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We speak frequently about the benefits of mindfulness practices such as meditation. Many of us imagine meditation as sitting still for a long period of time without thinking of anything and understandably, embarking on this type of practice can feel daunting. Fortunately, there are many different ways to achieve a meditative state and you don’t necessarily need to be sitting still for prolonged periods of time to reap the benefits.

One simple way to achieve a meditative state is through movement, connecting your breath and body. We call this movement meditation and it involves various practices that integrate the breath with movement while using an ‘anchor’ to remain focused and grounded in the practice. Movement meditation can be an especially good option for those who tend to get restless easily.

If you are considering incorporating a mindfulness practice in your routine, consider the following 3 movement meditation suggestions:

  1. Walking – Ideally, you would go for your mindful walk in nature to experience the calming and therapeutic benefits of forest bathing at the same time. Your anchor can be the feeling of the ground beneath your feet as you take each step. Practice deep, abdominal breathing while you walk. Observe any thoughts you may have with a nonjudgmental awareness and gently let them pass while shifting your focus back to your breath.
  2. Dancing – This activity may not be the first thing that comes to mind when we think of ways to achieve a meditative state, but it can be remarkably powerful in helping to ground ourselves and quiet our minds. All you have to do is put on your favourite song and move your body in a way that feels free and natural to you. You can let yourself get lost in the moment or if you find your mind wandering, try building an awareness of each body part as you dance.
  3. Cleaning – With the repetitive motions and quiet time that many of us have as we go about our house chores, cleaning can be a wonderful opportunity to engage in movement meditation. Keep yourself in the moment by focusing on the rhythm of the movements you make as you go about each task and maintain good posture throughout the activity.

If you have or have had cancer and you would like to learn more about mindfulness practices to help calm your mind, and improve anxiety and mood, consider joining our next 8-Week Online Mindfulness Program, offered at no-cost.

Author: Dr. Sukriti, Bhardwaj, ND.