What is Mindful Movement?
Mindful Movement is movement that focuses on quality, rather than quantity. It is more of a feeling experience than a doing experience. It can be done individually, with a partner or in a group. It can look like meditative walking, contemplative dance or yoga. It is often slow but not necessarily slow. We often use music to facilitate movement, and we also practice silent movement. Ultimately, the goal is to ask the body how it wants to move and follow that internal direction, rather than looking for external guidance. We want to shift from trying to do "correct movements" to exploring what movements are possible, what movements are interesting, what movements elicit a greater sense of freedom.
Mindful Movement For All
Mindful Movement classes facilitate this exploration, offering simple anatomical education and various techniques that participants can use to find greater freedom, ease and joy in their minds and bodies. We can then carry this awareness into our daily lives, changing habitual patterns of posture and movement, reducing pain and discomfort, improving performance, both mentally and physically.
I am currently developing a curriculum beneficial for both practitioners and the public on Mindful Movement. I will offer 2-hour seminars with a focus on one area of the body, such as the feet and ankles or the neck and shoulders and also weekend workshops covering the whole body and breath. My goal is to bring anatomy to life, incorporating and integrating anatomical knowledge with felt experience. I will teach techniques that enable free movement, movement that is child-like and exploratory. Participants will learn to follow their own body’s unique intelligence. Moving mindfully, in turn, nourishes the nervous system, giving it fresh information and bringing us deeper into the present.
We can change the way we feel, our attitudes and emotions, find a renewed sense of freedom, ease and joy by changing the way we move!
The Benefits of Mindful Movement
Mindful movement is an effective way to reduce stress and its physical consequences. In addition, there are specific physical benefits associated with each of these mindful movement practices. Research shows yoga, for example, has health benefits including increased strength and flexibility, better balance and coordination, improved reaction times, better lung function, heightened cardiovascular conditioning, and weight loss. Psychological benefits of the practice include relaxation, greater equanimity, better concentration, and improved mood. Scientific studies have found yoga as a useful adjunct to the care of such conditions as asthma, arthritis, carpal tunnel syndrome, multiple sclerosis, and heart disease.
Mindful movement practices are undoubtedly physically and mentally beneficial. However, overly strenuous physical activity can lead to injury. Check with a healthcare practitioner before beginning any exercise regime. Find a qualified teacher and share any specific health issues you have. And be sure to listen to your own body and do only what feels comfortable to you.