Benefits of an Active Meditation

Kristina CopleyPosted by: Kristina Copley, B.A., MFT Trainee – Therapist, Hanbleceya
October 28, 2014

In an active mediation, one intentionally moves their body focusing on every tiny movement they make. It is meant to amplify awareness of one’s own body as a mode of removing focus from distracting thoughts. The result is an alert and present mind with a body at rest. Here at Hanbleceya, our clients struggle with many thoughts that distract from both their personal treatment and their relationships with others. Their days are filled with facing emotional and practical challenges both in and out of their therapists’ office. An active mediation at the beginning of a new undertaking is a mode of catharsis for the body and mind, producing a rejuvenated person that is ready to continue their day. Below are some examples of simple active meditations that we do here:

Pass the Ball

Our therapy groups can be a bit groggy in the mornings. Instead of closing our eyes and doing a more traditional mediation (which will probably just put everyone back to sleep) we do something that is both physical and interactive to get into a more productive space. One person is handed a ball and asked to share one detail about themselves (the highlight of their weekend, for example) and quickly passes the ball to another peer. By participating in this simple activity, group members must be aware of both their own bodies and others so that they may receive the ball and converse in the moment.

Imitation

Another quick and interactive way to focus a group is to have everyone stand up and take turns imitating each other’s movements. This can be imitating a certain stretching posture or an animated facial expression (a personal favorite for those who struggle with a flat affect). Again, this involves being attuned to one’s own body and others’ as well. It is also a nice “ice-breaker” before processing some more emotionally sensitive subjects.

Take a Walk

We are fortunate enough to be near a great walking path that surrounds Lake Murray here in La Mesa. Many of us therapists will hold an individual session outside while walking around the lake. Since those lower level emotions can often be found in the body, it is surprising how present our clients are with themselves while taking a walk. I like to think of it as letting the body do some of the processing for you, as opposed to always being “stuck in your head”.

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