In a world where everyone seems captivated with extreme sports, cross fit type workouts, and endurance races, it may be difficult to appreciate the power of gentle movement. But don’t be fooled, gentle movement packs a lot of healing and fitness power.
Gentle movement practices include any type of slow deliberate movement that also incorporates the mind within the process. Several examples come from the east and include Yoga, Tai Chi, and Qi Gong, but there are also types of western dance and stretching routines that could be considered a gentle movement practice.
A gentle movement practice might work well for you if you are:
recovering from an injury
experiencing chronic pain or headaches
wanting to age gracefully
needing to improve balance & flexibility
diagnosed with a chronic disease or disorder
A regular practice of gentle movement can improve your strength, flexibility, balance and aerobic conditioning, and it can help to calm your mind, helping with stress and anxiety.
Many studies over the past 20 years have looked at how gentle movement practices impact people who have chronic diseases and disorders. Overall, the main outcome of adding a gentle movement practice to your life if you are experiencing a chronic disease is that your quality of life improves. Gentle movement does not “cure” chronic disease but many studies have shown improved overall outcomes if it’s added to a treatment plan.
Because gentle movement is very low risk, there is little reason to hesitate trying to incorporate one of these practices into your lifestyle.