Okay. It took a bit of time before I dared to write this article. The reason was that I thought I was starting to get ‘strange’. Why? Because my body started moving by itself during meditation. On top of that, I couldn’t find any information which told me that this was a normal thing. But don’t worry, everything is fine now… 😉 Here’s the story.
How it started
I’ve been practicing mediation for over a year now. Two times a day. On a daily basis. Early in the morning and late in the evening. Each session takes about half an hour. Sometimes longer. In the beginning I would focus on my breath. Trying to count it while I was sitting down on the ground. The word ‘trying’ is a good description for what I was doing since I would get distracted by thoughts a lot of the time.
After a while, as the distractions by thoughts decreased, I noticed that my back was aching a bit. I realized that I wasn’t sitting down properly and started using some pillows to sit on. Though they did help a bit, the pain was still there. My girlfriend told me about cushions that were made especially for meditation. I bought one and soon the pain was gone. And that’s when my body started moving by itself…
Am I going crazy?
By saying ‘moving by itself’ I don’t mean that during meditation I would stand up and follow wherever ‘my body wanted me to go’. No. It was subtle movement. Arms would slowly move up in the air. My back would curl backwards. My head would be pulled up. All kinds of movements. One by one. Very slowly. I let it happen. I just let the energy in my body do its work. I followed and trusted that the outcome was good.
Sometimes my girlfriend would see me as I was moving my body during meditation. To her and for me it was an unusual experience. I talked to her about what was happening. She just smiled. Not being able to completely understand what I was talking about. Neither could I.
Things are falling into place
I continued to let my body ‘take over’ during meditation. After a while things started to happen. The movements had all been subtle stretching movements (sometimes not so subtle). Due to this muscles would pop into place sometimes. A wonderful, though sometimes a bit painful, experience that gave me more energy to continue to follow my body. Apparently, due to the stress that I had built up in my body, my muscles had been cramped together. Especially in the area of my neck, my head, my shoulders and my chest. Because I was becoming aware of the amount of thoughts in my head, I also became aware of how I felt if I was not thinking. In those moments my body started healing itself.
You’re not what you think
Thoughts can create stress. If you repeat stressful thoughts the stress becomes a part of you and of your body. Lots of people, like me, walk around like it’s the most normal thing in the world to continuously listen to a voice in their head. But it’s not. Stressful thoughts as well as pleasant thoughts are just thoughts. They’re not you. Many people think they ARE their thoughts. But you are the consciousness that is listening to the thoughts. Not the thought itself. That’s a big difference. You are not the voice but the one that is listening to the voice in your head. Meditation is about being present in the now. About you as a conscious being. No thoughts. Just what is.
Yoga and Tai Chi
Some of the movements that I was making during meditation started to turn into positions that would appear repeatedly. As I was looking through a book about yoga I recognized the positions in the book. I WAS DOING THOSE POSITIONS. Without ever having done or read about yoga I had been doing yoga positions by just listening to my body. A very strange experience. Later on I found a book which described that if you listen to your true self your body will start to heal whatever needs healing inside you. This was what was happening to me. Other people had experienced it too. I was not ‘strange’, I was simply aware of signs that other people couldn’t hear yet because they didn’t pay attention to them.
Later on the movements started to blend into my daily life. Whenever I would focus on my body, be it sitting or standing, I would feel the signals. Behind my desk I would start rolling my head. While sitting in the train my shoulders would start to stretch the muscles attached to them. I would make the movements very subtle to not disturb other passengers. Nowadays, as I stand, my whole body starts to move into positions that are not part of yoga. As these positions grew bigger they looked like martial arts movements. Some of the movements resemble Tai Chi. I had to look this up though. Before I didn’t know anything about martial arts.
Habits I changed
Nowadays I am much more aware of my body than I was a year ago. I go for a run 3 times per week. It’s great. Years ago I also went for a run now and then but then I always took my watch with me. I had to run a certain distance within a set time or my run wouldn’t make me happy. I don’t even take my watch with me as I go for a run now. I just let my body set the pace and feel what’s happening as I run. It continuously gives signals. Run faster, run slower, stretch your back…
I also pay more attention to what, when and how much I eat and drink. Food and drinks are the fuel for your body. So I listen when my body needs them. How much it needs and what it prefers. Also going to sleep on time made a big difference in energy for me….
Why I wrote this article
The main reason that I wrote this article is to share my experiences so that others who run into the same situation find someone else on the web who they can relate to. So they see that they’re not ‘strange’ but just people that are aware of the needs of their body. I encourage everyone to try meditation. It’s something that will change your look at life.