Mindful movement puts an emphasis on moving your body and not on the workout itself.
The word “mindful” is used in all aspects of everyday life, whether we’re talking about eating or meditating. It refers to a state of mind where you pause and listen to your body. Feeling hungry or anxious? Mindfulness allows you to have a better understanding of your feelings, so you get to provide your body what it needs — maybe it’s food, maybe it’s just sleep.
Mindfulness allows people to stay present and it’s a skill that has been successful in making tons of people feel happier and healthier, shifting their approach to a lot of hot button issues. It’s a term that applies to fitness, too.
Many people have complicated relationships with their bodies and, thus, with their fitness. They equate working out with a form of punishment, utilizing movement as ways of burning calories and changing their bodies.
While working out is important due to its mental and physical benefits, mindful movement puts an emphasis on moving your body and not on the workout itself. It gives people the opportunity to swap running for walking, if that’s what their bodies are telling them to do.
“Don’t buy a spin bike because a commercial told you it is ‘the best.’ Stop going to classes you dread showing up for. The easiest way to make movement more of a regular thing is to enjoy what you do,” fitness coach Lauren Leavell tells Huffington Post.
While you might still need to push yourself to work out and move more often during your day to day life, a focus on mindfulness allows you “permission” to give yourself a break, fostering a healthier relationship with your body and your appearance.
Our relationships with fitness and our bodies are personal and often challenging to upgrade, but tuning in to your body and trying to do what feels good, at least on occasion, can provide a much needed break for anyone who’s ever felt pressured to work out or to look a certain way.