Active Meditation – Using Movement to Quiet Your Mind

Is active meditation really a thing? It sure is! And it’s just as useful as seated meditation, though the path to a quiet mind is quite different.

We’re all familiar with the quintessential seated meditation pose – legs crossed, eyes closed, body still as the person is overcome by a state of bliss – but for those who are used to being on the move, even 5 minutes of stillness feels like an eternity. Meditation won’t be an effective tool for you if all you’re doing during meditation is counting the seconds until that meditation is done. The body and the mind need to rest and recharge, so consider integrating easy movements into your day to connect you to your physical self and still your busy thoughts.

For anyone who works remotely, turning daily tasks into bite-sized meditative exercises are both grounding and productive.

  • Do a load of laundry or wash some dishes.
  • Quickly clean off a countertop or make your bed.
  • Straighten up and/or dust a bookshelf.

The small tasks that are often avoided because they’re considered “chores” take on new meaning – and can even become appealing – when they’re purposefully utilized as a “brain break”.

Have a garden or some potted plants around your home? Ditch the gloves and get your hands dirty in the soil. Not only is there a rhythm to taking care of your planted friends (trimming hedges, pulling weeds, watering flowers/veggies/fruits), touching the earth has a grounding effect on our energy and encourages us to slow down so that we can pay attention to the nuances of what we’re doing. Tune into your garden and you’ll tune out the noises around you.

Finally, if you are able, get outside. Go for a walk without your earbuds. Focus on your breathing, your stride, the sky above and the ground below. Place your phone out of easy reach and note the moments when you want to reach for it out of habit. Let the world outside inspire you if you’re feeling stuck or, for once, DO NOT THINK ABOUT ANYTHING if you don’t have to. Just see and feel what it’s like to not have any expectations other than connecting with yourself.

Most anything can become a form of active meditation when done to calm internal systems and find harmony between the body and the mind. Start exploring the possibilities of mindful movement and you’ll be on your way to a state of ease before you know it!