Friday, August 30, 2013

Holistic health - Moving meditation - By Lisa DeFosse

There is a common misconception that meditation needs to be done cross legged in a quiet room with no music or movement for a specified amount of time. This is far from the truth and has prevented many from opening themselves up to this form of relaxation. Meditation is about bringing your mind to a single point of concentration. There are many ways to achieve this goal.

I want to focus on “moving meditation”. This can take several forms, including gentle flowing yoga, Qigong, Kai Chi Do and Tai Chi. I will use Tai Chi as an example, but there are many types to choose from and I encourage you to research those that appeal to you. 

Tai Chi was developed in ancient China. Originally it was a martial art and a means of self-defense. Tai Chi can be translated to mean “internal martial art” and focuses on internal force. This is different than other martial arts, which focus more on external force. Tai Chi is used for freeing blocked energy in the body. It helps to balance the yin and yang (Chinese concepts of opposing life forces within the body). 

When practicing Tai Chi, people move in slow, graceful movements. Posture is important and the body stays in constant motion. Meanwhile, one must also breathe deeply and in a relaxed manner, setting aside distracting thoughts and concentrating on the breath and movement. Those who find “still” meditation difficult because they are bombarded with outside thoughts may find it easier to block these distracting thoughts if they are concentrating on movement.

Tai Chi, Qigong, Kai Chi Do and similar movement mediations can be very effective at calming the body and the mind. They can be practiced in groups or alone with similar results. If you are the type of person who just can’t sit still and needs to have movement in all aspects of your life, I suggest you research different movement meditations and find one that interests you. Although the risks are very low, always consult a doctor before beginning any new exercise program.

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