3 simple chair-based conscious movement practices –


Posted by Mayuri Gonzalez

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Conscious movement is an effective way to reduce stress and its physical consequences. When we bring a conscious focus to chair yoga, we offer a simple and accessible way to integrate conscious movement and practice into our daily lives to get out of our head, into our body, to find the present moment.

Increasingly, researchers say the movement can cultivate awareness when attention is directed in a specific way. This is good news for those of us who struggle with the concept of more formal sitting meditation practices. “Yes! Let me move instead of sitting still! And get the same benefits! “

This is especially relevant for children and adolescents when considering the integration of mindfulness in schools and clinical settings. Our children are motorists and agitators, and this movement can act as a rich playground for the practice of mindfulness. When we move intentionally, we are changing the shape of our body, and this in turn can affect how we feel at this time. Each shape feels different to our body, and when we provide conscious exploration of these simple postures and movement patterns, we can help foster a diverse set of experiences for children to practice by paying attention, while encouraging incarnation and curiosity.

In addition, conscious movement can help children prepare for more traditional mindfulness practices. Movement allows them to gain some energy and move before calmer, calmer practices of consciousness, such as labeling thought, conscious breathing, or body scans.


3 SIMPLE PRACTICES OF CONSCIOUS MOVEMENT

I invite you to take a moment to explore each of the three simple movement practices below. Don’t be in a hurry. You may want to repeat each movement for a few minutes to really encourage the exploration. Remember that awareness of the present moment, in the midst of movement, is the most important aspect of this practice. Don’t worry so much about making the move “correct.” Instead, bring a spirit of curiosity and care to each movement and watch what happens.


1. FLOWER ARMS IN FLOWER: Start by sitting in a high yoga chair and raise your arms to one side, palms facing up, until your arms are at shoulder height and parallel to the floor. Inhaling, touch your shoulders with your fingertips, keeping your arms horizontal. Exhaling, open your arms in a horizontal position, stretching your palms open.

Reflection question: How does this feel if you focus on giving energy to your fingers every time you stretch your arms?

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2. COMPLETE ARM CIRCLES: Start sitting in a high yoga chair and stretch your arms out in front of you and join your palms together. Inhale, raise your arms up and spread your hands apart so that your arms can be stretched over your head. Exhaling, the circle continues, your arms turning back until your fingers point to the ground. Inhaling, raise your arms back and reverse the circle. Exhale as you bring your palms and arms down in front of you.

Reflection question: Did one direction of the arm circles feel more comfortable than the other today?

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3. ADVANCE FOLDS: Start sitting in a high yoga chair. Breathe and raise your arms above your head, palms forward. Look up at the sky. exhale, bend at the waist as you lower your arms to touch the floor, ankles, or shins. Release your neck. From this position, inhale and hold your back straight as you go back up to reach your fingers toward the sky.

Reflection question: What parts of my body become stronger during this activity? Which ones are stretched?

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Additional resources:

Want to learn more about how to integrate movement into your mindfulness practice or set of teaching tools using chair yoga?

Take a look:

WE! Mindful Chair yoga card

Learn online with our chair yoga course for educators and clinicians (6 hours)


About the author:

Mayuri Gonzalez (E-RYT, RCYT) has been practicing yoga and meditation since she was a child for over 25 years and specializes in bringing yoga and mindfulness to children. She has been teaching Little Flower Yoga since 2010 and is currently the director of The School Yoga Project, an LFY program that offers direct service yoga and mindfulness classes for preschoolers and K-12 schools in the New York metropolitan area. , staff development workshops, yoga staff and tools for schools across the country.

For more information on Little Flower Yoga and The School Yoga Project, visit www.littlefloweryoga.com. Contact Mayuri by email at mayuri@littlefloweryoga.com.

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