying in one place. Sometimes, staying still with your eyes closed can cause the thinking mind to become overwhelmed. If it is hard for you to focus and you seem to get distracted by your thoughts, you may want to try something like this. There are many different types of Moving Meditations to experiment with.
A common way to practice is with Walking Meditations. Walking Meditations can be done anywhere. You could practice on the treadmill at the gym, around your neighborhood, or on your favorite trail. You could even walk mindfully around your home. In this style of meditation, we follow our breath. We want our movement to last as long as the breath, being guided by it like a dance partner. Slow and deliberate movements are required to stay aware with each step.
To practice, connect each step to an inhale or exhale. As you breathe in, step one foot forward; as you breathe out, step the next foot forward, and so on. This can be done at a slower pace as well. As you breathe in, step one foot forward; as you breathe out, pause. With the next inhale, step the next foot forward, and pause on the exhale. The pace you choose should soothe your body and mind rather than create more tension and frustration.
Add a Mantra
You could also tie a Mantra to the steps. As you inhale and step one foot forward, repeat to yourself, “I am breathing in ______.” As you exhale and step the next foot forward, repeat to yourself, “I am breathing out ______.” In these blank spaces, name something you wish to bring to yourself (joy, peace, love, etc.) AND share with others.
Other styles of Moving meditation can look like most Asana practices. Asana is the Sanskrit term for the poses used in a Hatha Yoga class. Many of the Yoga classes at Fitness Incentive are also moving meditations in this way. The style of Yoga known as Vinyasa was designed to tie each breath to a slow and deliberate movement with the body. This gives the mind a focal point to aid in calming the thoughts and staying present.
You could take a slow-moving seated Cat & Cow pose while following the breath or create a flow with each breath drawing in a new movement. Allow yourself to be creative and expressive when moving with your breath.
If the style of meditation you’ve practiced has not worked for you, try a different style! Or try adding the essence of Mindfulness to your day-to-day activities, such as washing the dishes or taking a shower. Become aware of your surroundings and slow down. Remember, your life is meant to be lived in the Present.
About the Author
Sabrina Morici is a certified yoga and Pilates instructor at Fitness Incentive. She is also available for private and small group Pilates Reformer training.