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7 Tips For Mindful Movement (Movement For Mental Health)

At Pose, we understand the connection between physical movement and mental health. It's not just a part of our studio. It's at the heart of it.

May 13th (2024) kicks off Mental Health Awareness Week. This is a time of year when there is a global focus on well-being and mental health, which is so important now more than ever. This year, the theme is Movement for Your Mental Health.

Mental health awareness week 2024

Movement For Mental Health

Research by the Mental Health Foundation shows that more than a third of UK adults find it challenging to find the time for movement. The study also highlighted too many people are facing barriers to moving for their mental health due to financial strain and inequality.

Boosting our mental health through movement shouldn’t be a luxury. Here are seven simple tips to help you incorporate movement into your daily life.

Do A Mini Meditation

Mindfulness and meditation are always at the forefront of helping mental health. When we slow down and meditate, our nervous system can move from sympathetic (fight and flight) to parasympathetic (rest and digest).

Becoming mindful of your present moment melts away future worries and past regrets. This is at the core of yoga classes and self-practice.

You can meditate anywhere at any time. You don't have to be sat cross-legged on a yoga mat. You can be on the train commuting to work or even walking the dog. Use the steps below to help you focus on the breath and gift yourself a mini meditation. We recommend rolling out the neck and having a scrummy full body stretch beforehand.

4-Step Breath Meditation

4 step meditation guide

Dance To Music

Quiet doesn't work for everyone. Maybe you're the type of person who needs to listen to music to melt away anxiety and be in the moment.

Music is a powerful tool for healing. Studies have shown classical music to be the most effective in calming the mind and relieving symptoms of depression. But if ABBA is more your thing, why not turn the volume up and dance like no one is watching?

The power of music lies in making the body want to move. The movement may be a foot tap, a hip shake, or a full-on choreography! It doesn't need to look pretty for you to have a good time.

Whether going for a kitchen disco vibe or enjoying your favourite tracks in a barre class, the right music boosts endorphins and leaves you feeling fabulous.

Connect and Have a Laugh

Loneliness is considered one of the UK's most significant public health challenges. Beating it is hard and not a simple thing to do.

Finding a supportive community is a small step towards reconnection. Surrounding yourself with like-minded people who offer kindness and no judgment will give you a safe space. This is the ethos of Pose.

We adore the community we have cultivated and are touched that so many people feel it is their community, too. The team and other members will always greet you with a friendly smile and infectious laughs. Connection is available if you want it.

Have you ever heard of Laughter Yoga? Yes, we're not making it up. Laughing yoga involves various movements and breathing exercises to promote intentional laughter, releasing stress hormones.

Step Into Nature

Green spaces have incredible effects on our mental health. Fresh air does wonders for the mind. So if you're ever feeling overwhelmed, why not head out for a walk?

Try having your morning coffee in your garden, listening to the birds and getting a dose of vitamin D to start the day. Take your lunch outside. Arrive to your classes early and sit by the canal to watch the ducks.

It's these small things that make the difference.

Woman sat on yoga mat in sunlight

Set Small Goals

Instead of setting enormous "New Year, new me" fitness goals, why not try setting yourself up to succeed? Smaller, more achievable goals are realistic. And once you reach them, you will feel accomplished.

Want some inspiration?

  • Go for a 15-minute walk every day.

  • Balance on one foot for 10 seconds.

  • Do 5 sit-ups a day.

  • Keep a movement journal.

You can increase your moments for movement each time you reach a goal or choose to continue with the same goal. Your goals can be personal to you. And don't forget to celebrate your accomplishments! Both running 1km or a marathon deserves acknowledgement.

Try Something New

When we open up and try something new, we invite our minds to expand. This is rewarding for our wellbeing and confidence. Maybe you've always wanted to learn ballet. Perhaps yoga is calling you. Whatever it is, go out there and give it a try!

Pushing ourselves to try something new opens doors for new friendships and having fun. You never know where it may take you.

We offer a range of classes at Pose Fitness. Have you tried them all?

Rest and Relax Time

Yes, we love to move and encourage everybody to do the same. But it's also essential to give yourself the time for proper R&R when needed. If you're a busy person always on the go, try scheduling in time to rest.

Just as everyone's movement looks different, so does rest. Relaxation can be a restorative yoga class, reading a book, or watching a film. You never have to fit a mould.

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