3 Great Exercises for Mindful Movement

rock maze

I think of Luis Rivera MS as my "anatomy guy." What the hell does that mean? It means that in the Beautiful Voyager Slack room, when there's a question about physiology, he is the one I turn to. He's got a Master of Science in Exercise and Rehabilitation Science and a whole lot more.

Luis also has a newsletter where he shares thoughts from his own coaching perspectives as well as basic mindfulness exercises like these. I asked Luis if he would mind if I shared these exercises with you, and he said,

"I hope folks find them beneficial as many are beginning to find the benefits of mindful movement."

That was very Luis of him.

mindful movement exercises

Standing Praise Release

  1. Stand nice and tall (If you can only sit, then sit nice and tall so your spine is as aligned as possible).

  2. Slowly lift your hands in front of you as if they had balloons on the ends of the wrist (using as little force as possible).

  3. Keep lifting your hands until they are directly vertical.
  4. Once they are above your head turn your palms up.
  5. Breathe deeply into your belly.
  6. Repeat the breath 3-9 times.
  7. Drop your hands by turning your palms to their original neutral position.
  8. Float the hands back down slowly.
  9. End your session.

"I use this every day. It is part of many qigong forms in many arts across the world, so I hope you benefit from it greatly." 

Hip Release

  1. Stand with both feet about shoulder width apart.
  2. Put both hands around the top of your hip bones. It's much higher on guys than women.
  3. When you find the top of your hips relax your hands into your side.
  4. Take a breathe and nice and let your shoulders relax.
  5. Once you feel relaxed in that position, turn to the left without turning your legs. Use only the waist. Don't use your knees.
  6. Breathe in and out as you face the left. As you take the next breath out, come back to the center standing neutral.
  7. Do the same thing to the other side. Turn to the right side and breathe deeply, allowing the breath to come to the bottom areas of your lungs. On the last out breath turn back to your center.
  8. Note: most folks find it easier to turn when they are breathing out, but try both to feel your muscles balance out the tension in your back.
  9. If at anytime you feel dizzy with any movement please stop the exercise immediately.

Breathing exercise

  1. Close your eyes.
  2. Touch the tip of your tongue on the roof of your mouth.
  3. Breathe in through your nose.
  4. Fill your lungs. Let the air out your mouth.
  5. Feel the air swirl as you repeat the process.
  6. There is no force.
  7. Just let the breathing settle into you.
  8. Continue for 5 minutes.

"I want this exercise to remind people that their lives matter for more than just work and to survive."