What are you currently practicing dear reader?
I am currently practicing graceful movement, in that, I’m trying to be more slow and graceful in my movements as I go about my day to day life.
This has been a new revelation to me for this year- about the power of graceful movement in life and how this simple practice can play such a positive role in wellbeing and in experiencing joy.
Off late I am in love with the word ‘Grace’ and I want to embody it fully someday.
But for now I am just a novice who is practicing graceful movement in little daily activities whenever I can remember through the day.
And I am loving it whenever I do.
I think that’s what practice is all about- to not try to be perfect, but practice it whenever you remember without any feeling of agitation.
So what is graceful movement?
Table of Contents
Graceful movement is being gentle in your actions and movements.
It is not just something that is in your mind, but more about physically doing things gracefully throughout your day.
How do you wash the dishes? How do you walk? How do you keep things after using them?
Graceful movement is when you move your body gracefully with ease and lightness as if doing a slow dance in your day to day actions and activities.
How to practice graceful movement
In this life, we cannot always do great things, but we can do small things with great love.Mother teresa
Start by doing little things in your day to day life gently. Make gentleness and grace your philosophy and guiding force of your life.
Here are someways you can practice graceful movement
Zen master Thich NHat Hanh says, ‘Walk as if you are kissing the Earth with your feet’
He says every time we walk is an opportunity to practice mindful walking. Mindful walking and gentle walking are not very different.
You cannot be mindful unless you are gentle, and you cannot be gentle unless you are mindful.
You can practice gentle walking in little moments of your day when you wake up in the morning and get up from bed to your bathroom or to the kitchen.
Or you can practice gentle movement in your evening walk.
Walk gently, slowly and lightly as if there is a rhythm in your walk.
Was if you have let all burden away, and walk as if you have no where to go.
See how peaceful it makes you feel.
Here I’d like to mention a YouTuber Mady Morrison who completely changed the way I exercise and move my body.
Up until I came across her channel, exercise for me was only something that helped me move my body and it was very mechanical.
There was no flow and rhythm in my movements when I exercised, and isn’t it how we all normally exercise?
But coming across her stretching exercises and other yoga videos I simply loved how she did even simple movements with such rhythm, ease and grace.
The way she keeps her hands on floor, the way she moves her arms as if doing a slow dance and the way she does even small movements made me also want to be gracious in my movements.
Now exercise has also become a ritual for me to practice gracefulness.
When I move my body gracefully, I feel much more lighter, calmer, happier and deeply joyful from the heart.
Gracefully doing chores
Whatever household chores that you have to do whether it is washing the dishes, folding your clothes from the dryer, cooking your food, do it gracefully, slowly and without any feeling that the task is a nuisance.
Ask yourself, ‘How can I do this small task with grace and lightness?’
Then, whatever is in front of you that you have to do, do them as an opportunity to practice gracefulness and accept everything as sacred.
Do everything in life as if its a part of sacred dance.
Keeping things gently
We are in the habit of hurrying and wanting to get things done quickly. When we wash the dishes we just keep them in our shelves with no thought.
When we have to throw away something we just throw it away from afar.
We do things hurriedly and often make so much noise.
I always have my first tea in a tea shop when I am on my evening walk. After finishing, I would always throw away my cup without a thought in the dustbin from afar.
I see everyone doing so too.
But these days, I don’t throw, but keep the cup gently in the trash basket. Even doing this small thing makes me feel at ease and makes me feel good.
These are all little things we can be gentle in.
Hold your cup gently with two hands as you take your sips and wash your cup gently.
After you wake up, open your curtains gently and fold your blankets with ease. Bow down in prayer and touch the Earth.
Be gentle with as many things as you can.
Gracefulness, mindfulness and thankfulness are all interlinked.
In one post I had written about why thankfulness is mindfulness.
To be graceful also, you have to be thankful.
One cannot be graceful if one is always having all sets of complains.
In one of the podcast episode of ‘The way out is in’, the host brother Phaphuu shares that he is gentle with his cushion after he finishes his sitting mediation and he bows down to it.
When asked why, since the cushion is simply an object with no feelings.
But he says his cushion is also something that aids him in his meditation practice. Without it his meditation wouldn’t be as wonderful as it is.
So he is thankful to it and bows to it. This makes him feel good and honours his practice more.
So practice thankfulness and practice gracefulness.
See if it makes a difference in the way you feel and in the way you live your life.
It is making a difference in mine.
And here is how..
What is so powerful about graceful movement
Our body and our mind is intimately connected, much more than we realise.
Its not just our mind that affects the body- for example when we get mentally stressed, the body also shows physical exhaustion, poor sleep, high blood pressure etc.
When we’re angry, it shows physically in our body through fast breathing or our cheeks start to turn red. When we’re sad, our body shows it physically through tears.
So it is clear that our mind or our mental state affects our body.
But what we often don’t realise is how our bodily actions and movements also equally affects our mental state and wellbeing.
This was something new in understanding to me too. Hence I wanted to share through this post.
Here is what happens when you start practicing graceful movement
- You become more aware of your posture and your bodily movements which is so very important to stay mindful and present.
- Graceful body movements helps you bring more ease in your day to day life.
- It helps in reducing anxiety
- Doing things gracefully helps you cultivate patience and you stop doing things in a hurry just for the sake of it.
- Graceful movement makes you more mindful of what you’re doing
- Lastly, it lets you enjoy even small thing and lets you do things with love.
Quotes on gracefulness
Now, all of a sudden all these quotes on gracefulness and gentleness makes so much sense.
I wanted to share a few which I really liked
“Grace has been defined as the outward expression of the inward harmony of the soul.” ~ William Hazlitt
“Gracefulness is to the body what understanding is to the mind.” ~ Francois de La Rochefoucauld
“When someone mentions the gracefulness of the night sky, climb up on the roof and dance and say, like this?” ~ Rumi
“If you have grace, you have won”
“The greatest strength a man can achieve is gentleness”
This much for today.
Graceful movement does make a big impact on our wellbeing and mental state. Do give it a try and let us practice it again and again until we embody grace.
May we be as gentle as a dew drop resting on a flower,
May our existence bring delight to all as a light shower
For in our gracefulness rests our peace and power.