DAY 18 : HOW WIGGLING YOUR BUTT CAN HELP YOU MEDITATE
No, I’m not joking!
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Earlier in the 28 Day Meditation Challenge, we talked about a senior executive who was too stressed to meditate and was sent away to do deep relaxations every day for a number of months. Only then was he able to learn how to meditate.
By now, we’ve sussed that being able to relax is essential for being able to meditate. If you’re stressed or tired, your meditation won’t be as enjoyable or effective as when you’re feeling fresh and awake. But often we don’t have the time to do a deep relaxation, yet we still want to meditate.
What can you do?
Wiggle Your Butt!
You can shake out the stress. This is a really useful – and somewhat unexpected – technique that I use in face to face classes and workshops with meditation and mindfulness students.
Note: please stay within your safe range of movement! You know what is comfortable for you and there’s no point in injuring yourself.
If movement is difficult for you, then you can imagine or visualise yourself doing these exercises, for a similar wake-up effect.
- Put some music on that you can’t help but bounce to.
Choose something that brings a smile to your face and inspires you to dance.
- Stand up (ideally!) and start with your fingertips.
Wiggle and shake them in time to the music. Then shake your hands and your wrists. Flick your fingertips as though you are flicking the stress away, flicking away the worries, flicking away the tension.
- Move the shaking up your arms.
You can do one arm at a time or both arms. Really give them a shake and a wobble, dancing to the music. Nobody’s watching. Nobody cares what you look like!
- Then, keeping the arms going, move on to your feet and legs.
Try to stand on one foot (you may need to balance against a wall), flicking the stress and tension out of your toes, your feet, your ankles, your legs, your knees – all the way up to the hips. Do the other leg. Smile and let the tension and the stress go, as you shake it out.
- Then wiggle your backside!
Shake the tension out, wiggle your hips. Jiggle your waist. Wobble your shoulders. Move to the music!
- Gently move your neck and face.
Be very gentle with your neck, moving it slowly, to loosen and release any tension. Then screw up your face tight, hold it for a moment and then let it go.
- And finally… laugh!
One of the best ways to release stress and tension, to allow you to relax, is to laugh. So while you’re dancing, laugh out loud. If you can think of something funny and really laugh while you are doing all this, then go for it! Don’t worry about feeling self-conscious, just laugh as you shake out the stress and tension.
Even if you start by faking it, you’ll soon find the laughter gets your endorphins flowing and helps you to feel happier.
You will be amazed at how even two or three minutes of this will completely shift your mood.
You might be wondering, “How can I meditate, if I’ve just been jumping up and down?” Well, by spending the first few moments of your meditation allowing your body to settle and relax, then practising acceptance, you’ll find yourself naturally relaxed and alert – ideal conditions for effective meditation.
This settling process is the same one you have been using at the start of your daily meditation, for the last few weeks.
If you’ve shaken out the tension and woken yourself up, smiling and laughing to get the endorphins going, you’ll find you enjoy your meditation session much more than if you come to it stressed and beat yourself up over the fact it didn’t work.
So if you are too tired to meditate, stick on some music and shake it out.
Here’s a video to guide you through a great activation sequence to wake up your body and mind – before you meditate! I know it sounds strange, but it works 🙂
Remember, you can be mindful as you do this. Really focus on the movement in each part of the body, giving your mind a break and being fully ‘present’ to the physical sensations.
Day 18 Affirmation
I enjoy preparing for my meditation time.
P.S. Tomorrow we’re dealing with the ‘meditation hump’.
P.P.S. The key links you need for week three are:
Week 3 Meditation: