For many of us, sitting still can be the main challenge to undertaking a meditation practice. If you are feeling overly anxious or depressed, probably the last thing you want to do is sit down with your thoughts.
Or if you have a job where you sit all day behind the desk, probably the last thing you want to do is sit down again to meditate.
There are many reasons some of us just can’t sit still to meditate but the good news is, you don’t have to sit cross-legged and totally still like a monk to enjoy the benefits of mindfulness and meditation.
If essentially mindful meditation is about ‘being fully present and in the moment’ then we can also acquire this through other ways. In fact any activity that is done slowly and repeatedly in coordination with the breath can have the same meditative effects as a sitting meditation. As long as the intention is to fully engage in the activity and be present, then it is the same as a meditation. Very often, the more we practice any sort of moving meditation, the better we get at potentially sitting with ourselves in a seated practice later on.
7 WAYS TO MEDITATE WITHOUT SITTING STILL
Yoga– the age old practice of yoga essentially brings a mind-body connection. The postures (asanas) are practiced with particular focus on your in-breath and out-breath. Try to remember it is not about judging yourself or comparing yourself with others, think of it more about an opportunity to do a moving meditation and be with yourself.
Tai chi or Qigong- definitely one of the favoured forms of moving meditation is Tai chi or Qigong practice. Practiced for thousands of years as a complete health system, Tai chi helps you connect with yourself through a series of harmonious movements which calms the mind and alleviates stress. (Qigong is similar to Tai chi but there are less steps and movements involved.)
Mindfulmooves- the most obvious choice to meditate without sitting still is the specially designed mindfulmooves. It uses the same foundations of mindfulness practices combined with a series simple movements to help you attain a meditative state. You will feel the same therapeutic effects of meditation and you don’t have to sit cross-legged.
Mindful walking- next time you take a stroll or a lunchtime walk, use the opportunity to connect with yourself and your breath. Whenever possible take a walk in nature and connect with your surroundings. Use the time to observe your thoughts and how you are feeling in the moment. Try to avoid, texting or using your phone during this time, the last thing you want to do is fill up your break with busy-ness on your phone!
Swimming- swimming has a certain rhythm, especially when swimming laps in a pool. You obviously have to coordinate the strokes with your breath, so there is a natural meditative quality to swimming. I personally find myself counting or chanting my breaths when swimming laps which puts me into a calm state of being, fully present and aware, where nothing else matters but my breath.
Surfing or you favourite sport– I say surfing is probably one of the most ‘present moment’ activities where you connect with nature and nothing else matters but the next wave. In the moment of riding the wave you are fully present or ‘in the flow state’ and you savour the experience. The same goes for many of your favourite sports, like skiing, hiking, running, golf, as long as you stay focussed and remain fully present it becomes a form of meditation.
Sing or chant– this can be fun, therapeutic and meditative all at the same time. Repeating a mantra, chanting or even singing your favourite song in the shower can be meditative and fun. Sometimes you just need to lighten up and don’t take life so seriously.
So, who says you have to sit still to meditate? Above are just 7 ways, but you can try many activities with a mindful and fully present approach and I guarantee you will feel more connected and aware.