How to Create a Mindful Movement Practice You Love

joanna-nix-389128-unsplash.jpg

Movement is such an important part of keeping our bodies happy, energized, and our minds at ease. There’s a reason why I don’t call movement “exercise.” To me, exercise is associated with things like calorie counting, macros (still not totally sure what those are), and obsessive work outs that start with “Get Tight Abs For Summer!!” that we all know are impossible to stick to. Instead, I like to use “mindful movement” as a way to express how I energize and make my body feel good.

I’ve been on a quest to understand what mindful movement means to me for about a year now, and I think I’ve finally cracked the code. I want to share with you all how to create a movement practice of your own that you absolutely love. But first, one rule you’ve got to remember: the goal in moving your body is to feel good, both physically and mentally. Appearance-focused, societal influences on what your body “should” look like are not welcome to this mindful movement practice! It’s about loving your body for what it is, what it’s capable of, and how strong it can be. Okay, carry on.  

Free-write: What kind of movement puts a smile on your face and makes you feel energized?

Most of my how-to’s incorporate writing in some way and this is no different. Write the above question at the top of your page, and then either recall from past experience or brainstorm what kinds of movement you think would bring you the most joy. How does this movement make you feel and why does it make you feel that way?

Try new kinds of movement

This is the fun part. It’s time to Google search and use those free class trials to your heart’s content to find movement that you adore. So far, I’ve tried exercise apps (Sworkit, Aaptiv, and Nike Training), boxing classes, walking, running, and yoga. I paid special attention to what left me feeling happy versus what left me feeling happy it was all over with. The end result? I now incorporate a mix of long walks, yoga, and Nike Training workouts into my practice!

Have fun with it

Play around a bit with how often you move, and make sure there’s lots of variation. Who wants to do the same 15 min sequence every time? Not I. So make sure to switch it up! The more variety, the less boring it will be and the more you’ll feel motivated to continue the fun. If you’re a schedule kind of person, go ahead and create one for yourself. If you’re someone like me who enjoys a little variety, just keep in mind the times you want to get active and stick to them.

Move when you crave it, never force it

Listen to your body. Love on it all the time and listen to it! There are times when you will be ready to get up and move, and others when honestly it’s the last thing you could even think to do. It’s best to find a happy medium here. Will you always be ready to go? Probably not. But if your body is screaming “no!” it’s best to listen to it. You’ll thank yourself later. Instead, try and find the optimal times when you know you’ll feel excited to get your behind going and search for ways to get movement in then.

Rest

Your body needs rest. Period. Rest days are key, especially if you’re one to get hooked on exercise once you get started. Take 👏🏽a 👏🏽break 👏🏽.