Dynamic meditation is a form of meditation that involves movement.
When you think of meditation, you probably think of tranquility. A silent room – maybe some tranquil music, sitting still, and relaxed mindfulness. This is traditional (passive) meditation. And while the serenity and stillness may be comforting to some, there are others for whom it is nearly impossible.
At first glance, dynamic meditation looks nothing like mainstream meditation. Frankly, it looks nothing like yoga either. And yet, through the physical catharsis and emotional release, the results are similar: expanded awareness, sharper focus, lower cortisol, and less stress.
Whether you’re having the kind of day where sitting still seems impossible, or you are looking for a way to breathe new life into your meditative practice, dynamic meditation is a sublime option.
The Backstory of Osho’s Dynamic Meditation
Dynamic meditation, sometimes called Osho meditation, was developed in the 1970s by Chandra Mohan Jain, an Indian mystic also known as “Osho.” He believed that you could release energetic and emotional blockages such as chakra blocks or blockages of kundalini energy by moving.
Osho wanted meditation to forge a mind-body connection of creativity and joy. Through chaotic movement, he thought you would release stagnant energy and be connected to the moment.
How to Practice Osho’s Dynamic Meditation
Dynamic meditation is a one-hour practice that is split up into five distinct stages.
Stage One: Rapid, Chaotic Breathing (10 minutes)
There should be no pattern here. Instead, your breathing should be irregular and intense, focused on the exhales. Move your breath deeply into your lungs. Feel your energy building up with the help of your natural body movements.
Stage Two: Conscious Release (10 minutes)
Release all of that pent-up energy! Allow your body to guide you, don’t think about how you are moving. Scream, shout, jump, dance, sing, laugh, roll around on the floor, throw your body around. Be playful; be intense.
Think of this stage as a physical manifestation of your stream of consciousness.
Stage Three: Jumping (10 minutes)
Raise your arms above your head and jump up and down while shouting, “Hoo! Hoo! Hoo!” repeatedly. Put all of your effort and energy into this. After this stage, you should be utterly exhausted.
Stage Four: Freeze (15 minutes)
As soon as the previous stage ends, freeze your body in whatever position it is. No movement whatsoever. Even the slightest movement can interrupt the natural energy coursing through you right now. Take time now to silently observe your body and any emotions you may be feeling.
Stage Five: Dance (15 minutes)
Celebrate! Move your entire body joyfully and without holding back. Carry this feeling of aliveness with you throughout your day.
Tips for Successful Dynamic Meditation
As much as you want your dynamic meditation to be a free-flowing practice, there are some things you can plan in advance to make it more successful.
- Start in a group setting. You may find it easier for your first few times to unleash your inner flow and power when you are amidst others who feel the same way. Plus, if you are in a class, they will guide you through each step at the right time. Just remember to leave your embarrassment at the door!
- Wear comfortable clothing. You will be moving quite a bit. Wear something you can move in, and that won’t get too hot.
- Make sure you have enough space. You don’t want to constrain your movements; you want to flow with them. Try to clear some space in a large room and remove breakable objects just in case.
- If you are in an apartment or shared living space where you can’t make loud noises, you can keep your “Hoo!” screams (in stage three) as an inward focus.
- Set timers. Unless you are using a dynamic meditation playlist, set timers on your phone so that you will know when to move from one stage to the next.
Variations of Dynamic Meditation
The five stages above are the ones set out by Osho when he developed dynamic meditation. However, like in any meditative practice, there are variations.
Some versions of dynamic meditation skip from stage three directly to a more traditional meditation, either in savasana or seated. Others, such as Osho’s Nataraj, go straight from breathing to celebrating. And some people might choose to include all five stages but shorten the amount of time spent at each.
Dynamic meditation might feel a little awkward at first, but it might be just the thing to take your practice to the next level. It’s a deeply personal practice, so feel free to customize the movements to your liking. Eventually, your body will tell you what movements produce the best results.