Listen to this guided mindfulness body-scan meditation to notice how your body feels in this moment without changing anything - simply noticing how things are for you right now. Listen regularly to help tone your mindfulness muscle.
What is Mindfulness
Mindfulness is very popular just now partly because our stress levels have spiked during the Covid-19 pandemic. Perhaps also, many of us have slowed down long enough to notice just how stressful our pre-covid lives were. But what is mindfulness and how can it help you?
Ironically, mindfulness advocates simplicity but there is a lot of confusion around our understanding of mindfulness. Mindfulness is sold to us on social media as a magic pill that reduces anxiety and other human sufferings. However, mindfulness requires practice. It is not a magic pill - the mindfulness muscle needs regular training. Don't let this discourage you as the benefits may be life enhancing.
Register your interest in my Introduction to Mindfulness worshop here.
Here are some assumptions about mindfulness:
mindfulness is a way of being in any moment - aware of thoughts, emotions and body sensations as they emerge
mindfulness meditation refers to meditation focused on helping practitioners become more mindful
mindfulness requires practice - it is not a magic pill, the mindfulness muscle needs regular training
some benefits of a regular mindfulness practice include: compassion and kindness to ourselves and as a consequence to all things. This can only be a good thing - just look at how we have mindlessly trashed our natural world.
How a Mindfulness Body-Scan differs from a Yoga Shavasana
If you have attended one of my yoga classes you may have experienced the deep relaxation at the close of the class in shavasana. An intention of this practice is to relax and let go. To rest properly. To allow space for the body to replenish and re-set. The intention in a mindfulness practice such as this body-scan is not to change anything. To simply notice your experience as it is in the moment. This means that your experience during the practice may not be relaxing. If you are anxious or in pain this may be your experience.
Why would you choose to shine the spotlight on emotional and/or physical discomfort? To highlight your patterns of reactivity. How do you do this? Through inquiry
Usually, you leave a yoga class after shavasana without discussion. A mindfulness practice is followed by inquiry. During a Mindfulness for Living 8 week course the group reflects on their experience of their personal practice. The group inquiry is led by the mindfulness teacher. Rob Brandsma defines inquiry as: (The Mindfulness Teaching Guide: Essential Skills and Competencies for Teaching Mindfulness-Based Interventions, page 103) "A conversation method aimed at exploring a personal practice experience - and reactions to that experience - by inviting participants to transcend their usual way of looking in order to assume a different perspective, one through which participants can acquire insight into unconscious patterns, enabling them to be less reactive in dealing with life's challenges."
He describes reactivity as: "Reactivity is the tendency to react after an experience in order to control or change it. It usually takes the form of attempts to push something away (aversion) or hold onto something (clinging). Reactions are generally the outcome of profound conditioning aimed at controlling a situation; however, reacting often isn't the most effective strategy for preventing suffering."
If you are interested in learning more about the benefits of mindfulness register your interest in my Introduction to Mindfulness Workshops here.
Here are some assumptions about mindfulness group inquiry:
there is no wrong way to practice mindfulness
you participate verbally in the group inquiry if you want to
mindfulness group inquiry is not counselling or psychotherapy
Instructions for listening to 15 minutes Mindfulness Body Scan Meditation
Choose a position that is comfortable for you. Normally the body scan meditation is done lying on the back but you can lie on your side or front also. If you have back discomfort you may prefer to bend the knees, soles of feet on the floor. Arms by the sides palms face up or down or simply place the hands lightly on the belly.
A small cushion may support the back of the neck. Or you may prefer to sit.
Listen to 15 minutes Mindfulness Body Scan Meditation
Register your interest in my Introduction to Mindfulness Workshops 2021 and Mindfulness for Living 8 week course 2022 here
Reference: The Mindfulness Teaching Guide: Essential Skills and Competencies for Teaching Mindfulness-Based Interventions by Rob Brandsma, pages 103-104