How I Learned To Meditate – It’s Easier Than You Think

Carly BensonPractice, Spirituality0 Comments

how I learned to meditate dance carly benson

Everyone has heard about the benefits of meditation, but not everyone is always successful with quieting the mind and a lot of people have found it hard as well as frustrating to try. I know I’ve had my fair share of unsuccessful attempts. Sitting still and blocking out my thoughts, which are always running at a rapid pace, feels very forced to me and while I’ve done it before and understand why and how it works, it is definitely not the easiest thing to do.

When I was a little girl my parents would always catch me in the living room doing handstands or dancing. I’ve always been drawn to movement. For anyone that knows me, this affection took on the form of electronic music later in life, which further fueled my love for dance.

This love has developed into a spiritual practice for me in my adult years. Over the last 3-5 years, I began dancing in my living room. I took what I loved from the music scene, festivals and seeing DJ’s perform at clubs right into my home. I found that moving and sweating in the comforts of my living room really soothed my soul.

There is something refreshing about a dance session that leaves you sweating, out of breath and invigorated and almost feels like a cure for your troubles, even if only momentarily. I call it dance floor therapy and it doesn’t cost a pretty penny like most therapists do. Nor does it have anything to do with drinking, drugging or the negative attributes of the late night party scene.

The thing is, when you’re dancing, you’re not thinking about your to do lists, your worries, fears, hang ups, pain; instead you’re in the moment intuitively moving in a carefree fashion.

What I didn’t realize was that when I dance, I am meditating in a way that works for me. I’m fully present in the moment, doing serious business with myself and my thoughts are cleared. It has been such a powerful realization and spiritual practice that I’ve recently learned is actually an acknowledged non-traditional form of meditating that anyone can try.

Here is how I learned to meditate through dance and movement along with why anyone can and should do it.

I become more me. I feel most alive when I’m dancing. It lights me up and it brings me to life. Often when I’m feeling stressed, depressed or antsy, a dose of dance medicine serves me well. With dancing, I’m able to come into what feels most authentic to me and thus I’m able to work through what needs to move through me with more ease.

Movement helps us release things and energy that isn’t serving us. What you’re feeling is what comes out when you’re moving and it’s only through truly acknowledging, feeling and working through our genuine feelings that we are able to release them. Dancing cuts to the core of anything that is stirring inside.

Letting it all loose. I leave it all on my proverbial dance floor, aka my living room most times. Sometimes I close my eyes as I’m moving and I just zone in on what feels good to me and where my body wants to go. There is no purer form of expression than that of self-expression and dance is an amazing outlet for this.

Getting lost is the best way to find what you’re looking for sometimes. Dancing and this form of meditation allows us to get lost in the rhythm. It’s an uninhibited act of grace, fluidity and spontaneous collaboration within yourself. There is no judgment when you’re dancing by yourself. It’s just you and how you want to let things find their way out of you through this motion. When you get lost as your moving and forget about the world, even if only for a few minutes, often answers or realizations tend to start surfacing.

Unplugging from the world in this way let’s me to go into my inner world. Listening to the beat and moving with it puts your brain somewhere else. There is no time for worry in these moments.

“While I dance I cannot judge, I cannot hate, I cannot separate myself from life. I can only be joyful and whole. This is why I dance.” –Hans Bos

The connection to the music and myself satisfies me at the soul level. So many of us crave connection from others and sometimes we forget that same craving for connection to ourselves is just as important. Dancing is a way for me to be creative, go with the flow and move my body in a way that feels true to me. This connection is beautiful and fulfilling, not to mention its one hell of a workout.

So, my challenge and assignment to you is to get moving. Go in your living room, spare room, garage, back yard or anywhere you can be free to express yourself. Turn on your favorite jams, loud, and let yourself get lost. It doesn’t matter if you’re a good dancer or if you feel you can’t dance to save your life. The point isn’t how it looks, it’s how it makes you feel.

There are no instructions; it’s just you and the beat. You get to decide how you move, what you hear, the music you choose and most of all where you heart goes with it all.

Close your eyes and let yourself explore the music and your movement. Do this for 20 minutes or longer. Let me know how your experience goes. You might just be surprised how fun it is, how it changes your energy levels and leaves you smiling, clear headed and pumped up for life.

Be inspired. Calm your mind as you move your body. And embrace your EPICNESS. Perhaps the greatest piece of this practice is that when you dance from your heart, you begin to live from that place too.

Check me out in the video below to see what this looks like for me. Just click to press play. Be sure to follow my Instagram for behind the scenes photos of MAB life, travel adventures, inspirational tid bids I don’t share anywhere else and many more videos to come of me busting a move. Namaste MABers!

A video posted by Carly Benson (@carlybbenson) on