You may be familiar with the benefits of meditation and mindfulness but what is less known is that one doesn't have to sit in complete stillness to access the benefits of mindfulness. In fact, sitting and emptying the mind isn't always very easy to do, especially when you have had trauma. Often times it can feel very uncomfortable or even scary to sit quietly therefore, it can be beneficial to keep the mind engaged as a vehicle to arrive in a state of inner stillness. Mindful movement can be a wonderful alternative. Mindful arm circling is one practice that you can easily do almost anywhere to move into a peaceful inner state.
Start in a comfortable standing or seated position where you can move your arms freely. Begin by circling the arms one at a time to familiarize your body with the movement. Once you feel comfortable with the movement, begin to add focused attention. You can start by consciously moving the arm and hand in a focused direction. For example, as you swing the arm forward do so with the palm up focusing on the sensations in your arm and hand. Then as the arm arrives at the top, consciously turn the palm out and let the arm float down for the back half of the circle.
Another option is to focus the eyes on the fingertips following them all the way around again being mindful of sensations that arise in the shoulder, arms, hands and fingers.
As you begin to feel more comfortable try circling the arms in opposite directions simultaneously. This is definitely a challenge but will keep the mind active.
Please note that the circles can be as big or as small as your shoulder feels comfortable with. There is no need to take the arm all the way vertical if your shoulder doesn’t do that.
After you are finished circling the arms, let yourself sit or stand for a few breaths observing sensations.