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MeditationReleasing Barriers and Obstacles

Releasing Barriers and Obstacles

A deepened practice leads to greater awareness of self. Practice releasing resistance toward physical discomforts that this might bring.

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Better mental health starts with Headspace

Greetings. As we continue along this journey of learning how to meditate, we may continue to face different obstacles and barriers. Physical discomfort or pain is one such obstacle. Oftentimes, this is pain that is already present in the body. It's just that we're so busy, distracted, and/or hyperstimulated in our everyday lives that we just don't notice it. When we pause for a moment, as we do in practice, we become aware of these physical discomforts. And of course, let's not forget about the proverbial itch that seems to show up just as we sit for practice. And so just as we do with an agitated mind, being aware of the resistance we bring to the discomfort. By resisting the physical discomfort, we actually create more tension, more discomfort. So I invite you to notice if there's any physical discomfort in practice today, and notice what happens when you release the resistance towards it. So in this next moment, let's drop into practice. Adopting a comfortable and dignified posture of awareness. Eyes in a soft open gaze, and taking some nice deep breaths, in through the nose and out through the mouth. And with the next exhalation, allowing the eyes to gently close and gently returning the breath to its natural rhythm, in and out through the nose. Noticing the body pressing down on the surface beneath it and gently noticing any physical sensations that are present. Also, noticing any sounds that are present. And gently bringing the attention back to the body. Paying close attention to the overall feeling of the body today in this moment. Is there any heaviness, lightness, restlessness, stillness, comfort, discomfort? And when you're ready, starting a body scan from the top of your head going down to the toes, allowing yourself to be aware of the different sensations and feelings that are currently present throughout the body. And also acknowledging any particularly strong emotions that are present. Not getting pulled in by any emotions, but just simply noticing the feeling. And as usual, taking a moment to remember your intentions, your motivations for practice. It may actually change from day to day, and that's perfectly okay. And also recognizing the positive impact the practice can have on you and the people around you in your life. And then gently bringing the attention back to the breath, noticing the rising and falling sensation within the body, and noticing where in your body you feel that movement, not forcing anything, knowing that the body knows how to breathe all on its own. And when you're ready, gently starting to count the breaths as they come and go. Noticing if there is any physical discomfort or pain that shows up, and recognizing what happens when you release any resistance to that sensation. And taking this moment now to let the mind do whatever it wants to do, allowing the mind to be completely free, allowing it to focus on whatever it wants to focus on, and...


Duration10-15 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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