Mindfulness meditation Featured Image

“Have patience. Everything is difficult before it is easy.” – Saadi

Here at Rupert Hambly Health and Performance we’re big believers in Meditation.

As well as regular exercise and healthy eating, by including meditation into your regular daily routine you’ll notice benefits to all aspects of your life; physical, mental and emotional.

  •  Physical Benefits
    – Improves immune system
    – Improves breathing & heart rate
    – Reduces blood pressure
    – Decreases fatigue
    – Decreases stress
  • Mental Benefits
    – Increases concentration and  focus
    – Increases memory retention and recall
    – Enhanced cognitive and creative thinking
    – Better problem solving
    – Improves patience
    – Improves discipline
    – Impulse control
    – Improves resilience to pain
  • Emotional Benefits
    – Lessons anxiety
    – Lessons stress, fear, depression and loneliness
    – Enhances self-esteem & self acceptance
    – Improves resilience to pain
    – Increased emotional awareness/ emotional intelligence
    – Improves mood

There are a wide variety of meditation techniques each with their own benefits. One of my personal favourites to help calm my mind and relax is a body scan mindfulness meditation.

How to do it

The body scan can be performed while lying down, sitting, or even walking with enough practise. The steps below are a guided meditation designed to be done while sitting.

Begin by bringing your attention into your body.

It may be helpful to close your eyes when first starting but choose what ever is comfortable for you.

Be aware of your body’s position; if sitting try to keep the soles of your feet flat on the floor, and hands atop your knees. If lying down, keep feet slightly apart, lay on your back with hands by your sides palms down.

Take a few deep breaths. Try to breathe deeply, letting your stomach expand with each in breathe, and as you exhale, have a sense of relaxing more deeply.

Notice your feet on the floor, notice the sensations of your feet touching the floor. The weight and pressure, vibration, heat. With the next few breathes, try to imagine your feet slowly getting heavier and heavier and slowly sinking into the floor. When your feet feel relaxed and heavy, too heavy to even think about lifting bring your attention further up the body to your legs.

Notice your legs against the chair, pressure, pulsing, heaviness. Once again with the next few breathes, try to imagine your legs slowly getting heavier and heavier, sinking into the surface below.

Notice your back against the chair. If you find your attention starts to drift and unwanted thoughts intrude, don’t get angry, or frustrated. Accept and acknowledge that your attention drifted and then with another deep breathe return your attention to your body.

Bring your attention into your stomach area. If your stomach is tense or tight, let it soften. Take a breath.

Notice your hands. Are your hands tense or tight. See if you can allow them to soften. Let them become heavier and heavier, sinking into your knees and fusing together if sitting; or sinking into the floor if laying down.

Notice your arms. Feel any sensation in your arms. Let your shoulders be soft. Let them become so relaxed and heavy you couldn’t lift them if you tried.

Notice your neck and throat. Let them be soft. Relax.

Soften your jaw. Let your face and facial muscles be soft.

Then notice your whole body in its relaxed state. Take one more breath.

Be aware of your whole body as best you can. And then when you’re ready, you can open your eyes.

Nicholas Poulastides