There is a growing body of evidence that suggests sitting for long periods of time is unhealthy, if not deadly. Heart disease, obesity, and depression are just a few consequences of inactivity, and in most cases, these conditions could be prevented if our bodies were more active.
That said, what kind of harmful effects might we endure from a practice seated meditation? If stiff knees and a tight lower back aren’t painful enough, the thought of damaging your health while trying to gain inner peace seems blatantly counterproductive, especially if your already life a sedentary lifestyle.
For those of you who don’t get enough exercise, practicing a form of active meditation instead of the classic seated meditation might be a better option.
The following suggestions will get your body moving while still enjoying the mental, emotional, and spiritual benefits of a meditation practice.
Walking or running meditation
This is my personal favorite way to slip into a meditative state, while still being active. Choose a place to walk or run that is free from distractions. These places may include a trail in the woods, a path by a quiet lake, or along a deserted street. While walking, try not to direct your thoughts to any one thing, instead, allow for a stream of thoughts to come and go through your mind. Bringing a furry friend adds to the delight!
Eventually, with practice, you will reach a meditative state of clarity and understanding. This will help you find it easier to make decisions, or come up with your next great idea.
Cleaning or yard work meditation
Few people look forward to house cleaning, and some loathe working in the yard. But, with the right frame of mind, cleaning or doing yard work can be very Zen. Sweeping, raking, or mowing the lawn is very rhythmic. When you connect your mind with the rhythmic cadence these activities produce, your thoughts will dissipate and leave you feeling calm and serene. Plus, it might just change the way you feel about doing housework, as it may just become your biggest form of stress relief.
You don’t have to be a great dancer, nor do you have to have any coordination to enjoy this type of active meditation. All you need to do is turn up the volume, start moving your body, and notice the space between your ears clear right up.
Be sure to choose music that is uplifting and has a positive message, because when you are meditating your mind acts like a sponge and it will soak in every detail without you even knowing.
Other activities can bring us to a state of meditation. The list includes knitting, swimming, singing, skiing, and more. What is your favorite way to keep the peace in your head and make life less stressful, while being active all at the same time? Please share!