Imagine a sudden shift in consciousness, where you become completely aware and in control of your innermost thoughts and emotions.
Now imagine yourself becoming so immersed in that magical state of tranquil that you forget to recognize the ‘raging storms’ around you.
That, dear reader, is the power of moving meditation.
What is a Moving Meditation?
You probably associate meditation with stillness, sitting, or lying down quietly and focusing on the rhythmic effect of your breath.
But have you ever considered meditating while doing the everyday activities in which you take delight?
Just as its name suggests, moving meditation is the practice of meditating with the help of regular movements.
If you don’t have enough time on your schedule for a long sitting meditation or your daily routine involves a lot of sitting, this should be your go-to meditation practice.
When meditating in motion, you need to maintain the correct posture, have deep continued breaths, and ensure your movements are slow and steady.
Whether walking, swimming, doing yoga, Qigong, or dancing in your private room, your physical movements will help you focus on the present moments and push you to ride on the waves of unguided thoughts.
This will keep your mind from wandering.
In a world where everyone seems to be competing against time or hurrying to get things done, moving meditation will help you get some activities crossed off your daily routine while at the same time allowing you to experience the magical effect of meditation.
In the end, you will not only feel physically and mentally rejuvenated but also become more appreciative of the little blessings you often overlook.
The practice of moving meditation will help you enter into a state of awareness where you begin to have a profound understanding of yourself; and why you do things the way you do.
Moreover, it will enhance your appreciation and understanding of the people around you.
What are the Benefits of Moving Meditation?
1. Improves Mental Health and Wellbeing
In a world where you are worth an estimate of the much that you can do, slowing down has become challenging to many.
The stress and anxiety that comes with constantly racing against time to get things done can have significant adverse effects on your mental health and wellbeing.
When you become stressed, your body automatically reacts through shortened breaths and an increased heart rate.
Over time, this may take a toll on your otherwise healthy body-this is where moving meditation comes in.
Moving meditation will help you take a few steps back from everyday stressors and focus on the beauty of the present moment.
You will channel your energy to the rhythmic movements of your body as you sieve what is essential from what is not.
As your body tunes to the relaxing effect of meditation, you will experience a shift in consciousness that will automatically lift you to higher levels of awareness.
Sounds enchanting. Doesn’t it?
2. Promotes Quality Sleep
Nothing is better than a good night’s sleep.
But to most people, a good night’s sleep is as rare as a victory for common sense.
In fact, statistics collected by the University of Pennsylvania indicate that 25% of Americans struggle with insomnia every year!
The lack of high-quality sleep may leave you unproductive, reduce your attention span, and leave you feeling lethargic.
Even more worrying is the increasing pattern of stroke and heart diseases amongst people living with chronic insomnia.
Moving meditation can work out magic on your sleep patterns, leaving you with an improved quality of sleep.
When your mind and body are relaxed, and in sync, quality sleep automatically becomes within reach.
3. Boosts Immunity
Your health is your wealth.
One of the most important investments you can ever make is on your health.
Moving meditation will not only work out every joint of your body but also boost positive emotional responses.
Whether or not you are aware, your emotions have so much to do with the state of your health.
Recent studies have revealed the connection between high emotional reactivity and chronic inflammation, amongst other health conditions.
Engaging in moving meditation will give you a sense of tranquil and reduce emotional reactivity, hence paving the way for stronger immunity.
4. Boosts Longevity
Who doesn’t want a long life?
But even as you hope to break the Guinness World Book of Records for the oldest person alive, you need to understand that every decision you make in the present will reflect on how long your Planet Earth membership subscription lasts.
As a reminder, it is the small things that make a big difference.
So if you are hoping to outlive a great aunt or the famous Methuselah, perhaps now is the time to start investing in healthy habits that will naturally boost your lifespan.
Even though technological advances and medications have been invented to increase human life spans, moving mediation will help you live longer naturally!
You probably do not want to walk around with a bottle of pills to pop up every time you have a health situation.
As you age, your cells divide, and your DNA shrinks.
Moving meditation has a way of countering the telomere DNA shrinkage leading to a prolonged life.
This happens when the enzyme telomerase delays the aging process by altering DNA by lengthening telomeres hence lengthening the lifespan of human cells.
The mental and physical benefits of moving meditation will allow the cells to divide slowly, leading to a longer aging process.
