The Evolve Move Play Daily Practice
Improve your health, mood and physical function with these simple daily practices!
Practicing movement daily develops a habit of self discipline and care, that is the foundation for higher level movement practices. If you start with these 5 basic practices, you will begin feeling more deeply embodied, more mobile, calmer, happier and ready to take on harder challenges.
Meditation (10 minutes)
Meditation is a practice of developing the ability to control what you pay attention to and learning how to pay attention more deeply to things that will improve your life. Few things are more necessary in a world with so many unnatural demands on our attention. My favorite meditation practices are.
- Focus Meditation – Simply focus your attention on a single point and try to maintain that attention while breathing through the nose deeply into the belly. Do not be alarmed if your mind is filled with chatter initially, simply practice gently returning that attention to the same central point each time it strays.
- Body Scan – While lying down focus your attention sequentially on the face followed by the back of neck, the front of the neck, the shoulders, the chest, the lower back, the abdominals,the hamstrings and glutes, the quads, the calves the, shins and finally the feet. As you do this ask yourself where excess tension or pain signals are and use your breathe to relax the tissue and release the pain.
- Stoic Negative Meditation – This is more advanced meditation, in which you contemplate the eventual loss of everything that matters to you, and practice releasing your negative emotional reaction to those losses. This is powerful means of developing resilience to the difficult passages in life.
Yin movement (10 minutes)
Gentle movement through wide ranges of motion, coupled with full, gentle breathing, activates the neuromuscular system without over stressing it, preparing us for any harder training activities to come, and improving mood and mental function throughout the day. This type of movement, whether derived from Qi Gong, internal martial arts, or Yoga is perfect point of intersection between meditation and movement practice. Follow along with the sequence in the video or choose a similar sequence.
Joint Rotations (10 minutes)
Functional joints are fundamental to health and movement capability. When we live sedentary lives it is far too easy for our joints to never see large portions of their ranges of motion. What we don’t use atrophies, so a daily joint rotation practice is important to prevent loss of range of motion and coordination in the joint. Joint rotations also lubricate the joints with synovial fluid, helping them heal faster and preparing them for any more intense movement practices to follow.
Take a Walk
This one is simple, just get up and go for a walk. I try to walk every morning and take short walks around lunch and in them mid afternoon to recover my attention. Walking in natural green spaces helps recover attention better than a treadmill or walking through a city, and barefoot walking will help develop your feet. You can add in other things like tracking, gathering wild foods, or identifying flora and fauna, but most importantly walk. Aim for 2-3 miles of walking daily!
Sit on the ground
Another simple guideline but very powerful. It’s easy to go through a day of sedentary modern living without eve bending your knees past 90 degrees. Over time our ankles, hips, and knees become atrophied from not being put through their full ranges of motion, time spent sitting on the ground is free mobility gains! Squat, kneel, sit cross-legged, piked, or straddled, allow yourself to explore more positions grow your ground living competency. Remember we didn’t evolve for life in chairs.