Imagine yourself calm. Imagine you have total mental clarity. Your stress levels subside and the tendency to flash into anger simply melts away.
I’m not talking about heaven or enlightenment. I’m talking about mindfulness, being fully present. Here. Now. You can take steps toward a more mindful life every single day. And every step counts, even baby ones. No huge life overhaul, just mindful moments.
In a mindful moment, you’re fully engaged in what you’re doing. You’re aware of your body. You’re aware of your emotions. You watch thoughts pass without letting them take control. They become part of the scenery.
We’ve all heard that meditation is good for us. But how many us have the self-discipline, patience, and time to sit silently on a cushion, seemingly doing nothing?
And yet, I’m telling you mindfulness is just a breath away. For every one of us.
Yoga and martials arts have long be recognized as forms of moving meditation, precursors to the deeper practice of sitting meditation. For my husband, outrigger canoe paddling and distance running are moving meditations. Many forms of exercise can be done mindfully, giving us a break from worldly concerns. When we finish, we are at ease. Our emotional palate is cleansed.
For me, moving meditation means Nia and it's part of my medicine. Focus is effortless when I’m in motion. It’s like riding a bike, always easier to balance when I’m moving.
Nia is a fusion of dance, martial arts, and yoga set to soul-stirring music. It gives me a dip into the ocean of Joy. We set a focus at the beginning of class and we hold it for the whole hour. When I’m practicing Nia, my mind settles, and I can see in every direction. Body-aware, every step, every gesture, is done in a way that feels good. I ease into my joints, stretch and sway, glide across the floor, kick and shout, then slow down gently. I leave the dance floor sweaty, exultant, and the world sparkles. Whatever bothered me before class seems insignificant, even gone. I feel as if I love every single person in the world.
When we find our mindful movement practice, we’re able to breathe more deeply and consciously every day. Heck, we can just remember to breathe when we need it most. Our bodies feel alive and our mind is free to think clearly.
Seven years ago, I opened Still & Moving Center, convinced that mindful movement is effective in changing people’s lives for the better. I’ve seen the results time and time again in thousands of students. Join a weekly class to start moving mindfully or walk just ten minutes a day, device-free. Baby steps.
Renée Tillotson brings great enthusiasm to every class and event she leads. As the founding Director of Still & Moving Center, Renée is motivated by the motto: Move your body. Still your mind. Find center. Find Joy! Now a First Degree Nia Black Belt, Renée has been moving and sharing the Joy of Nia since 2002. Considering herself a citizen of the world, Renée brings under one roof mindful movement practices from around the globe.
Still & Moving Center is part of HMSA's dicount program. Show your HMSA membership card before September 21 and get a Mindful Movement consultation, three complimentary classes, and a 20 percent discount on the Freedom Membership, which provides unlimited classes and requires no contract. Members are encouraged to call in advance to book their mindful meditation.