Mindfulness brings a new dimension to movement. Rather than moving for the sake of moving, or to accomplish a goal, mindful movement is practiced to anchor the body in the present moment. Many people feel more harmonious, relaxed, and calm after practicing mindful movement.
During this time when things seem to be crumbling around us, and when our familiar life structure and routine have fallen out of place, it’s important to stay grounded. It’s important not to let stress and anxiety creep into our lives. It’s important to stay positive, and be mindful. This is why we want to talk about the benefits of mindful movement, and how you can incorporate it into your everyday life.
Some of the benefits of mindful movement include improved lung function and increased mental health. It also helps with the following health conditions:
Mindful movement refers to moving the body in ways to connect you with the present moment, to help you feel at peace, feel calm and relaxed, and one with the ground beneath you. Practices such as yoga, qi gong, and tai chi are examples of structured mindful movement that connect movement to breathing and mental practices. Participating in these types of classes is a great way to add mindful movement to your lifestyle. If taking classes is not your thing, there are ways to practice mindful movement on your own with these simple standing and walking exercises:
Stand with your feet shoulder distance apart and slightly bend your knees. Keep your shoulders relaxed, chin tucked under, and breathe in and out. Raise your arms out to your side and overhead with each inhale, and slowly bring them back down to rest on your stomach as you exhale. Repeat this five times.
Walk slowly with your knees slightly bent, and really pay attention to the movement of your feet. Take deep breaths and notice how your muscles move, how your weight shifts. Take in your surroundings and become fully aware. You can do this in your living room, your bedroom, your backyard, — wherever feels most comfortable to you.
These short, simple exercises only take a few minutes, and can be done daily. Set an alarm on your phone or computer, or write it into your calendar — do whatever you need to do to remind yourself each day.
We hope these tips for mindful movement are helpful! If you have questions, or would like to learn more about mindful movement and other relaxation and stress-reducing techniques, please don’t hesitate to reach out to our team at Integrative Acupuncture, and follow our Instagram and Facebook for health and wellness advice and information.