As a Busy Executive How Can Mindful Movement be Better than Meditation or Zumba?


As a Busy Executive How Can Mindful Movement be Better than Meditation or Zumba?


Over the years, as a busy corporate executive, I have tried all sorts of practices to relieve stress. I found Mindful Movement to be the most effective for me and many of my students.

Aside from the usual swimming, running and other cardio that obviously increases the number of positive hormones and helps release the “Fight or Flight” hormones, why is Mindful Movement SO much better than static (non-moving meditation) and things like yoga?

I started out my wellbeing at work programme teaching CEO’s how to meditate. But this was difficult for many to practice effectively. This was utilising non-moving meditation otherwise known as “static meditation”. Fourteen years later and 8 years retraining in the practices I originally learnt in 1997 and I’ve integrated the essence of Tai Chi, Qi Gong & Kung Fu with my meditation experience to offer Mindful Movement.

The magic of this exercise is its immediacy and ease to practice for most people, standing, sitting or even lying down - it can be done very easily…

for many, doing yoga, static meditation or any exercise that involves trying to quiet the mind using only the mind is just too abstract or difficult for most to even try let alone accomplish some proficiency…

I often say to my students that if they are feeling their body they are not “thinking”. This is the key to becoming more relaxed and being at one with mind, body and the present moment…

Tuning into one’s body and being “mindful” or more to the point – being present in the moment - is a highly beneficial existential experience and “way of being” for day to day living. It allows us to be present to the moment and not worry about the future or ruminate over the past. Presence of mind helps create “flow state”.

Just imagine the amount of energy we consume due to all the thinking we do every day!? How much of your thinking is productive? Chess players are said to consume a lot of calories thinking about their next move. In this game of life lets optimise our efficiency, reduce wastage thinking and be present in the moment, ready to respond and initiate tasks without wasting energy.

Let alone reduce stress and anxiety! If we can be calm, centred within with our own resource of inner quiet and calm we can respond better to outside circumstances and in the phrase of an ancient sage: “Be surrounded by thunder and lightening close by but still not spill sacrificial wine” …

How is Being in Flow, Flow State Integrated in Daily Life?

Certainly, for many trying to stop the mind racing by meditating or stretching the body in all sorts of ways doing yoga is not the way forward! Take at look at my article as to why I believe Tai Chi is more effective than yoga Of course, we all do things to help us relax. But are they improving our health at the same time? Watching TV is kind of relaxing, but its more switching off than actively calming the mind. Many hobbies are extremely rewarding and relaxing and even watching your favourite team score a goal has been found to have similar results as accomplished deep meditation! All good, however my point is that the exercise of slow movements, while focusing your mind on the part of the body you are moving helps one to relax the mind, ease aches and pains in the body and relieve stress, while getting you fit!!!

Win win situation!

You don’t necessarily need to do intensive cardio to get the benefit of exercise either according to the “Trust me I’m a Doctor” TV series*. They tested the health of two groups of participants after twelve weeks of practicing either high intensity Zumba or Tai Chi.

The researchers found Tai Chi to be better for health due to better reduced mental fatigue*. Tai Chi also is less stress on the body and organs as it is gentle exercise. In other health criteria that was monitored after the twelve-week programme Tai Chi was pretty equal to Zumba in terms of improved systolic blood pressure, vascular function and functional fitness.


The more you practice in regular sessions the more you can learn how to integrate “Mindful Movement” into your daily life. The practitioner should facilitate not only the correct exercises during class, give you personalised training to practice in your own time but also how to integrate this into your daily routine….

In the meantime, here are some benefits of Mindful Movement over and above some other types of exercise:

  • While relaxing you are actually connecting with your body and doing healthy exercise!
  • Mindful Movement improves fitness without stress or strain on the body
  • The exercises are an easier method to slow down mental processes
  • The exercises help one to be present in the moment
  • Mindful Movement can improve concentration & confidence
  • Release and relax tense muscles and tendons
  • Easier to learn than “static meditation” or yoga
  • Learning to “feel” helps one to relax and let go of thoughts simply by tuning into the body
  • If you sit a lot during the day for your work the warmup exercises can help obviate stiffness and strains caused working at a desk. This includes helping to remove a stiff neck, stiff shoulders and increase flexibility in the waist and hips while relaxing the mind!


Its always wise to get an appraisal from your qualified health practitioner before attending any exercises even if they are gentle and wear loose fitting natural breathable clothing where possible.


Mindful Movement is offering an online complimentary 40-minute taster with a Q & A to follow, send a What App message or text: +44(0)7849 890 975 to confirm your interest in taking part.



*: Trust I am a Doctor BBC TV Series:

Another study comparing Zumba Gold and Tai Chi in older adults:

 “Both Tai Chi and Zumba Gold® improved systolic blood pressure, vascular function, and functional fitness following the 12-week intervention to a similar extent. Furthermore, Antioxidant capacity was significantly increased (303 ± 15.56 vs. 336 ± 18.82 μm; p = 0.0028) and lipid oxidation significantly reduced (36.41 ± 6.4 vs 13.49 ± 2.5 pg/ml; p = 0.0042) after 12 weeks of Tai Chi compared to baseline. Anxiety, physical and mental fatigue decreased in both groups, with a greater decrease in mental fatigue in the Tai Chi group."


Please Note:

Static Meditation – any form of sitting still meditation or mindfulness

Is an excellent means to relax the mind and develop concentration and awareness. However, it be harmful to the body if done for long periods of time without adequate physical exercise. The reason for this is that sitting for long periods of time can switch off one’s connection to the body and become “un-grounded”. It is also extremely hard to keep the posture correct which also could affect the body and organs. It is very hard for one to develop health with just static meditation, especially as we sit too much anyway! Many believe emotional problems are held in the body, to eradicte them by purely using the mind is possible but only acheiable for a few. Tai Chi practices connecting with one’s root first to remain rational, grounded and connected to our physical faculties. This provides a firm basis for developing mindful practices as the student develops their practice.

Hatha Yoga – many forms of westernised practice

An excellent form of mindfulness and exercise if taught authentically. However, in the UK and many other countries in the western world Ayurveda is not considered. In fact, yoga is a part of Ayurveda (or “life science” translated) …

Ayurveda includes massage, herbal medicine, spiritual as well as physical philosophy that has been going longer than 4,000 years! Practicing yoga is only a small part of Ayurvedic philosophy.

Tai Chi + Kung Fu - & Traditional Chinese Medicine including Daoist Medicine

In my 36 years studying and practicing meditation, yoga; Buddhist, Hindu and Chinese philosophy I’ve found Chinese philosophy and health practice to be far more effective as they wrote down and organised a complete system which is still available today. This includes hard cardio exercise in martial arts like Kung Fu, soft forms of internal exercise like Tai Chi, herbal medicine, acupuncture and acupressure and an innate way of understanding how our state of mind effect our body through the connection of our emotions to our organ health. In addition to this most people can practice Tai Chi whereas many find it hard to meditate or to do the stretches in yoga, especially as we get older! Many envisage millions in the west practiciicng a form of Tai Chi or Mindful Movement as they reach their golden age...