March is Mindful Movement Month!

ayurveda brain health healthy living meditation mindful movement morning practice strength training stress-free Mar 01, 2024

We all know that regular exercise is essential for physical health and psychological well-being. 

However, what we are seeing is that there is a growing epidemic of obesity and poor health in the West, and it is now affecting more and more children. 

Humans are more sedentary than at any other time in recorded history. 

As a result, we suffer increased risks for heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, arthritis, osteoporosis, cancer, and other diseases. 

And these chronic health conditions are becoming more prevalent the longer we live. 

But it doesn't have to be this way!

BONUS ~ DOWNLOAD “Peg’s 10-minute Morning Mobility Routine” ~ SEE BELOW 

An important part of a healthy daily routine is mindful movement, which is exercise where we are present and aware of the sensations and movements of our bodies. 

In fact all exercise is more effective, and you are better able to focus on the mechanics of the movement including modifications for health and safety, if you are fully present (mindful and aware) of what’s happening in each moment.   

 This means no distractions like reading, TV, etc!

A complete practice of mindful movement includes these three elements: 

  1. Cardiovascular/aerobic activity – detoxifies the body, strengthens the heart, boosts mood, and increases stamina 
  2. Strength/Muscle training – builds muscle mass and protects bone health 
  3. Flexibility/Mobility training – beneficial for joint mobility, calming the nervous system, and integrating the mind/body system 

DID YOU KNOW?  A yoga practice can easily provide strength training and flexibility training, and some forms of yoga also support cardiovascular training.

According to Ayurveda - Mindful Movement for your Dosha

Not sure what Ayurveda is, or haven’t taken the test to determine your dosha (body constitution)?  Read all about it, and find the link to the Dosha Test HERE.

When choosing a form of mindful exercise, it’s important to consider your primary dosha, as well as any dosha imbalances you are currently experiencing. 

  • To balance Vata, choose exercises that are grounding and slow-moving, such as yoga, tai chi, walking, short hikes, and light bicycling. 
  • To balance Pitta, choose medium-paced exercises, including swimming, skiing, biking, brisk walking or jogging, and outdoor activities. 
  • To balance Kapha, get your blood flowing and energy moving with exercises such as brisk walking or running, aerobics, dancing, rowing, vigorous yoga, and weight training. 

However, adding to any imbalance will only increase that imbalance. For example: 

  • If a Vata type regularly engages in very brisk exercises, then that exercise will increase the activity within the already active Vata body/mind. 
  • If a predominantly Pitta type engages only in competitive sports, then Pitta’s fire will likely increase. 
  • If a Kapha engages only in slow-moving exercises like tai chi, then that activity will make the person feel slower and heavier. 

DID YOU KNOW?  Pranayama is a form of mindful movement because when you’re breathing, prana, the vital life force, circulates through the energy channels of the body. You can include regular pranayama practices to enhance the flow of prana and experience other benefits for mind-body health. 

Mindful awareness and mindful movement are equally important for whole health. 

A regular exercise program is also important for a healthy lifestyle.  Strength training, flexibility, and cardiovascular conditioning make up the backbone of a well-rounded fitness routine that can keep you healthy and strong throughout your life. 

While these two activities seem dissimilar—in one you’re cultivating physical and mental stillness, and in the other you’re in a state of heightened physical and mental activity—it’s possible to merge awareness and physical exercise together as one. This allows you to experience the present moment during your physical activity. 

Yoga is a practice that focuses specifically on mind/body integration and deepens the experience of the spirit through physical activity. 

The regular practice of yoga (and also meditation) is the foundation for cultivating and experiencing the restful awareness response, an expanded state in which you are calm and rested yet also mentally alert. It’s this state of heightened awareness that allows your focus to be directed internally rather than externally.  Any mindfulness-based practice in which you pay attention to subtle nuances and are cognizant of sensory perception at every level helps to establish this response. 

Over the next 3 weeks, we will look in turn at each of the three elements of mindful movement – strength, cardiovascular and mobility.

AND no matter what kind of movement, exercise, sport or activity that you’re focusing on, it’s beneficial to begin your day with a brief mobility warm-up routine – see below!

This Week’s Home Practice ~ start your day with “Peg’s 10-minute Morning Mobility Routine”

  1. BONUS – DOWNLOAD “Peg’s 10-minute Morning Mobility Routine” HERE
  2. Make a commitment to yourself  – set aside 10 minutes each morning to do the routine, as soon as possible after you get up
  3. Remember to breathe and focus on your movement, a.k.a. Be mindful!
  4. And you can complete your Morning Practice by following up Mobility with Breathwork and Meditation!
  5. Notice how your body feels before and after the routine each day; and at the beginning and end of the week.
  6. Are you ready to commit to this activity as an ongoing practice?

For more info on this and other natural health topics:

Submit your questions here!

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