Awareness, Meditation, Movement, Yoga

Mindful Movement: Combine Your Exercise With Meditation!

Who doesn’t love a 2 for 1?

I loved working a relatively mindless job, because I could listen to podcasts and audiobooks, and learn something new while also making money.

I love driving on long roadtrips (another relatively mindless activity), and listening to podcasts and aubiobooks to enhance my knowledge and expand my mind.

Running, hiking, or exercising with friends is fun, because I combine fitness with socializing.

Combining exercise and inspiring audio is another great 2-for-1!

But what about combining your meditation practice with your movement practice?!

Now that’s a recipe for waking up!

The Easiest Ways To Practice Mindful Movement

Yoga asana practice.

You know I was going to say it. This is so obvious, and so awesome.

Yoga classes and/or a personal yoga practice forces you to be mindful of your breath, your body, and linking your breath with movements.

It forces you to be present and in your body to flow through the poses.

The poses themselves direct energy through the body in ways that are balancing, integrating, healing, and releasing.

Tension, emotions, traumas, and other stored energetic blocks are released.

Yoga opens the heart and balances the flow of energy through the chakras. It’s healing on so many levels.

Acro yoga or partner yoga is another opportunity to turn your movement practice into a mindfulness practice.

While practicing acro yoga, you must be fully present and in your body to work with another person’s body as you co-create different poses together!

Get outside!

Running, walking, and hiking can all be meditation practices.

I find that road cycling is a little harder to make into a meditation practice, because you need to negotiate the cars. However, mountain biking or cycling in less busy areas can be highly meditative.

Any outdoor sport or activity can easily be turned into a meditation.

Tune into your body and your breath.

Tune into the perceptions from your sense organs — what you see, hear, feel, taste, and smell.

Notice the sensation of the wind on your skin, the temperature of the air, the way the sun caresses your skin…

Notice the plants and critters you are sharing space with. Give thanks for them! Notice their beauty.

Stop every now and then, and actually meditate. Or at least pause.

I do this when I go hiking.

I get a good work out in climbing up the mountain, and then spend as much time as possible on the summit and slowly make my way down, appreciating the natural splendor all around me.

Sitting or laying down in meditation after you’ve already gotten a good work out in is absolutely blissful.

You get to bathe in the good, endorphin-rich energy you’ve created.

You get to be with that feeling of wellness even longer.

This is why shavasana (corpse pose) is so relaxing and blissful at the end of a yoga class.

Why not include shavasana-type moments in your outdoor movement practices?!

I will literally lay on boulders, the ground, the beach, the snow, or whatever natural surface looks the most inviting, and relax sprawled out.

I probably look weird, but trust me, it feels so good.

Exchanging positive ions with the earth will lift your mood, mind, body, and spirit.

It’s like an energetic massage that you simply get to receive, and not even pay for!

Turning your movement into another form of mindfulness practice helps keep the focus on health rather than another extension of neurotic mind.

You get your work out in, yes.

But you keep the focus on health.

You keep the focus on what your body can do and how it feels.

You are able to let go of how you look…

Competitive mind falls away and will be less likely to constantly compare you to other people in the gym, class, race, etc.

You will actually be able to enjoy the natural movements of your body.

You’ll also be less likely to get injured, because you will be so aware of how your body feels.

As a result, you will be a more fully embodied, more present individual.

By embodied, I mean that your mental, emotional, and spiritual energy is actually residing fully within your body, rather that being dissociated.

You are present, rather than mentally or emotionally checked out.

How many times have you run on the treadmill or used some other piece of exercise equipment, and totally checked out?

This is the opposite.

This allows for full enjoyment of the human experience of moving.

Moving and exercising transforms from something you must do to be healthy, fit, lean, or look a certain way…into something you get to do to connect more deeply to your body and nature!

Try it out, and let me know how it goes in the comments! What movement practices do you find particularly conducive to a mindfulness practice?!

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