Knitting as meditative relaxation during the day
I have learned to love knitting and meditation. It’s something that you can do, while you relax at them same time.
I mostly use meditation for when I am pretty tired after work, but I have also started to appreciate knitting. I like it, because because it is possible to relax both your body and mind while knitting.
I am going to share my own experience and some advices I found helpful on relaxing while knitting. First, there will be some advice for when you are knitting, and later some simple advices on how to meditate; this can be used in other types of activities as well.
10 good advices for relaxing while knitting
These advices is not my own, but I found them helpful when first trying out knitting.
1. Make sure you have everything you need within your reach (ex. pattern, scissors, yarn, waste yarn, errata, row counter, row markers, cell phone, baby monitor, etc).
2. Sit so that your head is supported; relaxing your neck muscles will immediately relax your shoulders
3. Sit so that your arms are supported and you can easily see what you are doing with your head and neck relaxed (I use pillows to support my elbows.)
4. Relax your jaw muscles
5. Read through your pattern before you start knitting and look for potential gotchas. Highlight and circle the numbers for your size.
6. Pretend that you are holding something fragile alongside your needles. I like to pretend I’m holding a bird egg along with my needles; this helps to loosen my grip.
7. Stretch your neck, arm or hand muscles once in a while.
8. Use the best tools/yarn for your project (Bamboo needles with a cotton yarn that has no stretch and doesn’t move nicely across the needles will make your knitting a tense affair.)
9. Relax your eyes, and let your vision get a little soft.
10. Don’t knit when you’re hungry or feeling rushed; if you have a few minutes and want to do something knitting related browse through a knitting magazine or read the next step of your pattern instead.
Different types of meditation you can do while knitting
Everyone reacts different to music. It can make you happy, relaxed, and sad, and so on. However, it depends on what you are used to and what kind of a person you are.
Some people relax to pop music, some to classic, some to rap and so on.
Kiasmos has this kind of meditating and monotone rhythm, that can help you relax and focus at the same time.
Both of them are instrumental (without vocals) and minimalistic, in the sense of the music being easy to listen to and created with only a few instruments.
The most important thing to master is your breathing. The breathe, is what keeps us going. The natural float of air into our body tells the body and mind how fast it shall work.
When your breathing is accelerating so is your heart and the rest of you. Therefor the key to relax is the breathing. There is no need for a greater guideline than breathe in slowly, and exhale slowly.
There is other ways to relax while knitting, kind thoughts – this one is for you who cannot seem to meditate while knitting but still wants to relax.
I have taught myself to relax in most situations, though it still works best in a quiet environment.
I vary the steps and what I direct my thoughts at, but most of the time I do it this way: first, I find a comfortable place to sit. You have to find a place where you can sit with straight back so your body position will not hinder your breathing.
Secondly, I start focusing on my breathing. Breathing in and out slowly will help you calm your mind and focusing on your body rather than the surroundings.
Thirdly, I will focus my mind on good episodes from my day, even if the day have not had many. This helps me be happy about the little things and serves as a great pinpoint in my mind for relaxation.
Lastly, I start doing the task (in this example knitting). I make sure that I focus on the 10 things I wrote in the beginning of this article.
If you want to learn to knit, the Woolspire community is a good place to start.
There is no right or wrong way!
In my experience people relax and meditate in different ways, and if you follow this guide and it is not working for you, then try something else. There is no other formula than listening to yourself.