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What Mindfulness Movement Exercises Are Best for Me?

Mindfulness is not one size fits all.  Everyone comes with their needs, what works for them and what doesn’t.  I personally find that  Dragon-boating or paddling is extremely mindful and meditative.  I like being on the water and connecting my mind with the blade so it meets the water at the necessary time.  I do this over and over again in sync with my teammates.  That’s all I do.  Blade in, blade out.  Your mind doesn’t leave the boat.  Every single muscle in your body, especially your brain is connecting with the rhythm of the boat.  Allowing outside thoughts  to come in to distract me would be like welcoming a sinking ship.

Mindfulness movement exercises are supposed to keep you connected.  Your body is in tune to your mind, it makes it’s own rhythm, and hopefully produces relaxing feelings.  Dragon-boating is what works for me,  if you would like something less intense, and much easier to get started, I suggest you try a walking meditation.  In this article, I chose to focus on Yoga to encourage you to find your own mindfulness movement exercise.  I think Yoga can be a happy medium for people.  Yoga can be fast or slow, freestyle or regimented.  And best of all you can find out what you like in the comfort of your own home.  Speed it up or slow it down to what you need.  Be free and open with it, taking the time to see what movement fits with you.  Replay the videos and pause on a motion that works for your body.  You don’t even have to identify why.  Notice the mind-body-rhythm, and give yourself the space to further explore it.  That is the key to finding what works for you.

Videos for Exploration of Mindfulness Movement Exercises

I’m not a Yoga instructor or a physician.  I personally have done these videos and felt that their pace was appropriate for this topic.  Everyone’s body is different and you should listen to your own body when doing them for purposes of this exercise but to also make sure you are not straining or hurting yourself.  What is mindfulness without compassion?  When watching these videos, don’t rush through them, give yourself time.  Focus on your breathing and the movements,  thoughts that are negative, or critical can slow down the process of you finding what works for you.

 

I enjoyed the pace of this video for this topic.  It slowly presents different movements that you can pause to your liking.  I noticed that at 6:40 it was a move that I have done in Yoga countless times.  However, she starts to slide over to the left shortly after, and what do I notice?  I notice that my breathing has changed, I go back to the move (I don’t follow this thought that my breathing has changed) and I start to notice this gentle wave that comes over my fingers, that goes down to my arms to my right rib cage and then flows back up.  For me, I like this gentle wave, so I can pause it and stay here.  For me, this can be a mindfulness movement exercise that I return to, either mentally, emotionally or physically which I will talk more about below.

 

I chose this second one because I believe that it can help people connect different points in their body.  This video focuses on the joints, the areas that literally connect us together.  Completing this video may help you feel more grounded, alive or human again.  From 2:40 to about 4:00 the video focuses on medium to large motions that connect your joints.  If I was feeling “out of sorts”, I may choose to replay this sequence or choose one motion to focus on repetitively.  During this time, I may do a slow count of 5 breaths for each move for example.  If I am someone who has been sitting at their desk all day in a corporate environment, I may find it very freeing to bend my elbows and touch my finger tips to my shoulders as Julia does at 2:55.  Very slowly, I could feel my fingers slip away from my shoulders as my arms motion outwards, releasing any stress that may have built up for the day.

How can I Best use Mindfulness Movement Exercises?

After looking through the videos with an open mind, and finding a motion that felt good to you.  What was it about this motion that felt good to you? How do you want to continue to repeat it? Where and how can it fit this mindfulness movement exercise into your life?  If you need help with this, you might look into expanding your mindfulness practice.  

With the first video, I liked the gentle wave that came over me as I leaned to the right and to the left of child’s pose.  What can I do with that?  When in my meditation practice, I may choose to remember  and focus on how it felt for my ribs to fill up with air and slowly deflate one by one.  I may take that wave feeling and decide to recreate it when feeling anxious.  I may utilize that particular movement and repeat it when I am feeling down.  This motion reaffirms for me that I know that I can do something healthy for myself that makes me feel whole.   What gravitated you  during the video was hopefully soothing and necessary for you.  Now apply it to where you need that in your life.

 

Mindfulness Movement Exercises