“Body is made for motion and mind for stillness. We have reversed this completely.” My friend Bulbul wrote this comment along with a video which depicted how our body is made to move and gets aches and pains if it does not get the required and regular movement. It was however, her juxtaposition with mind that stopped me in my tracks and made me think!
Most of us have our minds racing at 100 miles per hour while sitting absolutely still at sedentary jobs and lifestyles. This seems to encapsulate the crux of the problem. We need to reverse this to go back to how nature intended for us to live with bodies in motion and calm and still minds. Isn’t this the journey we are all on?
To get your body in motion, we need to be aware of our daily level of activity and build in some time every day dedicated to joyful movement. Move in any way you fancy. Dance, skip, jump, run with the kids or dog, have more sex, get a standing desk, sweep and mop your house or take the stairs instead of the lift. I found that having a step counter made me aware of the level of inactivity in my day and I learnt that unless I dedicated an hour each day to moving, I could not meet my step goals.
The other part is the more difficult and age old problem – how to get the mind to be still when it’s very nature is to race around everywhere – past, future, imaginations and flights of fancy! Reigning in the mind is a real challenge. However, slowly, patiently with regular practice it is possible to learn to still the mind over time.
The breath is considered to be a bridge between the body and mind.
When we regulate our breath and become aware of it, it has a calming effect on the mind. It is also known to reduce your heart-rate and blood pressure. Practice 10 minutes of pranayama or diaphragm deep breathing whenever you can – in traffic, before sleeping, standing in queue or waiting for a tardy friend.
Guided meditations are another good place to start for a beginner. Hearing the soothing voice of the person guiding you into a relaxing state can also bring you to your still space within. Oprah Winfrey and Deepak Chopra offer frequent free experiences of guided meditations. I highly recommend these. My spiritual mentor and friend, Nithya Shanti too has a few downloadable meditations on his website.
Let’s endeavour to get back to living the way nature intended for us. Minds in stillness and bodies in motion!
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