Do you feel disconnected from the world around you? Everyone has those kinds of days sometimes. You’re “here”, but not really present. Your mind is wandering like a stray cat, looking for nothing and finding everything. Time seems to fly by and you go through the motions. If you’ve ever experienced any of these things, it may be time to take a step back and ask yourself, ‘Why?’
The proliferation of screens and technology in society today makes it more difficult than ever before to simply feel present. Our mental lives are off in one place, such as social media networks, while our physical bodies are residing in an entirely different one. This disconnect between mind and body can cause lasting stress, anxiety and fear.
Or, perhaps you are simply desiring a way to get exercise in a gentle, directed way.
The solution lies in re-establishing the connection between our minds and bodies. One way to do this is through certain practices. Read on to find out three different methods, all three which can be done by people of all ages and skill levels.
Some believe yoga has been around since the dawn of civilization. This ancient practice was born in the Himalayas, and soon spread around the world as people realized its inherent usefulness.
The practice consists of a series of body movements designed to re-unify the mind, body and spirit into one coherent whole. Yoga can be practiced by anyone of any religious affiliation.
According to Harvard Health, yoga leads to health benefits including lower blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar, a better body image, increased fitness, mindful eating and weight control.
If you’re unsure of where to start, a quick search online will return several resources to get you started.
Check out the video below for a primer on yoga stretches.
2. Tai Chi
For a gentler, more relaxed approach to loosening out tense muscles and relieving mental stress, consider tai chi. Whereas yoga takes a more rigorous stance in holding difficult poses to reach a happier state of mind, tai chi aims to do the opposite. Yoga is focused on stillness; tai chi on movement.
Tai Chi uses slow, directed and relaxed movements. Unlike yoga, there are no pauses while the body moves. Tai Chi may be a better choice for those with limited mobility — the poses are gentler and less likely to cause impact on the joints or muscles.
Tai Chi has been shown to improve flexibility and balance for people of all ages. When combined with meditation, tai chi can be a wonderful way of relieving stress and strengthening the connection between your mental and physical reality.
Here’s a quick walkthrough of a basic tai chi pose:
Pilates was developed by Joseph Pilates in twentieth-century Germany. It aims to strengthen and tone core muscle, increase flexibility and strengthen the heart. Pilates is a widely-supported system in the United States and other parts of the world.
One important aspect of Pilates is proper form in the movements. Classes, video and equipment are all great ways of learning how to execute the system properly.
To learn more about what Pilates can do for you, click here and check out the video below: