A Point About Mindful Breathing and Moving

Gardener with vegetable seedling. Spring garden. Plant seedling in farmers hands.

Coordinating inhale and exhale with various arm movements: up-down, front-back, left-right can be a meditation. Maybe you can do it in a qigong or taiji class, but can you be aware of breath and motion while doing everyday things?

Tai chi is simply a way of paying attention to how you move while moving. Developing a daily practice is central to learning, but we usually struggle to remember every time we start to move not to jump ahead and forget the body.

Gardening in SW Colorado is a big activity now, because it’s springtime. How do you maintain awareness of breath while hoeing, shoveling, weeding, raking and watering? What is the priority?

I gardened and practiced taiji much of the morning yesterday. The weather has been nice for three days now—a big shift from April’s unsettled waves of clouds, some rain and snow and few periods of full sun. While working around the garden, I concentrated on paying attention to moving from the center of my body. I moved up-down, forward-backward, and left-right—initiating each move from that center point. Try it. See how long you can go without forgetting to hold the view of moving from the center.

 

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