A Progressive Muscle Relaxation (PMR) meditation differs significantly from a regular guided meditation. A PMR meditation relaxes the body to relax the mind. A guided meditation relaxes the mind to relax the body.
Sometimes beginners find it easier to stay present during a PMR meditation as the PMR meditation keeps the mind occupied as it must focus on tightening and releasing different muscles throughout the meditation.
PMR Meditation asks four (4) things of us:
– To connect with our imagination.
– To connect with our breath.
– To create and release muscle tension.
– To remain present and enjoy the journey without expectations.
Accomplishing these four (4) things creates a place where self-healing can begin.
Guided Meditation asks us to connect to our imagination by using our 5 internal senses – seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting, and touching. Once activated, the imagination becomes the bridge to our subconscious. It is the subconscious that shapes the way we react to and interact with the world around us. It is the subconscious that never waivers from our highest purpose, our highest good, our true path.
How we breath has an enormous effect on how our body functions. Chest or shallowing breathing occurs when we are stressed. By consciously breathing deeply and slowly, we can shift our body from the flight or flight mode to the rest and digest mode.
We are energetic beings. Our wellbeing depends on the unhindered flow of energy within the body. When we are stressed our muscles tighten up and the flow of energy is restricted. To open the energetic pathways within the body we must relax the body.
Although it sounds counterintuitive, an effective way to release muscle tension is to consciously create and then release it. When we consciously create and release muscle tension within our own body, we are not only acknowledging that tension exists, we are creating a memory that we have the power to release the tension. The choice is ours. We are empowering ourselves.
The trickiest part of Guided Meditation is to be present and to enjoy the journey as opposed to thinking about what needs to be done tomorrow or what we need to buy at the grocery store on the way home. When our mind starts to wonder is it helpful to employ a technique to reconnect and be present.
One technique is to focus on our breath. To focus on our breath means to purposefully follow one or more breath cycles with the intent on reconnecting to our body. A breath cycle consists of an in breath and out breath. We follow our breath as the breath enters through our nose, travels down and into the belly and then as the breath rises up and out.
The second technique is to visualize a giant red stop sign in front of us. The stop sign can instantly bring our mind back to the present, to the here and now.
My philosophy is that we will experience what we are meant to experience during a meditation. There is no right or wrong. Every experience is personal, every experience is unique and every experience is healing.