Mind, Body, Spirit & Meditation


What Are Some Physical Forms of Meditation?

Meditation is most often considered an inactive process of quieting your mind and engaging with stillness, but there are also several ways to use physical activity to enter a meditative state. Both types of meditation can be incredibly effective in inspiring a sense of peace, harmony and well-being, but they differ greatly in their approach.

Mental meditation involves sitting quietly and focusing on your breathing or a soothing mantra, or emptying your mind by disengaging from your conscious thoughts. Physical meditation at first glance seems to be the complete opposite because your body will be in motion the entire time, but the mental result of peace and stillness is very much the same.

If sitting quietly in silence has always been difficult for you, you may want to explore various forms of physical meditation instead. In fact, you have probably engaged in physical meditation before and not even realized you were doing so!

Here are a few of the most common types of physical meditation activities:

1) Walking

Walking is not only good for your body; it helps clear your mind too! Repeatedly placing one foot in front of the other while you breathe deeply and observe your surroundings can be incredibly meditative. Just a few minutes of this can melt away weeks’ worth of tension.

Start by choosing a pleasant location, like a park or pretty tree-lined street; lace up your walking shoes, grab a bottle of water and you’re ready to go. As you walk, try to avoid thinking too much. Instead, do your best to set your conscious thoughts aside and focus instead on the sensation of your muscles flexing, and oxygen flowing in and out of your lungs. Or tune into your surroundings more completely and focus on the beauty of the landscape, sky and wildlife.

2) Dance

Dancing is more often considered a recreational pursuit, but it can also be quite relaxing and hypnotic in its ability to distance you from fear and worry.

For stress relief and strengthening your spiritual connection, choose slow, soothing music and move your body gently and smoothly too. Set your conscious thoughts aside and focus only on moving your body along with the music. In no time at all you should feel refreshed and renewed – just as you would from a mental meditation session.

3) Hobbies and menial work

You may not consider hobbies and chores to be meditative, but they are powerful in their ability to move you from a state of thinking to a state of “being” – and that’s exactly what meditation does! The next time you engage in any physical activity like cleaning, yard work, hobbies or organizing, make a point of focusing your attention fully on it. Let go of worries and scattered thoughts and immerse yourself fully in the act of moving your hands and body. As you do so, you are releasing stress, calming your thoughts and entering a stress-free state that will stay with you for hours.

Nearly any physical activity can be turned into a meditative experience, as long as it’s one you don’t have to focus intently on. (Obviously, driving and skydiving wouldn’t be good candidates for physical meditation.) With ordinary activities, however, simply get into the habit of stepping outside the flow of your conscious thoughts and allow yourself to settle into a state of calm, steady movement – and you’ll be meditating! See, it was easier than you thought, wasn’t it?

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