‘Mindful movement immediately reminds me of Tai Chi, something that I have not yet personally experienced; however, I saw it in action on the lawn of the parliament buildings in Victoria, British Columbia while on my way to Beacon Hill Park to write the first words for this book. (I swear I saw Margaret Atwood there – the perfect omen for this book.)
We are constantly moving our bodies, but most of the time – like our minds – without awareness. We open our eyes and jump out of bed, most of the time without even being aware that we’re shocking our system, never giving our bodies the chance to catch up with our minds. And, in turn, we are moving contrary to our natural rhythm.
Mindful movement is the practice of moving with awareness. Mentally focusing on every movement of our body and then facilitating that with the intention of our inner awareness. There are many slow, steady and focused Yoga practices that facilitate mindful movement – though Power Yoga is not one of them.
While Tai Chi is a form of mindful movement that is picking up speed as a practice to help anyone from seniors to corporate executives reconnect with themselves, we don’t need a name or classroom to practice mindful movement. We can incorporate it in our everyday lives, in baby steps (pun intended!). I like to do it barefoot in the forest, focusing on my footsteps as I walk along the path – lifting my feet and putting them down ever so gently as to ‘kiss the earth with my feet’, as the Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh calls it. As opposed to just stomping through the path unaware not only of the effect of my thunderous stance on my own physical, mental and spiritual wellbeing, but of the impact I am having on the earth and what’s growing from it.
Mindful movement brings me back to the awareness that we’re all connected and, if I am paying attention, I notice what I need to notice to walk with intention and to be mindful of myself and the impact I am having on the whole.’
Excerpt from Chapter 2 of Your Vivid Life, An Invitation to Live a Radically Authentic Life