Here is a fairly short practice that starts with a silent So Hum breath meditation and seamlessly moves into a different kind of body scan. What I love about this is how it’s perfect before sleep, upon waking, or anytime during the day. The body scan is my riff on a classical yoga nidra body awareness practice. Here, the focus is on bilateral stimulation and drawing attention to essential obvious body parts. (For more on the benefits of bilateral brain stimulation read this: https://holisticdivorcecounseling.com/what-is-bilateral-stimulation-and-how-can-it-help-you/)
Do the so hum silent mantra with your tongue tip pressed lightly to the roof of the mouth where the soft and hard palate meet. Say SO silently on the inhales and HUM silently on the exhales. (For more on the meaning of the mantra and another way to practice it, check out: https://www.yogajournal.com/meditation/so-hum-contemplation-meditation/)
Next, breathe slowly and deeply while you gently draw your attention to the following parts of the body, one breath for each body part. If it’s easier, you can record yourself naming the body parts, but after one or two rounds you will know them.
Left pinky toe, right pinky toe
Left ball of the foot, right ball of the foot
Left back of the ankle, right back of the ankle
Left back of the knee, right back of the knee
Left inside the thigh, right inside of the thigh
Left lowest rib, right lowest rib
Left arm pit, right arm pit
Left hand space between the index and middle finger, right hand space between the index and middle finger
Left inside of the elbow, right inside of the elbow
Left shoulder blade, right shoulder blade
Back of the neck
Left ear lobe, right ear lobe
Left inside of the cheek, right inside of the cheek
Left lower eyelid, right lower eyelid
Third eye point
Focusing on less obvious parts of the body calms the mind. It’s an unexpected body scan that allows your prefrontal cortex to rest with an unthreatening, easy activity.
Doing this after the silent So Hum breath meditation is a short but powerfully grounding practice.
Copyright Nicole Urdang