If you’re practicing yoga, you already have a meditation practice. Yoga is a form of moving meditation. An important key to a moving meditation is to engage in mindfulness. This means exactly what you think it does. You move, but you do so with full awareness and intention. You move into one posture with full awareness of your breath and body, hold it, and then move out of it with that same awareness.
And, like a sitting meditation, you do this with all those crazy random thoughts going on in your brain. As these thoughts come into our head, our job is to look at them, acknowledge them, and then let them move on. We don’t want to engage with them. So if the thought, “What am I eating for dinner tonight?” pops into my head in class, I should not actually ponder that question or start considering what all is in my fridge at home. I should just let it go. Dinner will take care of itself when it is time for dinner.
You can, of course, take your moving meditation off your mat. I am no expert at what this looks like, but I found a great explanation of it here. If you think about the principles discussed in the article, I think you’ll see that this can translate to walking or running (with no headphones on of course!).
I think we all have reasons why we enjoy our practice, but have you stopped to consider how the meditative aspect of it might be beneficial? Regular meditation can reduce stress, make us happier, and sharpen our minds. Check out this great visual on how meditation improves our health and read even more about how it benefits us here.
The great thing about a moving meditation is that it allows us to gain these benefits while still doing other things (like postures). If you’re practicing yoga – any form – you are also meditating. It’s a two for one deal! You could push it further by doing a meditative walk or run as well.
Of course, at some point I always come back around to the fact that I lack a regular sitting meditation. I struggle to find “time” but I also know this is an excuse I make. There are very few days in my life where the lack of time is a reason for not having a sitting practice. I could sit for 10 minutes pretty much every day. I have a desire to start a sitting practice. If you’ve been reading this blog for awhile, you might have noticed my starts and stops at getting an established sitting practice going. I tend to justify my lack of a sitting practice with the fact that I engage in a moving meditation nearly every day of the week – isn’t that enough? That’s what I tell myself because I know the time excuse is not a real reason.
I’m going to need to explore this question I have about sitting and moving meditations. Am I doing enough? Part of me thinks that if I have a voice in my head about establishing a sitting practice then that means it’s something I desire or need. I’m going to look into my questions further. Probably I should start with a sitting practice while I look!
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