by Alicia Oberholzer – DPT, OCS
Warm Springs Holistic Health is offering a series of articles and videos to educate the community about a wide range of issues.
When beginning your practice of meditation, it is important to find a quiet and peaceful place. Close your eyes and focus on your breath. This is your anchor. Each time your brain naturally drifts away, return your attention back to your breath. Be patient with yourself and learn to appreciate the simplicity of stillness.
Meditation can be guided or unguided. A guided meditation involves a narrator who leads the meditation and gives tips on how to interpret and apply your experience. There are several videos of guided meditations on youtube as well as downloadable phone apps.
An unguided meditation is self directed and can be more challenging for beginners. One method of performing an unguided meditation is called a body scan. You can practice this mindfulness journey through the following steps:
Position yourself comfortably. This can be seated or lying down. Close your eyes and focus on the sound and movement of your breath.
Start at your head and mentally scan your body, working your way down towards your toes.
Through the scan, stop to appreciate each body part and how it feels. Is it light, heavy, tense, relaxed, or restless? Take time to connect to each region before moving on.
Repeat the scan over and over until you have a good idea of how your body feels separately and holistically within the present moment.
It is human nature for the mind to wander. Allow thoughts to come and go without getting caught up in them. Recognize the distraction and bring yourself back to the body part where you left off. Reconnect with your meditation experience through your breath.
Meditation is a skill best practiced consistently. Set up a time where you can check in with yourself on a routine basis. This can be for 2 minutes, 5 minutes, 15 minutes or longer. It’s up to you. There is no right or wrong way to experience mindfulness. Just showing up to acknowledge yourself daily is a good start!
Here are a couple video links on Meditation: