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 I Breathe Meditative Movement™

Breath . . .our gift of life. If you have had the awesome opportunity to be a part of the birthing or dying process, you know that the breath brings the body to life and what finally leaves when death occurs. When I am reminded of these two miracles of life, I pause. Sometimes I am afraid because I cannot control how this works. Other times, I marvel at this gift and am okay with life's mystery.

George Floyd, a Black man from my hometown, uttered the words, "I can't breathe" as Derek Chauvin, a white police officer's, knee was on his neck. As I write this, I pause again and take a breath. It is hard for me to comprehend. Conscious breathing is a way to keep me centered and in the moment. My heart wants to be open as my mind and body fight to understand many of the happenings in our world.

Over 40 years ago, I created the Meditative Movement technique. It is a way for me to acknowledge my own personal trauma by giving voice to my thoughts, bodily sensations, and emotions through physical movements with the breath and spoken core value affirmations. Using many other resources like counseling and 12 Step work, I can sometimes move beyond my own pain and break the dysfunctional cycle fueled by fear. This gives me hope and so I practice.

There is scientific evidence to support what I know. A 2017 University of Minnesota research study found this technique reduces anxiety, depression and fatigue while improving emotional and functional wellbeing. My intent on sharing the I Breathe Meditative Movement™ is to give you a way to heal your own mind, body and being. As with any form of art, where does the inspiration come from? With over 140 different movements, I was surprised at the position I was given for this one.

Although this technique is simple, it is powerful. We make meaning out of life. We try to make sense of events. Some experiences are easily let go of, other spur us to action. Know that this practice can trigger past traumas that are physically stored in your body so proceed with gentle self-care. Adapt the movement to your physical, mental, and spiritual ability. If you experience pain, discontinue the movement. If you sense that something is being strengthened in you, continue with curiosity. Written directions are provided below.

  1. Lie face down on a mat or towel. Feel the ground beneath your body. Position your body so you are comfortable with your head turned to one side. Make any adjustments as you feel your body supported by and connected to the earth.
  2. Next inhale and exhale four times. What do you feel?
  3. Now you will replace the exhalation with the affirmation. Inhale. As you exhale, say out loud, "I breathe." Hear your own voice say these words. Repeat three more times.
  4. Turn your head to the other side and repeat steps 1-3.
  5. Lastly, place your forehead on the floor and repeat the breath sequence and the spoken core value affirmations.

When I practice the movement, I remember George Floyd and my commitment to be the change I want to see in the world. Being aware of ourselves increases our own personal power.

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