Most often when we think of meditation we envision someone sitting on a pillow, hands on their knees and serene look on their face. If you have tried this and only find yourself twitchy and frustrated— don’t be discouraged! Throughout time people have found myriad ways to experience the benefits of a calm mind and spirit through meditative movement. Some of us are just wired differently than others and need movement to get centered. Below are a few practices that you might want to try:
- Drum- go beat on a hand drum for about an hour either alone or with a group. If you are alone you might find you are less self-conscious if you drum to recorded music. Sounds crazy but it works! If you live in the San Francisco Bay area drum with us in our Drumming As Spiritual Practice Group. (see details on the groups page of this website)
- Walk- go take a hike! But make it at least 45 minutes in duration. A long walk without music or a podcast playing in your ear can calm the body and ground your thoughts.
- Knit-the repetitive rhythmic movement of knitting can offer many meditative benefits. As an extra bonus you will create something while you meditate.
- Paint- the repetitive motion of your brush strokes and the visually calming effect of emerging color can bring your spirit and body to a place of quiet centeredness. When I taught young children, I often gave the children who were having a hard time with impulse control a container of water and a paint brush and asked them to paint the walls of the school. It calmed them down within minutes. Take a tip from the kids: paint with water if you don’t have walls in need of a new coat of paint.
- Run-just as with walking, a trip around the block, while helpful for your heart, will not give you the meditative benefits of a longer run. Run for at least 30 minutes to give your body and mind time to work out the kinks and find balance again.
These are just a few of the many different ways meditation can be practiced through movement. What creative ways have you found to integrate movement into your meditation practice?