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Mindful : August 2014
48 mindful August 2014 getting started: movement Yoga 72% of readers polled do yoga. The more I’ve made exercise—par ticu- larly yoga—a non-negotiable par t of my life, the more my health and my outlook have improved. When I’m not doing yoga, I notice the change in both my mood and my body. I have a histor y of back prob- lems, and after surger y, yoga was par t of what I did to help keep my core strong. I’ve tried out various types, but I like Ashtanga because of the link between the movement and the breath. It gets me out of my head— always a good thing. And because I’m focusing so much on what I’m doing, it helps me feel calm. — Wendy Jacobs Armstrong Tai Chi 18% of readers polled practice tai chi. I’m 71 and retired; I try to do tai chi five days a week. It definitely improves my balance and flexibility. Even though you do it slowly, it requires significant leg strength to do the moves correctly. I had a hip replacement six months ago and I’m recovering ver y well. I attribute that in large par t to getting back into tai chi. It’s also simply ver y relaxing. Not too long ago, my wife asked me whether I had done any tai chi lately, and I replied, “No, I haven’t.” She said, “Do some. You’re much more patient when you’re practicing your tai chi regularly.” I’m sure she’s right. — Gary Sanguinet Qigong 17% of readers polled practice qigong. Practicing qigong harmonizes body, mind, and spirit. The movements are like tai chi, but tai chi is a mar tial ar t, whereas qigong is just for healing. There are 22,000 differ- ent types. I do CFQ, which is all about let- ting go. No special equipment is required, just some space to move around. It’s a daily practice that allows you to unwind and let go of all the stress in the body. I was in a car accident, and lived in chronic pain for 10 years—trauma memor y clings in you and keeps you from total wellness. But qigong released that trauma, and I don’t feel the pain anymore. — Dana Marcon 1 2 3 Love the Way You Move Here’s a selection of movement practices popular with our readers—with comments from avid practitioners.