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MeditationAllowing the Body to Lead

Allowing the Body to Lead

The body often can’t tell the difference between discomfort and danger. In this meditation, Dora leads a breathing exercise to help us learn to sit with these physical sensations instead of letting them absorb us.

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Hi there and welcome. In this section we're exploring ways to get unstuck. When it comes to seeking discomfort there's bound to be many sensations that will arise in our bodies, whether it's the increased heart rate before giving a talk or the tightness in our chest that can let us know we're about to do something big. And it's in these moments that working with the body, understanding its language, and finding ways to stay connected in the present moment can be extremely beneficial. Now, often it's easy to intellectualize why it's important to grow beyond our comfort zone. Sure, it brings growth, transformation, and change. The mind knows this, but the body may still have its doubts. Which begs the question, it's one thing to figure it out in our heads but what does it look like to figure it out in our bodies? Our bodies hold and store so much information about the present moment. The tension in our shoulders or tightness in our chest can give us hints into how we're truly feeling. And becoming aware of these bodily cues, we can learn how to work with them and move towards unlocking our potential. Sometimes the body doesn't know the difference between being stretched outside of our comfort zone by trying something new and being in the face of danger. This is an ancient protective mechanism in the body that's designed to keep us safe but it's not always necessary. So in this exercise, we'll begin with some deep breathing and then we'll do a gentle body scan to help us notice what's present in our bodies. What can we sense? What can our bodies tell us about how we're showing up in this moment? So when you're ready, take a moment to get comfortable. And for this exercise, it's best to be lying down. And the eyes can be open to a soft gaze or closed. And then just beginning to notice the breath. So tuning in and feeling that rising and falling sensation of each inhale and each exhale. And not changing anything just yet. Just noticing how the breath feels. And bringing the mind back each and every time it wanders. For this breathing exercise, we'll be breathing in through the nose to the count of three and exhaling out through the mouth to the count of six. So take a deep breath and we'll begin on the exhale. Breathing in, two, three. Out two, three, four, five, six. In two, three. Out two, three, four, five, six. In two, three. Out two, three, four, five, six. Just going at a pace that feels right for you, knowing that you can return to your natural way of breathing if this feels uncomfortable in any way. So breathing in, two, three. Out two, three, four, five, six. In two, three. Out two, three, four, five, six. And then just letting that breath go and allowing the breath to flow effortlessly and naturally. And then...


Duration10 min

About your teachers

  • A former Buddhist monk, Andy has guided people in meditation and mindfulness for 20 years. In his mission to make these practices accessible to all, he co-created the Headspace app in 2010.

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  • Eve is a mindfulness teacher, overseeing Headspace’s meditation curriculum. She is passionate about sharing meditation to help others feel less stressed and experience more compassion in their lives.

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  • As a meditation teacher, Dora encourages others to live, breathe, and be with the fullness of their experiences. She loves meditation’s power to create community and bring clarity to people’s minds.

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  • Kessonga has been an acupuncturists, therapist, and meditation teacher, working to bring mindfulness to the diverse populations of the world.

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  • Rosie Acosta has studied yoga and mindfulness for more than 20 years and taught for over a decade. Rosie’s mission is to help others overcome adversity and experience radical love.

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