If you’ve never heard of shaking meditation, you’re not alone. It’s a very new trend which sets up natural tremors within the body and helps you learn how to respond. The overall idea is that rather than feeling stressed, you’ll feel safe, not panic, and be able to cope with the trembles.
The official term for shaking meditation is trauma-releasing exercises (TRE) and it’s made up of seven different exercises which are designed to retrain the brain.
UK based practitioner Steve Haines explains:
“It teaches you how to relate to intense feelings in a grounded and self-regulated way by releasing tension and waking the body up. In the right context, the feelings generated by shaking can also be a powerful stimulus to come out of old, fixed habits.”
He goes on to compare TRE to the classic fight-or-flight mode in which our bodies experience, “It’s like running away from a tiger. When we’re stressed, old parts of the brain are gearing up all the systems in the body for danger, so our heart rate goes up, we increase our breathing and the activity in the senses”
“At the same time, stress causes us to switch off long-term projects such as digestion, libido, growth and repair, reproductive hormones and the immune system. TRE helps us come out of the stress responses and works as a reboot to stop us reverting to those habitual protective patterns,” explains Haines.
‘The magic seven’
TRE focuses on the leg and hip muscles, and it takes up to 15 minutes to get through all seven exercises. If this sounds like something you would like to try then you can expect; ankle stretches, calf raises, single-leg squats, forward bending, and psoas stretching. If you have ever gone through exercise rehab or spent time with a physio then it’s pretty similar to some of these stretches. Who knew stretching was so good for the brain?
The overriding idea and benefit of shaking meditation js that – if you can turn off the tremors when practicing these exercises you will also be able to ‘utilize these powers when experiencing stress or trauma in real-time’.
Reported benefits include feeling easier, happier, more present in the moment, as well as physical boosts like better sleep, digestion, circulation, and breathing. Those suffering from arthritis may be pleased to know that there are options out there too.
Who should try TRE?
Shaking meditation is said to be ideal for those who might struggle to switch off when it comes to downtime. It has also been found effective for people suffering from trauma, grief, and even phobias which cause both a physical and emotional response within the body.
To begin, the TRE exercise routine should be practiced for around 5-20 minutes, two or three times a week, after this it can be done anywhere from once a day to once a week to reap all the benefits!
There are other types of meditation and if you feel like trying other techniques, Will Williams has been successful with the Shavasana Disco in the UK.