Moving to move instead of moving to train is at the heart of the Calm app’s Daily Move video series. Incorporating physical well-being into Calm’s library of star-studded sleep stories and meditations, Daily Move is a collection of sessions – all around five minutes long – taught by dancer and yoga teacher Mel Mah. Her soothing voice, neutral-toned surroundings, and soothing backgrounds combine to create a playful space where users are encouraged to deepen their personal movement practice.
Available on Apple and Android devices through the Calm app, new sessions are released daily. After trying all the current Daily Move sessions over the course of a week, there are three that I will come back to often.
Calm Daily Commute: A Review of Stress Release
Releasing Stress starts with swinging my arms like a pendulum while bending and straightening my legs, which has helped open my shoulders. When I’m stressed, my shoulders get so tense they almost touch my earlobes, so this motion was a good start. Next, we went through variations of Forward Fold. As we moved forward, Mah said, “Let go of the need to get it right.” I let out a sigh of relief that could be heard around the world.
With a soothing atmospheric backing track, this whole session felt like I was pushing all the stress out of my brain and body. Towards the end, we placed our hands over our face, ears and heart. Each spot unlocked another layer of relaxation the more we paid attention to it.
Calm Daily Move: Say Goodbye to Anger Review
On a frustrating afternoon, I tried the Saying Goodbye to Anger session. We started by driving the anger out of our bodies. Standing in a wide squat called Horse Stance, we hit with one fist then the other with each exhale. I imagined the source of my anger in front of me, which made those blows all the more satisfying. We then sat down for Lion’s Breath, where you take a deep exhale while sticking out your tongue. Taking that breath while leaning on our hips felt like we were pushing the rage up and out of our body.
With all the anger extinguished, we struck a child-grounded pose, which seemed so necessary for everything to settle down. By the end of the session, I felt like all the anger and frustration had been purged so I could get through the rest of my day effectively.
Quiet daily commute: reviewing for fun
Moving For Fun took me back to the modern dance classes I used to take in college, where we were told to move intuitively using different prompts. Mah’s first prompt was to think of an image and imagine that the tops of our heads had paint. She told us to draw the picture using the tops of our heads. My initial image was a mountain, but after drawing some mountains I decided to add some trees and a sunset so I could move around a bit more. Then we spelled our names with our bodies.
At first, I wondered which part of my body I should use. I then realized that I could use several body parts at the same time. Using fingers, toes, my booty, I moved around like the inflatable tubes of a car dealership. Finally, we were told to move like ourselves at 5 years old. For me, I sat and moved intuitively on the floor because that’s what I remember doing a lot at that age. By the end, I felt so much more energized and deeply resonated with Mah’s final statement, “We get old because we stop playing.”
I appreciate that in a short time I can play, release tension and de-stress through each of the Daily Move sessions. Even through movement, Calm stays true to its name by providing a relaxing environment for users. If you want to try the Daily Move series, check out Calm’s website.
Image source: Courtesy of Calm