Taking a moment to pause with the intention to simply allow our bodies to rest in awareness can bring about a great sense of restoration and renewal to the heart. Our bodies are so overworked and often ignored. This guided awareness practice will allow us to feel a sense of gratitude for our body, in all of its beauty and mystery.
Restore Your Heart by Resting Your Body
A 12-Minute Meditation to Rest Your Body in Gratitude
- Starting off, find the posture that feels comfortable for you in this moment. There are many different postures that we can choose from. Check in with your body to sense into what posture is best for me right now?
- Once you’ve found that posture, just begin to notice and feel your body here and present in this moment, not trying to fix anything or to change anything about the body. Oftentimes, the body can be used just for the purpose of working, striving, and achieving, but in this moment, we’re inviting our bodies to just rest naturally.
- Take a few moments to feel what it means to be alive in your body right now. With attention resting lightly on the body, just notice: How is my body expressing its aliveness in this moment? Maybe that’s with lots of sensation, maybe the body just feels relaxed and at ease, or maybe there’s energy moving through some of our bodies. Whatever is true for your body right now, allow this aliveness to be what you sense into in this moment. This is my body and I’m grateful for my body.
- Now, allow your attention to lightly rest on the sensations associated with the body touching whatever is supporting it. Maybe it’s the floor or a cushion, or a bed or couch. Allowing your attention to lightly rest, feel the liveness of the body touching and being supported by whatever is under you. This is my body resting, supported by what’s under me at this moment and I’m grateful for this body and for this support and this moment to rest. Resting just like a newborn rests in the arms of a parent or caregiver. Allow your body to rest, letting the support, the stability, and the comfort of having something holding you really infuse your body and your awareness. In this moment, I’m being held and supported and this support is stable, and unconditional, and I am grateful. Continue to feel the connection and the support of whatever is holding you in this moment, remaining connected to that experience.
- We’re going to begin to invite our bodies to rest in the feeling of the space around the body. So, we’re really just allowing our attention to rest on the skin of the body. And with each exhale, let your attention begin to relax and expand out beyond the skin, just going out a few inches around the skin, resting in this space. Rather than focusing entirely on the physicality of the body, now we’re inviting the energy in the body—the tingling, the sensations—to actually rest in the space around us. You might use your imagination a little bit to imagine that, with every exhalation, you begin to sense your body being held by the vastness of the space surrounding the body.
- It may be helpful to start with your back, inviting the back to rest. Just let go into the space behind you. And shifting to one side of the body, feeling that side, feeling the skin, and then inviting that side of the body to just let go. To relax into the space around that side of the body. And then going to the front of the body: feeling the skin, the body sensations, and the aliveness, and just allowing the front of the body to be held and to rest into the space in front. And lastly, arriving at the other side of the body, sensing the skin of the body, then letting your attention relax into the space around that side of the body.
- For a few moments, as you’re breathing in and out naturally, allow your attention to rest as the body is resting, in the space around the body. The body can let go now. Breathing in, feeling the body held in our awareness. Breathing out, we’re grateful for the space around the body. It allows the body to relax.
- As we bring this practice to a close, the invitation is for you to place a hand on your heart, feeling a sense of gratitude and appreciation for the body, the space around the body, and this moment of resting. And remember that gratitude for the body is a way that we can always reconnect with this sense of rest, presence, and ease.
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