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5 Gentle Mindful Movements to Help Create More Ease in Your Body

By Astrid Longhurst January 30, 2024 Health and Fitness

I was first diagnosed with Arthritis when I was 40. I was devastated. Suddenly, I couldn’t walk as my ankles and knees were too swollen and painful. I found it hard to lift even a cup of tea as my fingers were stiff and tight with inflammation.

I have never experienced pain like it and my heart goes out to anyone who is experiencing this or something similar today. In my search for ways to help me feel more ease and mobility in my body, I embarked on a personal journey of healing and gentle movement.

My background as a dancer and fitness professional lead me to create a programme of gentle movements which I teach today in my body confidence coaching workshops and classes. And, today, at the age of 63, I have learned how to live with Arthritis or “Arthur” (as I call it) and for the most part, we get along really well. There are still moments when I will experience a flare up; however, I know how to manage them and also to trust that they will pass.

Wellness Routine

As part of my own wellness routine, I love to share the exercises and knowledge that have helped me tremendously in my own journey. I hope you enjoy some of the gentle movements that can help bring more ease to your body, mind and soul.

All of these movements can be done sitting down. Make sure you are wearing loose; comfortable clothing and it may help to play some of your favourite relaxing music as you perform the movements. The key is to give yourself some space and time to connect with your body in this kind, gentle and loving way.

Key Points to Remember

Don’t Rush and Be Intentional

Move slowly and with conscious intention on what you desire from the movement. Every movement has a meaning and a mantra, so focusing on the meaning and mantra along with doing the movement helps you to connect your mind and body in these beautiful mindful movements.

If It Hurts – Stop!

If any movement feels uncomfortable or hurts in any way – stop. Every body is different and honouring your own body is key to making positive changes. All of the movements are designed to be gentle and easy to perform; however, listening to your own body is vital in knowing how much you can do.

Pay Attention to Breathing

Breathe normally throughout the movements unless instructed to do specific breathing in alignment with the movement.

Take Time to Love Yourself

Enjoy taking the time to give yourself this lovely space to connect with your body in such a loving and caring way.

Enjoy These 5 Gentle Movements

#1 Heart Circles

Sit in a comfortable position. Gently take one hand and draw circles around your heart area. You may want to close your eyes as you imagine that you are giving your body more love as you circle the heart area. Breathe normally.

This exercise helps you to hold space for whatever is unfolding in your life. It brings you back to your sacred heart wisdom as you connect with your deepest insights and knowing. You may wish to visualize the colour green washing over your heart area as you make the circles. You can also do this exercise lying down if this is more comfortable.

Heart mantra – I am safe and loved.

Heart circle meaning – To connect deeply with your own heart wisdom and trust yourself.

#2 Self-Hug

This beautiful movement follows on from the heart circles. Sit comfortably and fold your arms across your heart/chest. Feel the touch of your hands on the sides of your arms and be mindful of allowing this self-touch to be kind and compassionate. Imagine you are touching something very precious – you! Take a breath in, squeezing your shoulder blades together as you allow your arms to softly open, bringing them back as far as you can go comfortably.

Imagine your heart opening to new possibilities and more love as you open your arms. Breathe out as you return your arms to the beginning position of your self-hug. Imagine you are embracing new possibilities of health and healing. Repeat as many times as feel comfortable for you.

Self-hug mantra – I love and accept myself exactly as I am.

Self-hug meaning – That you are here for yourself, no matter what. You are showing your body that you are here for you and that you will stand by you.

#3 Clearing the Path Ahead

This lovely calming movement invites you to focus on clearing any obstacles that you feel are in front of you in a gentle, easy and flowing motion. Sit comfortably with your spine long, shoulders relaxed back and down. Bring both hands up to just in front of your heart in a prayer position.

Take a breath in and as you exhale extend your arms forward and then softly push your hands away from each other, sweeping your arms out to the side. Inhale as you bring both hands back to the start position and repeat up to 8 times. Imagine that you are gently separating any clouds that may be in front of you.

Clearing the path ahead mantra – My way ahead is clear and easy.

Clearing the path meaning – That it is easy to move through life in a soft gentle way, trusting the Universe to help you find your way forward with more ease.

#4 Energy Alignment

Sit tall and make sure that your feet are flat on the floor. Place one hand on your lower belly. Gently raise the other arm to the side bringing it right above your head. Turn your hand to the side so that your thumb is facing your body. Gently bring this arm down in a straight line in front of your body until your hand touches your other hand resting on your lower belly.

Gently, change hands and allow the hand that was resting on your belly to now float up to the side and above the head. Repeat the movement, several times, as you keep alternating arms with one arm flowing upwards whilst the other hand supports your lower belly.

Energy alignment mantra – everything comes to me with ease and joy.

Energy alignment meaning – to help promote feelings of being in balance and harmony in your life.

#5 Body Bliss Crossovers

This is a simple and lovely movement to do if you are feeling scattered or anxious. It helps to reassure your body and bring you back into the present moment. Sit tall and relax your lower belly. Gently sweep your right hand down your left arm, starting at the top of the left arm in a loving stroking action. Repeat with the left hand on the right arm.

Keep alternating the arms in a gentle rhyming motion. You may want to rock forwards and backwards gently as you do these movements to create even more resilience and reassurance. Repeat as long as you feel it is necessary. Breathe easily through the movements and focus on being gentle and kind with yourself.

Body Bliss Crossovers mantra – I am safe, I am here, I am free.

Body Bliss Crossovers meaning – to help create more resilience and reassurance within your body. It helps you to feel more balanced and return to the present moment.

I hope you enjoy these beautiful and gentle movements. For more inspiration, movement motivations and tips on loving your body please follow me on Instagram. I would love to have your company and you would be very welcome. Or, join me in the Body Confidence Café community group.


Let’s Have a Conversation:

Do you suffer from a condition that limits your movements, such as arthritis? How does it affect your everyday life? What do you do to soften the pain and make your days more bearable?

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Lovely Movements!

Astrid Longhurst

Thank you so much Stacy – glad you enjoyed them! Warmly, Astrid x


Thank you so much. I shared it with my daughter too.

Astrid Longhurst

Hi Julie, thank you so much! I hope your daughter enjoyed them too! Warmly, Astrid x


Thank you so much, these are lovely and soothing movements!

Astrid Longhurst

Thanks so much Colleen – so glad you enjoyed them! Warmly, Astrid x

The Author

Astrid Longhurst is the Founder of the Institute for Body Confidence Coaching, Author, Energy Fitness & Body Confidence Expert. Astrid’s signature Body Confidence programmes help women to fall in love with their bodies. Her vision is to shape a new global body culture and community of love, health and wellbeing.

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