4 Pillars of Mindful Movement


“The quality or state of being conscious or aware of something.”

“A mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations.”

I love showing these definitions when working with clients on mindful eating. Being mindful is not something we read about and “poof!” we start doing. It takes practice and patience.

I encourage clients to start with one component of being mindful, (i.e. not using technology when we are eating) we can then begin to work from there. When we put too much pressure to “START BEING MINDFUL… NOW!” This makes being mindful difficult and we might find we turn back to non-mindful habits.

The four qualities of mindfulness, P.A.R.K. – Listening Deeply

Like most things I work with clients on, being mindful takes time and self-compassion to start rewiring our brains.

Mindful movement focuses on being in tune with our bodies and experiencing our bodies. This concept of mindful movement might be new to some but it’s been studied for several decades and proven when we have mindful movement, movement becomes more sustainable.

These are four components come from Rachel Calogero and Kelly Perdotty (2007) from Intuitive Eating: A Revolutionary Anti-Diet Approach by Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch:

  1. Enhances the mind-body connection and coordination and does not confuse or deregulate it
  2. Alleviates mental and physical stress and does not contribute to and amplify stress
  3. Provides genuine enjoyment and pleasure and is not used for punitive reasons
  4. Is used to rejuvenate the body, not to exhaust or deplete it

I will give you a moment to re-read those. I would then ask you “Which one landed the most with you?” “Which one(s) do you feel you do/ don’t do?”

I focus on all four with my clients, however, we typically have very lengthy discussions about component three and four.

Mindful Movement – Nutrition with Jenny

Have you ever read or been told, “You better _______ if you ate _____.” In that moment our brains take this notion and associate:

  • Exercise = punishment
  • And to eat ____ = I must burn it off

We are told by diet culture and society that exercise (not movement) is used for punishment for what we ate. This could not be farther from the truth.

Our bodies desire movement. And movement looks different for every single person. For some it is a career, for others to help with stress management, and for some it is a time to connect with others. And all of these are great, but it is important to understand the intentions of our movement and to ensure these intentions are positive. I would encourage you to look at your movement and do some exploration on the “Why am I moving?”

“When the pursuit of movement is about feeling good, not about calories burned, or used as a penance for eating, it becomes enjoyable and sustainable”

Leave a Reply


Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on pinterest
Share on linkedin
Share on print
Share on email

Related Posts

Creative Sandwich Ideas

I find when working with clients who don’t enjoy cooking, it can be difficult to find ideas that don’t include cooking! Here are some out of the box sandwich ideas to get you started!

Read More »
salad, restaurant, meal-569156.jpg

Eating Seasonally in Autumn

Autumn weather is finally upon us. With this recent change in season, it’s worth considering if there should be a change in our nutrition. In recent years, we have gotten accustomed to full access to all foods any time of the year. However, there are certain benefits to eating seasonal foods, some of which we will cover in this blog. Not to mention that foods abundant in autumn are comforting, warming and nourishing. 

Read More »

Hunger Fullness Scale

When one’s body doesn’t get the energy it needs from food, it can trigger intense biological mechanisms that can affect the body both physically and mentally. Today, we often see eating or not eating as a matter of willpower. The focus is far too often on deprivation, when in reality, there is a biological need for energy. Interestingly, when deprivation is increased, there is a heightened desire for food, along with increased salivation and an increase in digestive hormones. Fueling your body with adequate energy, according to your hunger cues, will lead to moderate, mindful eating.  

Read More »

The Difference Between an Eating Disorder and Disordered Eating

Our culture is obsessed with weight, health, nutrition, food, exercise etc. Many of my clients when I ask them about the health and wellness field, they quickly state they do have or had an obsession. The amount of disordered eating in our society is astounding. Some research has even stated that up to 50% of people in the world have a poor or disordered pattern with their eating. Whereas eating disorders (ED) make up 1 to 3% of the population.

Read More »

Intuitive Eating on a Budget

When it comes to being an intuitive eater, cost can be seen as a potential barrier. How is one supposed to eat intuitively, with respect to their body’s signals, if they have a tight budget? From my own experiences as a college student, I can confidently say that not only can intuitive eating on a budget be accomplished, it can actually be enjoyable! 

Read More »
Fill out the information below for a free

15 Minute Consultation