5. A Natural Pain Reliever
Imagine being pain-free without taking a single pain-relieving pill.
Our bodies aren’t made to always be under the influence of chemicals.
Getting a natural remedy for your minor and some significant aches in your body will not only give you a long-term solution for pain but also keep you healthy.
Moving meditation is a natural way to ease that lingering pain on your back, at the side of your neck, or wherever you might be feeling uncomfortable.
Take swimming, for example, as you breathe in and out and concentrate on your strokes, your muscles will contract and relax, increasing the flow of blood throughout your body.
This is likely to relieve you of most body pains naturally.
6. Weight Loss Routine
How interesting is it that you can meditate and lose weight at the same time?
It sounds more like killing two birds with one stone. That is what makes moving mediation so remarkable!
As you go out for a walk in the woods, dive into the swimming pool, or even dance in your private room, you are burning up excess calories while focusing on something completely different.
It’s recommended that you don’t stress about losing weight if you want to see it happen fast and naturally.
The power of a relaxed mind (and body for that matter) in speeding up weight loss is indisputable.
How to Meditate While Moving?
As oxymoronic as it may sound, to the human body, moving meditation is as exciting as it is magical.
The greatest thing about it is that you get to do ordinary, repetitive things while incorporating meditative principles.
The following steps will help you incorporate moving meditation into your daily and ordinary activities.
1. Find an Ideal Setting
The best thing about moving meditation is that you can do it in any calm, empty, and well-ventilated space.
The first step is to get an ideal place suitable for your daily meditation routine.
You can choose your home pool and incorporate meditation into your swimming sessions or the quiet woods where you can go for a long walk.
Another place to consider is your back door porch, where you can do your meditative yoga.
They can even opt for the kitchen, where you can repetitively stir your pot of soup as you enter into that magical realm of consciousness.
Remember, the key to moving meditation is to choose a repetitive activity and perform it without any distractions.
2. Use meditation principles
The principles you use in a sitting meditation are similar to the ones in moving meditation; staying calm and focusing on the present, embracing kindness, and allowing yourself to let go of everything else and focus on the soothing and calming effect of meditation.
If you are out in the pool, you can focus on the feel of your strokes on your upper body muscles or your fee’s movement as you maintain a state of buoyancy.
When out walking, focus on the rhythmic movement of your feet as each moves forward after the other and when dancing, focus on how your body sways and changes with the musical tune.
3. Wear Loose and Comfortable Clothing
It is almost impossible to meditate in motion when you feel an uncomfortable tightness anywhere in your body.
While you can wear nearly anything for sitting meditation, a moving meditation requires that you put on comfortable clothing that will allow a free flow of air throughout your body.
This may not apply to swimming where you may need to put on tighter costumes to protect your skin.
4. Be Intentional
You are probably so used to thinking about a variety of issues when walking that you may feel uncomfortable remaining in the present.
Nevertheless, meditating, while in motion, needs the discipline and intent to focus solely on the now.
It is not the time to think about taking your dog to the vet, or the weekly grocery shopping you forgot to do.
It is definitely not the time to think about how your ex-partner took you for granted.
These thoughts might come by storm.
But the choice is yours to intentionally shut them out and allow your energy to flow towards the present moment.
5. Relax and be Natural
Moving meditation is merely turning your everyday routine into a time to reconnect with yourself.
You should not feel the need to perform.
Be your regular self, and allow your mind to stay focused on where the meditation leads you.
It’s recommended that you match your movements with the rhythm of your breath as a natural expression of expansion and relaxation.
Being natural and entering into a place of kindness will help you come to terms with your innermost thoughts and emotions.
Consistent moving meditation will get you to a point where you have a clearer understanding of where you are in life and what you need to succeed.
As strange as it may sound, moving meditation is just as effective as sitting meditation, if not more.
In a world that is always on the go, you can choose to pick up momentum by meditating while on the move as well.
You don’t only get to enter more profound levels of consciousness, but also work out your body to a state of physical, emotional, and mental rejuvenation.
Once you embrace the practice of regular moving meditation, your life will never be the same.
About the author
Nikos Vasilellis is the Founder of Nereids Aquatic Coaching and has a passion and love for aquatic activities which is combined with his care for helping others. Nereids Aquatic Coaching helps children and adults overcome their fear of water by focusing on their individual strengths and helping them enjoy the aquatic environment safely.