Mindful movement is defined as the type of movement or exercise that is performed with awareness. This helps you tap into that space where you find your inner calm and clarity by connecting your mind and body with breath and rhythm. This in turn allows you to pause, take the time to focus, and clear your mind so that you can move forward with intention and move your body more intelligently. Mindful movement can be applied to any movement you do, but is most effectively cultivated through specific practices such as Yoga, Pilates and Ayruvedic Yoga Massage.
Recent studies have shown that there are many benefits to taking the time for mindful movement. Some of the most prominent benefits include:
Decreased stress: Taking the time to really focus on the breath is incredibly beneficial for reducing stress, as the act of simply extending your breath can calm the nervous system. The connection between breath and movement is integral to mindful movement, and can be cultivated through practices such as Yoga and Pilates, and then applied to other practices.
Self regulation: Paying close attention to the quality of your movement allows you to assess your current state of mind and physical sensations, in turn helping you create body awareness.
Decreased anxiety: Anxiety can often be triggered by the fast paced environment and heavy workloads that many people experience on a daily basis. Through mindful movement, you can cultivate the ability to manage anxiety by slowing yourself and your thoughts down to focus and remain in the present moment.
To start practicing mindful movement, take the time before a class or an activity you’re doing at home to notice what it feels like to be in your body by following these steps:
- Notice your heartbeat
- Notice your chest and how the belly lifts and lowers
- Notice the sounds around you and the sounds inside of you
- Take a few more moments and be still with yourself
- Open your eyes and take this awareness of yourself and your surroundings with you into the rest of your day as you move
At Om Maui Studio we strive to provide the opportunity to move mindfully through all of our services, which in turn, helps you cultivate the ability to do so throughout your daily activities. If you are unsure where to start with your mindful movement journey, contact the studio to schedule a Goal Orientation, or join one of our Yoga classes to learn how to work with your breath and increase your body awareness.