Meditation, for many people, can be a difficult practice to incorporate into their daily lives. Quieting one’s mind and turning your attention from the chaos of the everyday can feel daunting when there’s nothing concrete to focus your attention on. Being able to combine your hobbies and meditation allows it to become a mindfulness practice that’s familiar to what you commonly do. This is why I’m starting to teach knitting meditation workshops.
Knitting has recently received a lot of attention for its health benefits, ranging from reducing anxiety to minimizing chronic pain. Whether you want to use knitting to simply pass the time or help you cope with stress, it’s a calming practice that gives you something tangible at the end. Having personally knitted for a number of years, I wanted to join my crafting hobby with my meditative practices.
There are a few ways to make your knitting into a mindfulness exercise. Between intention knitting, breathing exercises, and knitting mantras, there are multiple techniques to try and see what works best for you.
Intention knitting helps you focus your thoughts and feelings so that as you are knitting your project, those sentiments are held within your knitting. Breathing exercises within meditative knitting, on the other hand, pair your stitches with your breathing. This is best used when working a rib stitch, where you will inhale for your knits and exhale with your purls. Lastly, knitting mantras is when you will choose a word or phrase that will be repeated, either out loud or within your head, as you knit. All of these techniques help you stay mindful while your hands are working, rather than thinking about the next row, worrying about how much yarn you have, and so on.
I’ll be holding my first knitting meditation next Friday at Pick Up Every Stitch in Mt. Kisco, New York, which I’ll record and upload both on here and on YouTube.
Ultimately, even if knitting isn’t an activity you’re interested in, pairing your hobby with meditation will not only transform it, giving you all the benefits of more traditional meditation, but it will allow you to incorporate it into your daily life more easily. The goal is to do what helps you be more mindful, so you can fully appreciate yourself and all the good in your life.