Class #3966

Embodied Presence Meditation

10 min - Class


Learn how you can cultivate resilience for yourself with this guided meditation by Tom McCook. He invites you to think about what is important in your life and where you want to go. He shares how being able to drop into yourself so that you are grounded and present will give you the ability to be your best self.
What You'll Need: Blanket, Bolster

About This Video


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Hi everybody. I'm Tom McCook back at [inaudible]. Anytime. It's a great pleasure to be back. I'm here with Amy and Christie and we are here for another round of meditation. And think of the focus of this class is to cultivate resilience for yourself along with your movement practice. Doing a sit as often as possible once a day, once a week can help you drop into yourself. And when we're grounded and present, we have the ability to be our best selves.

We also have the ability to kind of respond to the world in a way that we can be proud of, or at least notice if we're moving in the direction of who we want to be in the world. So we're just going to start by using our breath as a way to come into our body. So let's just take a moment to take a few deeper than normal breasts. You're welcome to close your eyes and take a few deeper than normal breasts where you're just noticing what's going on, on a feeling level, not trying to change anything, just going to be with it. And on the XL phase just let's start to relax the usual suspects where we tend to hold tension behind the eyes, the jaw. Let the be a little space between your teeth and see if he can sense and feel your belly wall move when you breathe.

So just in the beginning, we're not trying to change anything. We're not trying to go anywhere. We're just being with what is. If you noticing agitation, distraction, all of that is completely normal and fine. Just let that be what it is and just be with that. Now to bring our attention to using our breath as a way to drop more into ourselves.

I want you to sense for a moment that you can just breathe into your length when you breathe into your length in 10 for your spine to get a little longer and on the exhale, stay with that length as you soften around your skeletal structure where you're, you can allow your skeleton to hold you up more than your muscles and imagine inside of your length is also a sense of Goodwill, Goodwill for yourself and others, your competencies in the world. A sense of dignity. Do you consider the dignity has a shape, and now let's breathe into our width. Now as you breathe into your width, imagine that you can let your ribs expand left to right and then just soften and deflate and even breathe into the width of your hips. Imagine that you can fill up your your space in your width all the way down to your pelvis. Then breathe into your width at your shoulder level, and then as you're breathing into your width for one more breath, also relax the eyes a little more and just imagine, even though your eyes are closed, that you're opening up your peripheral vision inside.

Now let's take a breath into your depth, your depth being front to back field. There's a little movement from behind your heart towards your chest when you breathe, and just be very curious about that internal experience of life-giving breath. Now we're going to go into a short breathing exercise to help settle in a little bit more, and the breathing cycle will be, you'll breathe in for a count of four. You'll hold for six. You'll exhale for six and we're going to do that for five rounds. So I'd like you to go to the end of your exhale.

Just exhale all the air out comfortably if possible. Breathing through your nose starts your inhale. Two, three, four. Hold the breath. Two, three, four, five, six. Starts your exhale. Two, three, four, five, six, and again, breathe in too. Three, four holds. Two, three, four, five, six. Starts your exhale too. Three, four, five, six. Breathe in. Two, three, four, hold. Two, three, four, five, six. Exhale, two, three, four, five, six, two more rounds. Breathe in. Two, three, four, hold. Two, three, four, five, six. Exhale, two, three, four, five, six. One more. Breathe in. Two, three, four, hold. Two, three, four, five, six. Exhale, two, three, four, five, six. Just let yourself return to normal breathing and just let yourself slowly but surely start to settle your attention on the inflow of the breathing.

Either at the opening of your nostrils or the rise and fall of your belly or your chest, whatever feels easier for you today to drop your attention on and while you're dropping your attention in, it's a really great idea to ask yourself, what's important to me now in my life? What am I cultivating? What am I moving towards? Whether it be some skill you want to develop, your ability to be kind, your ability to listen or just to be with yourself and be a little more present with your life or whether you're a teacher or just to each experience that you have. Just just sad that whatever comes, it could even be, I want to notice my posture. So just whatever comes through. Set that as your intention of why you're in this practice, to develop your ability to be present and have a deeper self knowing.

And as you breathe just each time you noticed your mind wanders off to either planning, thinking the way that it goes. Just gently steer your attention back to your breath to bring yourself back to the present moment inside of that intention that you're cultivating. And also as you're, as you're noticing, keeps scanning your body of where you can let go of tension, lacks the back of your neck. Feel the weight of the underside of your arms. Feel the weight of your hips on the cushion even though you're creating an energetic lift through the spine into your vertical line.

Now just for a few more minutes, just see if you can get really curious about following the whole breath cycle from the beginning of the inhale to the end of the exhale, relaxed, alert, focus, open heart, moving towards what's important to you in your life. Now as you follow the breath and notice that the breath has natural pauses. At the end of the inhale and the end of the exhale, I noticed that beautiful rhythm of your breathing and let's follow the breath now for another five mindful focused bro breaths. Very curious, very alert, but also relaxed. Two more breaths and as you go to the end of your next exhale, just take a moment there to settled in just for another moment or two and asking yourself the question, what am I moving towards? What are I need to pay attention to today and acknowledge yourself for giving yourself this time to be quiet and still, and we hope to see you again on plotters anytime. Thanks everybody.


Exquisite.  Thank you.
Good to have a pause and some peace in the day, thanks Tom
Thank you Mindi & Jill! Enjoy and keep taking time for your practice, it's always worth it!!
Giedre V
Amazing. Thank you so much, for sharing Tom. 
Thank you Tom, yesterday was day 1 of my new meditation practice and you popped up on PA, so you were day 2. Namaste
Matthew S
what a lovely practice. many thanks. :)
2 people like this.
Dear Giedre, Julie and Matthew, Thank you for your supportive comments! The combination of a movement practice and meditation is the best recipe for a balanced life!  Sending you all my best!
This was beautiful. I really appreciated all the body focus cues.  Those of us who do Pilates have an enhanced mind/body connection. This is a gateway to a very deep meditation practice. Thanks for calling us inward. More please :).  
similar to alternate nostril breathing from yoga.  nice
Love love loved this.  Agree with Paula - more please!
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