Meditation Through Movement Is Great Recovery Tool
Meditation has been widely accepted as a great form of mental training. It is said to calm the nerves, stave off anxiety as well as even help restructure or “strengthen” certain aspects of the brain. If you know how to use meditation right, it can be a great recovery tool.
Now there are so many different styles of meditation training that involve concerted effort on focusing on a single thing. Breathe for example.
Living in 2017 you are being bombarded by information via multiple streams, Instagram, Facebook, television, school and so on. It is essential to take the time to sift through all the “garbage” and limit the amount of time and space these things take in your head. Sometimes it is almost impossible.
What is Meditation Through Movement?
Enter meditation. We will go over the most commonly used meditation (static mindfulness) in a later article. I, however, want to explore a “new” way of meditation that involves movement but movement that is methodical. (requires very little strength and more concentration.)
I like to call this Kinetic Meditation. It is merely when you’re doing a movement typically repetitive and focusing all your attention there. There should be little strength involved in it. When you start using your power, you are then diving into something different. These movements require you to pay close attention to the action itself as opposed to the lactic acid that may or may not is building up. This is a practice of bringing your mind back to the task at hand if your mind wanders off.
Why is the Western Physical Culture Not Ideal?
Many movements in the physical culture at least in the western corners of the world are not fitting to be used during this style of meditation outside of running or steady state cardio such as riding a bike. But since I am talking about the loaded movement they do not count to what I am trying to get at.
In this side of the world, training is predominantly composed of heavy lifting, hypertrophy, “CrossFit” or function training and the combination of meditation is only included with yoga, etc.
How the East Got This Right!
Eastern physical culture, however, invites loaded movements into their everyday meditation practices. India and the middle eastern country used tools such as Indian clubs, Gada’s, meals, and Jori’s as both a means of physical training but as well as a form of meditation through movement.
Another great example is how Shaolin monks directly incorporate their forms of meditation into performing some of the most awe-striking spectacles using a variety of culturally relevant tools, again through movement.
All of this isn’t to say however those western forms of training can’t also incorporate some meditative properties. It is just, however, more dangerous considering the effectiveness the load may have to be, etc. This is the way I feel it may be essential to welcome eastern styles of training into our current practice. As both a supplement as well as the central portion of our training routines.
The specifics of each eastern training style are not really of importance here. We go deeper into some of the forms of training listed prior and even how to go about making some of these tools on your own in this article (add link) but what we are more concerned with here is how to begin a meditative practice using loaded movement.
Aim of Focus for This Great Recovery Tool
Focus in any meditation aims to keep your mind centered on a single effort at a time. In traditional meditation, it would be the focusing on each breath. In the reflection of movement, it does not change. There is, however, the syncretic nature of movement thrown in. It is a challenge that there is no doubt and it takes a much more concerted effort on the practitioner to coordinate both breaths with movement without allowing the mind to move away from them.
However, it is important to know that if your concentration is lost, it is okay. Just allow yourself to come back to the breath and the movements. It is essential that this become a practice within the practice. Bring the mind back to one focus. Now that there is movement involved we have to learn to become so good at the method of action that it becomes second nature. That way they breathe will be the single focal point.
Yes, it is Difficult, Do it Anyways!
This style of meditation is far away from what many would call traditional practice. However to put it simply is fun and should be done on a daily basis. It is a simple concept to follow that takes years and years to learn to begin to master. I am not even close to mastering any of it, but the process is what matters.
You are going to hit points where you do not see any returns from it, and you may want to quit or move on to something “more Productive.” Well, that would, of course, be your choice but I would advise that you continue with it. Reap the benefits of a calm mind and a ready body. Kill two birds with one stone as the saying goes.
This is not a practice that I have been doing for years because I know its a great recovery tool. I have been mindfully meditating for years but only recently have used Indian clubs, maces, and meals to meditate. However, I do understand and connect with the basics of this practice and understand that it is something that takes a great deal of time to sculpt and is virtually never going to be “perfect.”
I am confessing and being brutally honest because I am not going to come off as an extraordinarily practiced individual when it comes to moving meditation. I merely give a brief background on the insights behind it and a few simple ways to get started!
It is essential to take the basics of mindfulness and apply them to movements that are cyclical that have some load (as light as possible in these cases) That can be mastered to allow for the focus to be purely on breathing. Now that we have gone over the basics we can now move on to the details and ins/outs! The goal here is finding a great recovery tool, not knowing everything there is to know about meditation.