In the last Self Care blog, I not only took you through a basic breathwork meditation but also put out a quest for you to sit and practice breath work each day over the course of two weeks. If you were able to do this every day or almost every day, I congratulate you on your dedication. Even practicing a couple of times is still a great outcome. It can take quite a while to get into a regular meditation routine so don’t beat yourself up if you don’t get it perfect, there is no perfect. It takes great patience to sit mindfully with the breath.
If you are truly wanting to gain the benefits of mindfulness, following the remainder of this fortnightly series will be a great way to get into a regular practice. We are now into session three so have three sessions remaining so keep an eye out over the next three fortnights.
Today we will be focusing on a body scan. The aim within this session is to scan the body by imagining a large coin moving up the body whilst scanning for any physical sensations. There may be pain or discomfort or perhaps very little sensation at all however when we bring our attention to each body part we just notice and observe what we experience without getting lost in a story about them such as ‘oh my feet are sore because I was on them all day yesterday.’ Just notice the feeling bringing all of your focus to that space. So often we are busy caught up in the mind or different aspects of our lives that we forget about our bodies and we disconnect. This is a great mindfulness practice for reconnecting to the physical aspect of self without getting caught up in the story.
Here is the meditation preparation if you missed it last week.
Handy meditation hints
Inform others in the household (if any) you will be busy for the next 10 minutes or so
Turn off phone/electrical items such as tv/radio etc (As you get used to the practice of mindfulness it’s a good idea to start the least distractions possible.)
Find a comfortable, quiet space, ensure you have taken care of bodily distractions ie drank a little water, used the bathroom etc
Loosen any tight clothing so you are comfortable
Now to prepare your body for the practice
Everyone has different needs and what is right for one person may not be right for another.
The first method which really supports the back is by sitting in a chair with a backing, back straight, feet planted evenly on the floor, head is in alignment with the spine
Be seated on the floor with a cushion/meditation chair/large rolled up towels (ensuring that your buttocks is higher than hips which allows your back to be supported)
Lie down on the floor with a cushion under your neck and under your knees if you have any back problems.
If cool, wrap a blanket over yourself and make sure you are comfortable
Here are some things to keep in mind after the meditation.
Have a drink of water
Journal your experience. You might like to add how you felt before, during and after the meditation practice.
Slowly transition back into daily routines
The next quest I have for you is to set aside a little time each day, 30 seconds or 30 minutes. How long you decide to meditate will depend on how much time you have available. I would start with 5-10 minutes if you have never meditated before.
Dedicate a space and time in which you can sit and scan the body moving from the feet upwards towards the top of the head. You will feel sensations in the body and perhaps gain a deeper connection to physical self but try not to get caught up in what these sensations mean. Thoughts will also continue to come and that’s perfectly ok. The aim is to not push these thoughts away, the aim is to allow them to be in the background without being drawn into each and every thought that we have.
If you choose to journal your experience, you will have questions which is great! Feel free to leave me a comment with any questions you may have and I can try and answer these in the following vlog.