Movement has the capacity to take us to the home of the soul, the world within for which we have no name. – Anna Halprin
One summer I spent a blissful week being inspired by the amazing dancer and visionary, Anna Halprin, who at 95 was still teaching, dancing and sharing her vision of a more loving future for humankind.
Some days we spent the whole morning practising moving from standing up to lying down on the floor, something that I never thought I would see a 95-year-old doing unaided.
Anna demonstrated each movement with such grace and instructed us with such a wonderful sense of humour, that each of us was invited into our own body with more courage, compassion and curiosity.
In this practice, see how deeply you can enter into the embrace of your own movement.
To bring additional depth to this exercise, select a piece of calming music to accompany your practice.
Set a timer for five or ten minutes.
This is a gentle moving meditation that begins in a standing or seated position with the eyes closed. Work within the limitations of your own body. If dizziness is experienced, reduce the movement, pause or sit down and bring your focus back to the breath alone.
Stand with the eyes closed and breathe into the whole body noticing the sensations that arise in your awareness.
Feel the weight of the head and allow it to become heavy and to drop forward in a slow and controlled way. Let the head fall to a point that feels comfortable without straining.
Pause for a moment before allowing the head to return slowly to the upright position.
Now connect the breath and this movement together by imagining that it is the breath itself that initiates and creates the movement of your head. As you inhale, the head will rise and on the exhale, the head will fall. Take a break from the movement whenever needed. Keep the breathing measured, relaxed, and even.
Continue following this practice allowing yourself to become more and more curious about the physical sensations that arise.
Continue until the timer sounds.
Record your experience in your Mindfulness Journal. Many of the sensations that arise within this exercise are subtle so be as accurate and specific in your notes as you can.
If practising with others, take turns sharing your discoveries.
This practice is an extract from 100 Mindfulness Meditations: The Ultimate Collection of Inspiring Daily Practices by Neil Seligman published by Conscious House and available on Amazon priced £12.99.
10 Mindfulness Meditations is an album of audio meditations to accompany the book and is now available on iTunes priced £7.99.
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