In the past, I’ve struggled with seated meditation because when I remove distractions, it feels like an opportunity for anxious thoughts to take over. Mindful movement has felt more manageable to me because there is more to focus on. As I’ve practiced yoga more, it’s become easier for my mind to settle and seated meditation now feels accessible to me when it didn’t before. I had some questions about this and went to Cara Bradley, a mind-body expert and mindful movement instructor for her advice on times when it feels like there’s a mental barrier to seated, still meditation.
Ava Whitney-Coulter: To start off, not all movement is mindful, so what makes mindful movement different?
Cara Bradley: What makes movement mindful is when we place all of our attention on movement and the body and what’s happening in the body as you move; the sensations that are arising, even the thoughts. A seated formal mindfulness practice would be, for the most part, paying attention to your body sensations, breath, thoughts, and emotions. The mindful movement practice doesn’t change the practice all that much. It just adds movement as an anchor for your attention. Any movement can be mindful.