Moving in the Right Direction  

Movement & Meditation for the holidays

Please take a moment to think about the ways you move … sitting, standing up, standing and bending forward, walking or running motion, driving and twisting to look over your shoulder, carrying something over your shoulder or on your hip, lifting and moving something. And then consider, how many times do we repeat those same motions or activities throughout the day or week? To maintain a healthy, mobile body, you want to move your body in many different directions, engaging many different muscles with a variety of movements. As we move into the holidays whereby your usual exercise routine may be interrupted, I would urge you to continue to take the time to move your body using the principles of Movement & Meditation.

Movement & Meditation is a way of thinking and then moving your body joint by joint starting from your toes and working up to the neck. There is no wrong way to do this. By simply considering the whole body and all possibilities of moving, you will happily and joyfully be performing Movement & Meditation. There is no specific time requirement or measurement to be reached. The only requirement is for the mind to be focussed on the body, and as much of the body moving as possible. This is for men, women, young people and older people, people with disabilities and limitations, for athletic people, and for busy people. If you are a calm, healthy, kind, reflective, empathetic and passionate person, you are probably already doing Movement & Meditation.

The Meditation is the focus on your body, and not 10 other things at once (what happened to you in your day, what you will do later, who you should call, the discussion you had with your son/daughter, the discussion you need to have with your spouse or business partner, etc.). This will allow the mind to slow down, get clear, be calm, think rationally, become productive instead of chaotic and overwhelmed, be responsive instead of reactive, focussed and directed. The body is a beautiful meditation because it is in the moment, not the past or the future, and it is objective in that “it just is what it is.” The more you do Movement & Meditation, the more natural a state of calmness and clarity will become for you. You will be able to feel the effects of negative stress more quickly and therefore, be able to respond to the stimuli efficiently and effectively so that you can return to a place of calmness and clarity.

  1. Take 5 very large breaths – you can choose to be lying down, seated in a chair or standing, or all three at various points in the process.
  2. Become aware of your body from your toes to the top of your head.
  3. Choose a joint – toes, ankles, knees, hips, spine, elbows, wrists, fingers, shoulders, muscles of the face (not a joint but worth your consideration).
  4. Bend forward and back, bend side to side, rotate/twist, tighten the muscles around the area then relax those same muscles, then breathe into that area.

When you are finished moving, take the last minute to just feel what you feel.

If you do not feel motivated to lead yourself through this process, then I would suggest heading out to a yoga, Pilates, NIA, Tai Chi, Chi Gong, or some other organized class where you are led to mindfully move your body. It will be the best gift the holidays can give you.

For more information, please go to www.sculptpilates.ca

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About the Author

Lori Rockl graduated from UBC with a Bachelor of Political Science. After working with the Federal Government through two elections, she escaped back into her gifted life of fitness training and now owns a successful Pilates & Yoga studio. Although her clientel tell her often how much they learn from her, Lori would tell you that she is the one that learns the most from her clients. For Lori, the study of the mind-body connection is an infinitely fascinating study. She has found that Pilates and yoga are excellent tools for healthy living and incorporate those tools into her marathon and triathalon training. Please contact lori at [email protected]

The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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