Class #3628

Embodiment Meditation

15 min - Class


Learn how to cultivate attention and presence through the body with this meditation by Tom McCook. He invites you to create a sense of well-being and awareness so that you can come into yourself. He starts standing so that you can center yourself and feel your depth, then moves onto the Bolster to help you focus on your breathing and relieve unwanted tension.
What You'll Need: Bolster

About This Video


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Hi, I'm Tom McCook back here at [inaudible] anytime. Very happy to be back. I'm here with Aaron and Aaron and we are going to do an embodiment meditation together that I think you'll find very useful to be able to come into yourself, get more present, relieve tension, and see it as something that you can always come back to to cultivate presence and a sense of wellbeing and yourself in a short window of time. So the first thing we're gonna do is just stand with our feet directly under our sit bones and just come into sensing ourself in terms of gravity. So I'd like you to just center the weight on your feet and just take a couple of breaths. And on the exhale phase, imagine you're settling down into your feet, but you're also lengthening and straightening. So our first order of business is just to come into the present moment and sense what's happening for ourself on a feeling level.

And just take a couple of breaths like that, sensing that you can let the weight settle down, but you can also lengthen and straighten at the same time. I just take one more big breath like that. And now just rock side to side on your feet. And now we're just thinking of our body from a left-to-right perspective, sensing fee, knees, hips, ribcage, in between the shoulders in between the ears, and then just slowly come back to the center and just notice. Can I send her the weight left to right now? Take a few breaths into your width.

Feel the width of your body. Notice how you can expand the rib cage, relax the shoulders at the center of gravity. Stay low and one more big breath like that. And then rock forward and back on the feet. And imagine now we're just sensing our depth front to back.

You could also think of it in terms of where we've been, where we're going, and just slowly let the movement become smaller until you can send her the weight on the feet front to back after. Right now, just take a couple of breaths into your depth. Feel the back of the body of the front of the body. Okay, and one more big breath like that. Now put one hand just below the belly button and we'll call this your center of your body actual centers directly in front of the sacrum. But you could also call this from an energetic perspective, your center of Action. So just breathe into your center and on the XF Phase, let your center drop down and feel the weight into your feet.

So you're just getting aware of your center of your body and where we move from in life. One more big breath like that and put your hand on your heart center and we'll call this your center of compassion, center of grounded awareness, good feelings, goodwill. Now breathe into your heart center and one more breath into that area and then touch between your third eye or in between your eyebrows and consider this your head center center of clear thinking, awareness of time and awareness of your arisings of where you're going in your life or even being an in touch with the mystery of life. And just take a breath and just become aware of your head center and let the arms drop. Now imagine you can align up all three centers on top of each other, center of action, center of compassion, center of clear thinking, soft knees are ground in the ground. And just take a moment to notice what do I value in my life. Line up all three centers. And you say, I'm just, I'm just getting more aware of that.

I want to be awake and present in my body. I'm going to bring that to my meditation. And just imagine if you flipped a switch, you could turn all three of those centers on so you can sense that you're more embodied and you're in yourself. Now from there, we're just going to have a seat. So have a seat on your cushion. And just so you know, you don't have to sit on a cushion, you could sit in a chair, you just want to have your spine relatively straight. And just, I'll say a few remarks about meditation.

So meditation has been going on for a long time, thousands of years, but in the last 50 years or so, there's been a ton of research by science. And the basic bottom line is is that the conclusion is, is that meditation is good medicine. It's been proven to be helpful for lowering blood pressure, help regulate our emotions, develop self-awareness, improve our mood for stress relief. So it's actually been proven to thousands of research papers to be really good for us and something that you can integrate into your life. And I have found for myself it's been super valuable as a combination with mindful movement.

So we're going to go through a series of contractions from our eye level. Think of in the body of is these bands and there's been a lot of sematic research around bands where we hold tension in our body that blocks the flow of energy, blocks life flow and inhibits our ability to respond to life. So through contracting and releasing you can sense your body more in the way into the present moment is through sensation cause that's the only place that it happens is in the present moment. So when you're sitting up nice and tall, we're going to start just by taking a few deep breaths into the body so you can just feel the breath. One more big breath like that. Now we're going to begin at the eye level.

Imagine there's a a band around the eye level and I like it. Close your eyes and just squeeze the muscles around the eyes and contract them for about three or four seconds. And then as you let them go, you can keep your eyes closed, but just let the whole area like a band soften and stay with that relaxation for a couple more breaths and then notice. Can I even go a little deeper? Can I let it relax even more? And now just staying with your breathing, staying with the relaxation. Come to your jaw level, jaw and neck.

