Somatic Meditation for Healing – A Guide

somatic meditation

When we practice Somatic meditation we heal by tuning into the sensations and energy around the body, allowing our physical being to control the meditation rather than the mind. This can be very helpful for people who struggle to meditate properly via their thinking mind (via the left brain).

Indeed, as a private meditation teacher, I often teach Somatic meditation to my students who struggle with the more forced, left-brain styles of meditation. Not only does this provide a great alternative exercise, but it also produces unique benefits, which I will discuss in just a moment.

First, let me share with you my guided Somatic meditation. You can find both the audio and the text below. After that, I’ll discuss in-depth exactly what the practice is and the advantages you can expect to glean from it.

Guided Somatic Meditation

Guided Sleep Meditation For Anxiety Relief

Script

  1. Sit or lie down comfortably with good posture and close your eyes. Make sure your spine is straight but relaxed.
  2. Bring your awareness to your body. Notice your entire physical form. Try to be aware of your complete being as one unified form, as though it were one shape that you are viewing in its entirety. Hold your focus here for a moment. From time to time your mind will wander, and that is natural and normal, simply guide your mind back to your body.
  3. Become conscious of the points where your body is coming into contact with the ground and the chair (or bed). If sitting, this will be your feet and your sitting muscles. If lying down, it will be the area around your sitting muscles and lower back. Allow your weight to sink into the chair / ground / bed. Be aware of the contact here between your body and the ground / chair / bed. Notice how your body is being supported.
  4. Now bring your awareness inside your body. Notice how your internal body is alive with myriad sensations and with a current of energy. It is as though you are listening to your body from within.
  5. As you continue to tune-in to your body, your body will become more relaxed and will sink into the ground more. Allow this to happen, allowing your muscles to let go and relax, letting your mind sink deeper into the body.
  6. You may allow your mind to come into closer contact with parts of your body, perhaps listening to your heart pumping for a moment, and then tuning in to the breath as it flows through your body.
  7. As you continue to go deeper into the meditation, you will notice your mind and body becoming one, enhancing that mind-body connection. Allow yourself to stay here for as long as you like, simply letting your mind rest inside your body.
  8. When you are ready, slowly open your eyes and take a moment to return to normal.
  9. If you would like to try other body-focused meditations, I recommend these Integrated Body Mind Trainings. 

What is Somatic Meditation?

Somatic Meditation is a practice in which we listen to the signals of the body, allowing the body to lead our mindfulness rather than the mind. In this way, it is similar to other Somatic healing methods such as Hakomi Meditation, Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing, and sensorimotor psychotherapy. These forms of therapy help patients release trauma through the mind-body.

What makes it different to other forms of meditation is that it is body-led. Almost all other forms of meditation (such as Anapansati and Vipassana) and led by the mind, usually using the left-brain and its analytical processing. But in somatic meditation we heal by allowing the body to dictate our meditation session, similar to the meditations of Osho. This can be beneficial for those who struggle with other meditation disciplines. Sometimes when we allow the mind to lead we get lost in thoughts and emotions, and we can often be judgmental. The body-focused somatic meditation moves us beyond these delusional mind-states to a purer experience of the present moment, and for this reason it can potentially lead to deeper meditation sessions.

Benefits of somatic meditation for healing

We can use Somatic meditation and other forms of somatic therapy for numerous physical and psychological issues. Often, we store traumatic events such as a car accident in the body and it can be hard to overcome such trauma from a mind-based approach. With Somatic meditation therapy we release trauma from the body, and this in turn helps with psychological and physical healing, such as by helping the nervous system to recover.

We also store emotions in the body, and once we learn to tune in to the sensations in the body through somatic therapy, we can start to heal these emotions. This in turn can help with issues such as grief, recovery from abuse, depression, addiction, anxiety and more.  One lady I taught somatic meditation to had been struggling with the loss of a loved one, and this was manifesting in bodily signals. By learning to tune-in to those signals, my student was able to face her loss and move forward in a positive way.

As well as using it to overcome negative problems, we can use it to become more positive. A strong mind-body connection is a core component of psychological wellness, and this is something we can develop through that somatic therapy.

We can also access deeper states of mind via somatic meditation. Many of our psychic abilities such as insight and intuition, are based on the communication between body and mind. For instance, intuition usually begins as a bodily signal. By learning to tune-in to these body signals we strengthen our psychic abilities.

Finally, it is a wonderful alternative for those who struggle to meditate in more traditional ways.

Summary

We can use Somatic meditation to heal both the mind and body, and it makes a wonderful alternative to conventional meditation. It is all about allowing the body to dictate our mindfulness and tuning-in to bodily signals and sensations. Not only does this provide an alternative vehicle for our meditative practice, but it can also yield unique results, especially through the release of trauma.

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By Paul Harrison

Paul Harrison BSc is a qualified meditation teacher who believes in genuine, authentic meditation. He has more than 15 years experience in teaching meditation and mindfulness both to individuals and to corporations.

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