Meditation comes in all shapes and forms, which is why it’s loved by so many. Today, we’ll explore one of the more overlooked types of meditation — movement meditation — and see if it’s the best type of meditation for you.
What is movement meditation?
Quite literally, this means meditating as you move. The pace, form and rigour of this type of meditation depend solely on your personal preferences. In fact, this quality makes movement meditation perfect for those who struggle to sit still. This makes meditation accessible to those who struggle to sit still for long periods of time.
Just like all forms of meditation, movement meditation helps you improve your emotional health and calm your thoughts. It’s also a great way to boost your physical health, especially so for movement meditation. The act of moving around helps stimulate blood flow which is helpful in reducing physical tension.
There’s no fixed form of movement that you must take with movement meditation. There’s a great deal of flexibility involved. One of the most common forms of movement meditation is walking meditation, which focuses on mindful walks. You could also try dancing or switching between common meditation poses.
How does movement meditation work?
Here are some tips to successfully practise movement meditation.
- Stay focused. Your biggest focus should be on taking note of your movements. Feel your body tense and relax, be conscious of contact you make with the floor, and take note of your breathing and heart rate. Take note of other parts of your body as well. For example, what are your arms doing? Are they holding a pose or swinging by your side? How are you walking? Are your toes clenched? A great way to be more conscious is to mentally visualize yourself from head to toe, and sense what each part of your body is feeling.
- Let your body guide you. Movement meditation is also about letting your body take over, while you notice how it works. As your body leads you from one movement to another, your job is to understand the process. How do your muscles respond to a physical change in stance? What rhythm does you body seek?
- Start slow. While movement meditation encourages exploration at your own pace, beginners may find it easier to start slow. Moving slowly forces you to take notice of your body, and thus could encourage you to be more mindful about the process.
- Think about the movements, not the destination. In real life, we’re always so caught up about moving from one place to another. Moving and travelling becomes a mindless process where the journey is nothing compared to the destination. Movement meditation forces a reversal whereby we treasure the journey. As such, focus on your body’s movements instead of the destination you have in mind.
- Stat light on your feet. Meditation is best practised when you stay light on your feet. This helps you transition from one stance to another easily, while encouraging you to recognise the energy flowing through your body.