I'd like you to contract the jaw. You can even squeeze the teeth, can track the neck, two or three more seconds with the contraction and now just slowly let it release and dissipate. Sensing the relaxation, but to be a little space between the teeth and now, see, can I even go a little deeper? Can I go? Let it relax a little bit more? Now put your attention on your upper thoracic area, heart, upper thoracic, and just tense the muscles in the chest, upper back, and shoulders. Hold for another second or two. Now slowly let it relax and dissipate.

Relax the job behind the eyes. Notice, can I let it relax even more? Now at your solar plexus level, which is the top of your abdominal wall, contract, the top of the abdomen, diaphragm hold, and I just see it dissipating, softening, relaxing, rib, softening, letting the energy flow, and now coming down to your pelvis. Think of your pelvis, which is your glutes, your pelvic floor, your lower abdominal wall contract, your pelvis contracts, the bottom of your hips. Hold the contraction slowly, let it release and dissipate. Spread. Can I even go a little deeper? Can I let it relax a little bit more? And now bring your attention to your legs. Contract for thigh muscles, the calves. See the muscles hugging the bone, and now gently let it soften. Release spread. So you're letting the fluid flow through the muscles, letting the breath drop lower in the body, out in the belly, soften.

And now your feet tense, your feet hold. And now that them slowly released that the toes soften. See the fluid flowing through your feet. And now we're going to tense the whole body, all the bands at the same time. So I jaw, neck, upper chest, solar, plexes, pelvis, legs, feet.

Even include the hands contract at all. Hold for two more seconds. Slowly let it release and dissipate. Spread. I'll go a little further into the relaxation. Relax behind the eyes. Okay, now bring your attention to your breathing and see if you can just notice either following where it enters your nostrils as you breathe in or follow the rise and fall of your belly or your chest. Whatever's easiest for you to stay with.

So now as you let the body relax in, just bring your attention to your breathing. And just notice when you're going into a meditative state and you're trying to bring your attention to whatever your object of concentration is. For now we'll say it's the breathing. It doesn't mean you're trying to prevent yourself from thinking. All you're trying to do is gently and consistently when you noticed you've wandered away from the object of concentration to steer your attention back.

So just bring your attention to the breathing and just start to notice the inflow either as it enters the nostrils, the rise and fall of the belly and see if you can stay with it until the end of the exhale, letting the body breathe whatever way it wants to breathe. From that relaxed place that you've cultivated through the contractions series and whenever you've noticed the mind is wandered to planning, thinking of any sort, just when you noticed, gently steer your attention back with any need to judge the wandering mind. Yeah, we're going to stay there for a few more minutes. It's useful. You might notice when you breathe in that as the air comes in through the nostrils, the air is a little cooler when it comes in and you might notice as it exits, it's a little warmer.

Gently bring the attention back to the breath. Now like you to bring your attention to your heart center and take a few breaths into that heart center, that area of compassion, goodwill, benevolence, acceptance. Consider that that place in you that doesn't grasp or push away, that place that accepts things as they are and from that place, that place of goodwill acceptance from that open heart especially, you can just see if you can stay with the breathing, stay. Whatever sensations are coming up from you as you stay aware of that place in you that's open and it can be with what is. And let's take five more conscious breaths from that open place.

I'll give you a road into the present moment is through the sensations in your body, bringing your awareness and say shit sensations, which is another way of saying feelings and the breath. So you're cultivating that muscle of attention. Take one more conscious, big breath, and as you get towards the end of the exhale, just softly let the eyes come back into the room and thanks for joining us. I hope you enjoy it. I hope to see you again and all the best to you. Thank you. Please. Anytime. Thanks. You guys.


1 person likes this.
So great to remember to treat ourselves well, thank you very much Tom, will keep this and share. All the best to you.
1 person likes this.
Thank you for your feedback Rosemary! Meditation has made such a difference in my life, I find it a powerful compliment with a Pilates practice. Be well!
1 person likes this.
Thank you!
1 person likes this.
You're very welcome Suzel! Enjoy and all the best to you!
4 people like this.
I propose that all world leaders begin and end their days with this practice—or at least before every meeting. Lol! I’m certain we’d all be living in better times.

Thank you, Tom! :)
2 people like this.
What a wonderful addition to both my meditation and Pilates practices. Than you, Tom. This was exactly what I needed today.
1 person likes this.
May it be so mbrown! Great intention, I'm in!
Thank you Amy, happy to be of service!
2 people like this.
Lovely! Thank you!
2 people like this.
Great class as always! I learned a lot through ur classes , anatomy and connections of the movement and great cues ...Thank u~Ur class is Always inspiring to me!
1 person likes this.
Awesome meditation. I'm ready to teach today!!!
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