Do you have a desire to meditate because you know it will quiet the mind and bring inner peace, but it’s challenging to sit still? I can relate. I can easily get caught in trying to do more and get distracted with the habitual checking of my phone, email, and texts. Today, we are bombarded with the constant stream of stimulation and the pressure to keep up. Which is why we need to find a way to embrace the quiet, however we can find it. That space where we can actually hear the inner callings of our soul. Where we can receive the guidance that reveals the path to greater fulfillment and happiness.
Meditation is one of the ways I unplug, but going straight to the meditation pillow from an agitated, stressed-out place can be a challenge. As a professional dancer and choreographer, I know how getting grounded in the body through movement can be a bridge between the chattering, overworked, stressed mind to the quiet and still space within that brings calm, peace, and a sense of well-being.
If it’s a struggle to slow down to meditate, try using movement to help you.
1. Find a quiet spot to relax.
Put on something comfortable and create some quiet time for yourself, even if it’s just for 10 minutes. Sit on a yoga mat or blanket with your legs crossed, closing your eyes or gazing gently at the floor. With your hands on your knees, slowly rotate your torso in a circle (clockwise), breathing in as you move forward and to the right and exhaling as you move back toward the left. Continue for one to two minutes and then rotate counterclockwise for one to two minutes.
2. Begin to connect with your breath.
With a long inhale through the nose and long exhale through the mouth, allow your breath to deepen. The breath will oxygenate the cells and the movement will release tightness or holding in your hips and back. You may even hear and feel your spine adjust. Continue with this slow, gentle, circular movement as your eyes are closed and your breath deepens.
3. Extend your chest forward.
As you get more comfortable and in tune with the rhythm and pace of your circles, you may want to extend your chest forward to your knees even more and rotate to the back more fully, allowing a deeper stretch in your hips. If thoughts or worries come up, just observe them, let them go, and come back to the breath.
4. Focus on the movements of your body.
When you feel ready, bring your torso center above your hips. With your eyes closed and hands on your knees or shins, inhale as you push your chest forward, at the same time drawing your shoulders back. On the exhale, contract the spine in the opposite direction keeping your head parallel to the ground. Repeat this 26 times as your body heats up.
5. Stop the movement and let the energy vibrate inside.
Allow your body to relax with a straight back and soft front. All tension melting away with a gentle focus at your inner third eye or gazing at the floor.
From this place, stillness can be experienced. Allow yourself time to bask in this blissful energy. Stay in this space as long as you can. When you’re ready, slowly open your eyes, gently move your body, and come back to the energy of the room. You may want to write down any impressions and insight that came up for you.
Doing this movement before meditation always helps to center and ground my energy. I hope this helps you in your practice and in sending good vibes for a peaceful inner experience, subsequently bringing more ease to your outside world.