Thursday, June 15, 2017

Mindful Movements

If you feel intimated by yoga and mindfulness this simple book, Mindful Movements – Ten Exercises for Well-Being, is a great way to get started. Written by Thich Nhat Hanh, Mindful Movements became so popular, the ten exercises are now an integral part of many retreats. The exercises are based on both yoga and tai chi movements, creating simple yet effective exercises that can reduce mental, physical, and emotional stress.

The ten routines are easily accessible to anyone and can be performed by people of all ages and abilities, whether they’re familiar with mindful practices or not. They can be done any time a bit of refreshment is needed for mind and body. The exercises are an easy way to get acquainted with mindfulness for those new to meditation, as well as a welcome break for current practitioners.

It is suggested that each movement should be carried out three times before proceeding to the next. Body movements should be flowing and graceful, done slowly and mindfully. Each movement is coordinated with the breath. Each movement allows us to practice sensitivity and awareness to the body, the breath, and the interconnectedness between our body, our breathing and our mind. Each exercise is fully illustrated by Wietske Vriezen, a Dutch artist and movement teacher. The print version of the book includes a 35-minute DVD featuring Thich Nhat Hanh and members of his Plum Village Sangha (a devotional group) demonstrating the ten mindful movements. I use them with my anxiety groups.

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