Meditation 101 + Guided Meditation: Full Body Gratitude

I’m so excited to share my first guided meditation with you! No meditation experience is required – I will help guide you the entire way. But first, let me tell you a little more about what meditation is all about.

Benefits of Meditation

Meditation is one of my favorite soul soothers, but I must confess, it can be so hard! Especially in this season of my life where I haven’t been feeling well, I was avoiding my mat and meditation when it was really just what I needed.  I know I’m not alone – we tend to avoid coming face-to-face with our fears and struggles.  In all reality, this is when we need meditation the most.  Since I found my way back, I feel much more grounded and connected with myself, in addition to…

  • Appreciation for the present moment
  • Breathwork – full inhales & exhales
  • Thoughtfully aware of my surroundings and how they affect me
  • Ability to calmly work through discomfort
  • Mindful in action – speaking with others, eating, scheduling tasks and activities
  • Feeling lighthearted, peaceful and calm
  • …much more!

When I am away from meditation for a certain period of time, I start small – even five minutes can make such a difference in your day. I love using guided meditations because it helps keep my mind from wandering.  Like my yoga classes, my meditations are designed to focus on a mantra, affirmation, or expression of gratitude.

Guided Meditation

Guided meditations can help keep the mind from wandering, especially meditations that are designed to focus on a mantra, affirmation, or expression of gratitude. These meditations are led by a teacher who will talk you through the practice, offering instruction for relaxing parts of the body, often with music or nature sounds playing in the background. The teacher will guide you to follow their words or create a visual image in your mind. Guided meditations are perfect for all – whether beginners or experienced.

Walking Meditation

Walking meditations are therapeutic, combining gentle movement with mindfulness. These are often practiced in nature – walking silently on a trail through the woods or along the shoreline. Take note of what you see, hear, smell, taste, feel. Allow your thoughts to pass without attaching to one in particular. Feelings of awe or wonder, gratitude and appreciation often bubble up when giving such attention to nature. This meditation is helpful if you are feeling overwhelmed or anxious.

Loving Kindness Meditation

Loving Kindness is type of meditation specifically designed to cultivate feelings of compassion, love, and acceptance. This practice has you repeat affirmations of loving kindness towards yourself, loved ones, all people, and all beings. Affirmations can be some variation of “May I/my loved ones/all people/all beings be safe, happy, healthy, and free.” Loving Kindness meditation can help to resolve feelings of frustration or resentment, whether general or towards a particular person.

Prep and Tools

You can meditation by sitting in a comfortable seated position or laying on your back. If sitting, I recommend a meditation cushion to keep your back straight and tall. You can also enhance with essential oils – I like to use an uplifting scent if I’m feeling depressed or weighed down and grounding oils if I’m feeling anxious or spacey.  However, these are not required! Meditation simply asks for your attention and breath. Now we can begin our first Mats and Mutts meditation!

10 Minute Full Body Gratitude Meditation

We’ve become so conditioned to either find flaws in our bodies or “treat ourselves” with things that aren’t good for us. Ultimately both these paths lead to helplessness and dissatisfaction. Instead, nurturing ourselves through nourishing foods and moving because we love our bodies leads to happiness and strength. Our bodies do SO much for us every day! They are incredible.

There are days my body can’t do what it’s used to, but that just makes me SO grateful for all it CAN do. Every breath is a gift, my friends! I have created a quick guided meditation (you might recognize it from last year’s body love post!) to send love and gratitude throughout the whole body.  All you have to do is hit play!

I hope you enjoyed the meditation and are feeling extra grateful for your body today! Perhaps take a few extra moments to journal three things you love about yourself.  I’ll leave you with one of my favorite, adorable body-loving quotes!

Hugs, Alexa

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