If you’re new to meditation and managed to reach a deep state of relaxation, you might notice that your body starts moving on its own.
This can happen and it’s usually nothing to be worried about, and often just means your body is releasing the tension that comes from a deep, relaxing meditation.
Try treating these movements just like you treat your thoughts whenever they show up during a session, let them exist, especially, more so when it comes to negative thoughts. By observing them, they will evaporate eventually.
Not that movements are unpleasant with meditation but they can be and feel disruptive, but it’s also a way to test the mind to determine whether you can do meditation in any weather, and by that, I mean involuntary movements or the wide range of thoughts that are prone to come up during a meditation session.
If you master keeping your attention on your breath in spite of what’s happening outside of your control, you’ll be training yourself to abide more by your true will than abiding by your feelings, because one of the notable benefits of meditation is increased endurance in discipline.
Meditation is a great way to release tension and get your muscles to relax. It’s a way to cool down the muscles from all the stiffness you have stored inside, and let go. Many times, meditation has been compared to sleep because of its similar qualities in fastening your recovery.
The movements you experience during this release of tension, although involuntary can be quite pleasant, just like they can be distracting. But of course, it should never get in the way of your ability to experience meditation, the moment these movements disturb your practice, pause the meditation.
Not everyone is ready for a long meditation session and the length of the meditation can also influence whether you experience movements or not. You might experience movements just at the beginning when the mind and body are adapting to the meditation, or later on when you have already reached a relaxed state of mind.
In the beginning, it can be difficult to get into a relaxed state, let alone find a position that’s comfortable for meditation, which can contribute to the cause of involuntary movement.
But assuming the movements aren’t so overwhelming they disrupt the practice, approach these movements with acceptance and let them be part of the experience.
Opening Energy Pathways
From a spiritual perspective, it’s believed that involuntary movements are a sign of energy pathways opening up, and the response comes in the form of involuntary body movements.
These movements are usually minor and can range from simply feeling some twitching to the head shaking a bit. It’s not like these movements last throughout the entire session and it’s more every now and then.
They can also happen outside of meditation for any reason, and just because it conveniently happens during meditation practice, many could interpret it as the meditation causing the movement.
When it comes to energy centers, they are often interchangeably called ‘chakras’ and are often unblocked with the purpose of living a healthier, more balanced life.
For instance, one of these chakras is known as the third-eye chakra, and it’s said that opening that third eye opens up the sixth sense for us and helps us become more intuitive. At that point, you might experience something similar to involuntary movements, such as tingling in your head.
Movement Can Be a Good Thing
Movement is a sign that you actually are meditating, more so, moving into a deeper meditation. After all, the mind can easily confuse meditation with sleep or something else if you’ve never done meditation before.
Meditation is a paradigm shift that the mind may not enjoy at first, which is why it can subconsciously cause these movements as a way to disrupt the practice. You’ll want to keep on going as it’s the best way to train your will to overwrite the will of what you are feeling.
At some point, you might get used to these movements; they barely become noticeable to you or these movements stop altogether. But for the most part, it can be interpreted as a sign of progress and a step in the right direction towards becoming a better meditator.
Adopting Meditation as a Habit
It takes a lot of resistance from the mind to adopt meditation in our day-to-day life, for instance, the mind dislikes meditation since meditation is slowing down once and for all.
Ironically, meditation is actually good for the mind, as much as the mind tries to get us not to do it, or anything that’s difficult for that matter.
The mind can try a variety of different means to stop us from meditating such as involuntary movements, and presenting us with unpleasant thoughts, but this is more commonly seen in the beginning stages.
Once you have gotten past this stage, the resistance of the mind to meditation will be minuscule, if anything at all, and what once got in the way of meditation, such as involuntary movements, you might get so good at meditation that you forget it was there, to begin with.
Expect some sort of pushback from the mind when you are doing something new that you’re not used to. Your mind will impressively come up with very persuasive reasons not to do meditation, but pushing through despite being tempted not to meditate is like getting a receipt that you have mastered your emotions, or are on your way to doing so.
Sometimes you just have excess energy that’s stored up in the muscles that you release during meditation. That energy isn’t always good for you as it can be draining, and I see meditation as a way to get rid of that waste and replenish our energy levels.
I’m talking about the kind of energy (or lack thereof) you feel when you are stressed out, that robs your attention away from the present and goes about your day-to-day mindlessly. Fortunately, there are ways to practice mindfulness even outside of meditation.
Sometimes meditation stacks on to the energy you already have, and that excess might create some involuntary body movements.
Do The Movements Go Away?
Over time, body movements go away on their own, and not everyone that meditates experiences these.
But if for whatever reason they don’t go away after you’ve been practicing meditation for a while, you’ll want to figure out where that movement is stemming from and if there’s an underlying cause, outside of meditation that’s causing the movement.
Movement can happen for any reason, is meditation just the trigger? If you’re unsure, it doesn’t hurt to get it checked by your healthcare provider, but generally speaking, most meditation practitioners who experience movements shouldn’t be concerned.
As I mentioned before, your body might continue moving after you’ve done meditation for a while, but because you’ve adapted to it, you might not notice it.
Because many times when you reach a deep state of meditation, it’s almost like you are disconnecting from your physical senses and just being in the now, which is what ultimately allows you to experience a peak in terms of peace of mind.
Just by focusing on your breath and bringing your attention back to it should it slip, you’ll often be on your way to successfully adopt meditation in your life.