Mind & Body

The Secret to Feeling Centered

No time to meditate? Weave a practice into your workday.
The Secret to Feeling Centered
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My Meditation: Dancing by Heart
When you get thrown into a new piece of choreography, you have to spend the appropriate amount of time learning the movements, learning the music, learning even the feeling of the piece. at first it’s unfamiliar, so you’re not in a meditative state yet. But then you practice it over and over again and the movements get into your muscle memory and it all starts to make sense. At that point a switch goes off: Now you don’t have to think about which step is next. In fact, you don’t have to think at all. You can completely let go and start enjoying it. That’s when it starts to feel like meditating. And once your body knows the routine, you can start to play around with it. You develop the emotion you want to portray without any worries about the movement. You give it your own flavor. There’s a moment after a lot of practice when you rehearse the whole thing and realize, Wow, I didn’t have to think about it at all.—Skylar Brandt, ballerina with the American Ballet Theatre, New York City