As you leave behind the summer holidays and get back into the full swing of life, you may find that your stressors are creeping up on you again. The time you took off to relax now seems like a distant memory. While the short break did you good in the short term, you now long for a practice to sustain that feeling of calm and relaxation – or at least have one strategy you can call upon to release that tension.
In this week’s post I would like to share one such strategy I use whenever I need to feel calm, and release built up tension. You only need yourself, a small rock and the beach. I am fortunate, and grateful, to live near some of the most beautiful beaches south of Adelaide.
The beach is the perfect setting to take you through my tension release mediation.
- To begin, stand on the sand where the water can gently lap at your feet. Hold the rock in the palm of your hand.
- Take in a few deep, full breaths letting the fresh salty air fill your lungs before releasing it.
- Focus on the sounds of the ocean as the waves gently roll up onto the sand, then roll back out to see again.
- Allow your breath to settle into a slow, natural rhythm. Don’t try to force the breath, just allow it to flow naturally.
- Now, you are going to mentally scan your body and identify any areas where you may be holding tension. Start at your toes and slowly scan up through the body to your head.
- When you identify an area of tension, breathe into it and allow it to flow from your body and into the rock held in your hand.
- Feel the rock grow warmer as you transfer that negative energy into the rock. The rock is taking your tension and leaving you relaxed.
- As the rock grows, warmer, identify and name your tension. When we can name something it makes it easier to identify and let it go. It could be frustration, anger, sadness or another emotion your tension feels like.
- Once your tension has a name you are going to use your voice to release it.
- As you face the ocean, rock in hand, take a couple of deep breaths. Now in a loud, clear voice shout `I release (and add the name of your tension)’. For example: `I release frustration’.
- Then throw your rock out into the ocean as far as you can.
- Watch the waves carry your tension away from you, leaving you relaxed and calm.
- Allow your breath to settle into a natural rhythm as you feel the tension moving away from you. Feel your tension being taken out to sea with the rock.
- Stay on the shoreline for as long as you need to feel the calmness wash over you.
This is a meditation you can do whenever you feel tense or need to vent in a safe space. The beach early in the morning is a great time to practice before too many people are around.
When you first begin this process you may feel subconscious about using your voice in meditation. But the benefits you gain from releasing all that built up tension will greatly outweigh what a pass-by may think. Who knows, they may be curious and want to join you.