OUR BODY-MIND FORMS ONE SINGLE AND INSEPARABLE UNIT. YET MANY OF US SPEND COUNTLESS HOURS STIMULATING OUR MINDS, AS WE BECOME MORE AND MORE DETACHED FROM OUR PHYSICAL SELF. AND THEN WE ARE SURPRISED WHEN TIREDNESS SETS IN. SOUNDS FAMILIAR?

What if the source of nourishment for the mind actually came from conscious movement and body awareness?
It seems obvious that physical exercise is key to maintaining a healthy mindset. Top athletes are indeed living proof of this concept.
Read on to learn more about alternative ways to approach physical exercise.

It’s not about throwing yourself into an intense training programme, or pushing yourself to your limits, as this approach can be very demotivating for many people. It is more about finding or choosing an activity that sets your body in motion whilst encouraging you to be mindful or conscious of the movements that you are performing.

Sometimes, a simple walk with a fully conscious mind can be enough to enable us to refocus our minds.

what is conscious movement

What is conscious movement?

Conscious movement is about setting your body in motion and focusing on a particular movement to fully understand it. You analyse it, and observe it without judgment, exploring movement with slow and intentional gestures.

Let’s take a look at Jessica who lives life on the edge, juggles a thousand tasks at once and sometimes feels like her mind…and body are going to give up on her.

She needed to slow down the pace and focus on her mental and physical well-being.

Instead of fitting in a gruelling fitness regime at the end of her day, she chose to start Qi gong. Qi gong is an ancestral form of gymnastics from which Tai chi, which is better known in the West, originated.

At first, Jessica found the slowness of the movements challenging and she had difficulty developing fluidity in her movements. She lacked balance and coordination.

However, through regular classes, and her daily morning practice, she began to take pleasure in doing the movements and exercises such as the flying bird.

After that, she felt like she was flying towards her goals. Actually, she felt more rooted and connected to her body and mind before starting each day.

What are the benefits of conscious movement?

Conscious movement has many positive effects on the body-mind.

BENEFITS OF CONSCIOUS MOVEMENT

Among many other things, conscious movement allows you to:

In other words, conscious movement helps us live longer, preserves our physical health and improves cognitive performance.

How do you move with consciousness or awareness?

Two men doing yoga, practicing conscious movement

You don’t need to be a professional dancer or martial arts enthusiast. No need to be an athlete with an ability to move consciously and perfectly, even with speed. This requires extensive training and practice.
A good way to begin conscious movement is to slow down the movements and/or concentrate on the inner feeling that the movements provoke in us when we perform them. The movements are performed with care, intention and observation, without judgement or pushing limits. It’s about letting go of your expectations and allowing yourself to flow with the movement.

Tips for physical and mental well-being

Here are some tips for physical and mental well-being, to kick start your conscious movement journey and build a stronger mindset.

  • Walk every day and learn to be mindful. Minful of your steps, your breath, the sway of your arms, the fluidity of your movements. Be also mindful of your thoughts that come and go, drawing awareness back to your movements every now and then.
  • Take a 10-minute break, changing your body position from sitting to standing or vice versa and perform some simple movements.
    For example, stretch out your arms horizontally and bend your elbows to place your place your fingers on either side of your lungs, push your elbows backwards to inhale and expand your rib cage, then bring your elbows forward to exhale. Do this twenty times to enhance breathing fluidity.
  • Choose an activity that promotes slow movement, coordination and balance and practise it daily.
    For example, Yoga, Tai-chi, Qi gong, DO-IN etc. Martial arts is another option.

Seek advice from one of our Vivapp coaches to help you choose an activity that suits you.
Our coaches can guide you in identifying an activity that works well for you, based on your personality and the goals you wish to achieve.

Written by Edith Page

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