Mindfulness has become a household word over the last decades and is increasingly introduced in the workplace as a way of increasing wellbeing and awareness and reducing stress. It was originally a Buddhist practice which was intrinsically interlinked with Buddhist philosophy, but it has increasingly become separated from this and is by many used as a meditation practice without any ethical, philosophical or religious connotations.
What does mindfulness actually mean? The word implies that you fill your mind with something, but in a way it’s also an emptying of the mind: through the practice of being more and more present and aware, you slowly become able to let go of the incessant flow of everyday thoughts and to increasingly rest in the present moment and just be with what is. It sounds simple, but in reality it isn’t, as in the beginning sitting still whilst becoming more and more aware of the randomness of our thoughts and emotions can be quite a painful and disturbing experience and not necessarily conducive to finding inner peace fast. This is especially the case if you’re in a period of stress or going through painful experiences.
This is where mindful movement comes in. When you combine the activity of becoming more present with purposeful, deliberate movement, you fill your mind with the awareness of your body, sense of wellbeing and sense of movement. It is a way of creating a stronger and more positive mind-body connection which is, according to experts on stress and meditation, incredibly important for wellbeing and for increasing your bodily intelligence.
Eurythmy is an art form, but, as you can see on this website, it is also a form of mindful and social movement. It's effectiveness as a mindfulness tool lies not just in the strengthening of the mind-body connection, but in the fact that Eurythmy as a movement form in itself has a harmonizing effect. Many of the Eurythmy exercises that can be used mindfully bring balance to e.g. our sense of our own space and to how our thinking, feeling and willing/doing work together. They also bring an increased awareness to the process and flow of our movement as we endeavour to make our movements as connected and alive with awareness as possible. Words used by participants to describe how they feel following a workshop usually include calm, relaxed, or energised, with the exercises having a calming effect on mind processes.
“Lovely calm workshop. Good, useful, practical exercises. Good for mindfulness too.”