Summer Heat: Moving Mindfully

Summer Heat: Moving Mindfully


Summer is finally here. I have always really been drawn to the summer months. Maybe it is partly because my body just feels better. It could also be because growing up, summers are filled with all the things you want to do and much less of what you have to do. No one tells you that as an adult, the things you “have” to do never really take a break. Of course you can always take a true vacation, but it just isn’t the same thing as having a long stretch of time completely focused on things that bring you joy.


In my life, I have tried to make things that bring me join part of my routine to make the obligations seem not so daunting. Breaking up the big things into smaller chunks and filling the spaces with things that bring joy. That includes taking a moment here and there to simply be mindful.


What is being mindful? Many people think it is meditation. It can be, but doesn’t have to be. It is really any moment in which you take the time to feel the sensations you are experiencing. If you are taking the dogs out, maybe feeling the sun on your face or the grass between your toes. If you are making lunch, maybe taking some time to take in the aroma and the taste of what you are eating. If you are taking a shower, pausing to feel the water hitting your skin. There are many moments like this that happen throughout the day every day and we usually don’t pay any attention. Our mind likes to be elsewhere or on to the next thing. I challenge you to just make an effort to bring mindfulness to one routine task and see if it changes how you feel.


If that is being mindful, what does it mean to move mindfully? Moving mindfully is an attempt to keep the awareness of sensation in the body while also moving. Much like meditation, the mind likes to wander and your job is to notice that wandering and come back to the sensations in the body. I usually start with the sensation of breath to bring in the focus. Everyone breathes, but how often do you really pay attention to how your breathing feels in your body. How often do you have anxiety when you are sitting still and noticing that sensation? Sometimes if you struggle with meditation and focusing on the breath, moving mindfully is just the ticket to keep the brain occupied.


If this sound like something you would be interested in exploring, join me virtually through Earthsong Yoga for one of my Gentle Kripalu classes. A Kripalu practice is all about moving mindfully and providing the body whatever support it needs during a gently yoga practice. You do not need to be strong or flexible already in order to practice. You could have an injury, or an illness as long as you are willing to be present in your own body and make smart choices for you. When I started taking yoga, I was trying to come back to dance after a femur and hip fracture caused by a motorcycle accident. Along with the normal progression of Cystic Fibrosis at the time.  I truly believe if I could start a practice with all those things going on, anyone can. You just need to find the right kind of practice to help support your body and mind.

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