We’ve talked about meditation a bit before at Relive Everyday. Previously, we only gave a cursory glance at the practice. But in fact, meditation is a vast ocean with many different forms and applications. We’ll look at some of the meditative practices I’m most familiar with: mindful movement and breathwork.
Benefits of Mindful Movement and Breathwork
The benefits that meditation styles like mindful movement and breathwork can provide are too numerous to cover in a single post. However, here are some scientifically proven benefits that these kinds of practices can offer.
Improved Memory and Focus
One big benefit of these meditation practices is extending your attention span. In fact, multiple types of meditation practices appear to rewire distracting patterns in your brain. This can directly contribute to less mind-wandering and “zoning out.” Not only that, but studies show that practices like mindful movement and breathwork appear to reduce memory loss related to aging and improve cognition in older practitioners, too.
Fighting Addictive Behaviors
Improving your mental fortitude is one more advantage that meditation can also provide. By boosting your psychological toughness in this way, these practices may help you improve your impulse control and recognize triggers that contribute to addiction.
This appears to work with alcohol, along with other drugs, sources say. However, it’s not limited to substance use. Meditation can also help practitioners control other types of cravings, too. For example, 14 different studies have shown that meditation can help combat emotional/binge eating, too.
Reducing Stress and Anxiety
Anxiety has become ubiquitous these days. Recent numbers show that one in three Americans will feel anxiety at some point during their adult lives (which seems pretty low if you ask me). Notably, women appear to feel anxiety more acutely than men do. The medical world has caught on, prescribing anti-anxiety medications like candy.
But you may have another tool in your kit for managing anxiety and stress: meditation. Countless pieces of research have shown that meditation can trigger a massive reduction in stress and anxiety. Even better, meditation is even more effective for those who are particularly susceptible to stress and anxiety.
Mindful Movement and Breathwork Practices
Now that we’ve covered some of the benefits you can glean from mindful movement and breathwork, we can look at a few specific forms of these practices. Here are some of my favorites!
You probably don’t imagine making much noise when you think of yoga. That’s not the case with Kundalini yoga. Known as the “yoga of awareness,” this form of yogic practice involves activating your energy, or “shakti.” This primordial feminine cosmic energy. Traditional wisdom suggests that shakti resides in the base of your spine.
Kundalini yoga invokes more than just moving through different asanas to activate your shakti. While it does involve moving through poses, Kundalini yoga also requires a practitioner to chant and sing while performing breathing exercises and moving through different poses. Kundalini yoga was first described in Vedic texts written about 3,000 years ago. Compared to other types of yoga, Kundalini has a decidedly spiritual element.
Breathwork is another popular form of physical meditation therapy. There are a ton of flavors of breathwork out there, but they all involve focusing on breathing intentionally. This conscious, focused breathing helps practitioners relax as they perform it and leaves them feeling invigorated once it’s complete.
As mentioned, there are a lot of different breathwork schools. Shamanic Breathwork is one popular philosophy, along with Transformational Breath. Holotropic Breathwork, developed by renowned Czech psychiatrist and medical doctor Stanislav Graf, is also popular.
Lastly, Somatic Release is a form of breathwork that focuses on the body’s experience. We have trauma stored in our bodies from all sorts of big and small events in our lives. That energy needs to move, and Somatic Release allows us to tap into this energetic flow with the help of a Somatic Release Practitioner. The practitioner will take you through an hour-long journey that uses your breath to create a vivid physical experience. Hence, you feel your way into healing rather than ruminate about it like you might at a therapist’s office.
Learn More about Mindful Movement and Breathwork with Amanda
Interested in starting your own practice using mindful movement or breathwork? There’s plenty of information out there to get you started. But sometimes, learning from a teacher is the best way to make big strides fast.
If you’d like to kickstart your practice, I can help. I offer classes online, and we can meet in person if you live in the Austin, TX area. If you want to learn more, reach out to me by signing up for a free consultation with me.
I look forward to hearing from you!