Seated meditation may not resonate with everyone as a path to greater mindfulness, and that is okay. It is time that we began validating other forms of meditation as an equally valid path to mindfulness. Many who struggle to sit still or focus may feel that meditation is simply not for them. I want to change this narrative. I think that there are many more ways to meditate than sitting still in silence. While this approach may work very well for some, for those whom it doesn't resonate with, it is important to offer other ways to achieve a more grounded and mindful experience. Meditation should be for everyone, and that is why it is time to expand our definition of what it means to meditate.
Read on as I share 3 different, yet effective ways to get your meditation on:
- QIGONG. QiGong is a gentle form of movement that stems from ancient Chinese medicine. Qi Gong involves various exercises designed to optimize energy in the body, mind, and spirit with the intention of improving and maintaining health and wellbeing. QiGong is a wonderful ‘replacement’ for a traditional seated meditation, and there are countless free QiGong classes on Youtube. This practice involves connecting to the breath, while slowly and mindfully moving the body in nourishing and supportive ways. A QiGong practice is sure to help you feel grounded, centered, and deeply present. Next time you need to reconnect to balance and peace, give this powerful, ancient practice a try.
- Walking Meditations. Walking meditations are an awesome way to come back to presence, while moving the body in a gentle, feel good way. Walking meditations can be found on Youtube for free for your convenience. During a walking meditation, you are invited to invoke all of your senses as you breathe and take steps with a fully present heart. During your meditation, you may notice the sounds of the birds and the breeze rustling the trees, you may see the sky, clouds, and plants, you might taste a snowflake or raindrop on your tongue. Mindful walking is an amazing way to meditate, and one that can be enjoyed day after day.
- Mindful Yoga. Mindful yoga is another great replacement to a more traditional meditation. During a gentle yoga practice, you will be guided to connect closely to your body and breath, and to allow space for any emotions or sensations that might be present or arising. Moving intentionally while breathing deeply will reduce feelings of stress and anxiety, while anchoring your awareness in the present moment. Best of all, you are sure to feel soothed, supported, and restored post practice.
There are many ways to meditate, and it really all comes down to finding what works for you. The intention of meditation is about slowing down, holding space for our experiences, cultivating mindfulness, and increasing our sense of inner calm. Find what resonates with you, and embrace this path to peace.