NEW THING #33:
Do you feel like you want to meditate but you also can't sit still for more than 5 min?
I might have something just perfect for you!
It's called Dynamic Meditation, and it's like physical activity meets meditation practice.
It also has all of the benefits of meditation (i.e., it's proven to reduce stress, anxiety, or sleeping issues) plus you get your workout done at the same time.
There's only one downside - you look kind of weird while doing it.
And this is probably why I didn't get to do it earlier (a friend suggested this to me months ago)
But since the research on the topic is very encouraging, I finally decided to give it a try.
Dynamic Meditation - what is it?
Dynamic meditation is a type of practice that involves moving the body while meditating. The practice was developed by 20th-century Indian spiritual leader Osho who believed that in the modern world people find it hard to sit quietly and relax. And I have to give him that - many of my friends tell me that they are too ADD to sit still and meditate. But there's way more to Dynamic Meditation than not having to sit still.
Benefits of Dynamic Meditation
How it's done?
I'm not an expert nor medical professional & I didn't go to a Dynamic meditation class (I found them hard to come by in Toronto).
I studied YouTube videos, OSHO International Foundation website for guidelines & I tried to repeat it at home with music from Spotify.
And I liked it that way. But it's up to you to decide how & where to do it.
I’m not recommending this to be a substitute for professional medical treatment or therapy. Talk to your physician if you have any doubts.
5 Stages of Dynamic Meditation
- 1BREATHING: 10 minutes of chaotic breathing through the nose. Concentrate on the exhalation and make it energetic, deep, fast, and irregular. Move your body to make the breaths even deeper.
- 2CATHARSIS: 10 minutes of looking really weird. Let go of everything that is no longer serving you. Move like you want to get rid of it. To throw it out of your body. Scream, jump, kick, punch pillows, throw tantrums, do whatever you feel you need. Keep your eyes closed and behave like it's nobody's business. It looks kinda weird, but it feels good.
- 3JUMPING: 10 minutes of exhausting cardio. Jump up & down with your arms high above your head, shouting “Hoo! Hoo! Hoo!” If you can't shout it out loud, just repeat it in your head. You will get tired, but that's the whole idea. Don't stop. And keep your arms raised.
- 4FREEZING: 15 minutes of stillness. If you use the playlist, you will hear the word "STOP". That's when you're supposed to freeze in a position you are at this moment. Don't move, don't arrange your body, don't cough. Just stay still and observe everything that happens to you. Maybe you will feel the exhaustion, the little aches, the heaviness of your body. It's all part of the meditation. Just observe it.
- 5DANCING: 15 minutes of pure joy. You're done with the hard work. Enjoy it! Dance in a way that feels good to you in this moment.
How was it?
‣ First of all, it's hard work. I was physically tired & dripping sweat just like after a cardio workout.
‣ It takes time. The whole thing takes an hour to complete.
‣ Yes, it looks weird. It also feels weird at first, but with your eyes closed (that's how you're supposed to do it), you quickly forget about it.
‣ It's very liberating. After a while, you start moving with the flow of the music & don't give a damn about anything else.
‣ It proves that you're stronger than you think. Freezing in place for 15 min is quite demanding. Aches in my whole body & annoying drops of sweat made thoughts of quitting super sweet. But not giving up was way sweeter!
Was it worth it?
Dynamic Meditation wasn't as scary as I imagined it to be. I even had fun doing the physical part.
I'm not sure if I like it more than regular meditation practice (I actually enjoy sitting still).
But I definitely want to give it another try.
How about you? Are you going to try it?