Video and Audio

Guided Meditation for Stress Relief

Guided Meditations, Episode 31
Nayaswami Anandi
March 2, 2017

A simple, practical technique to do everyday. Long-time meditator and founder of Ananda, Nayaswami Anandi Cornell, guides us in an exercise for de stressing the body and preparing to meditate spiritually.


Nayaswami Anandi

Let's practice together a guided meditation exercise to help you release stress and to tune in again to your innate calmness and happiness.

Deep Breathing Guided Meditation - Preparing the Body for Meditating Spiritually

Sit up straight in a way that's comfortable for you. Bring your hands onto your lap, palms upward. We're going to first released stress in our body that we don't even know we have. So we'll do that by inhaling with a short and long breath, squeezing the muscles in our body, throwing the breath out, and relaxing. So let's do that together, you can close your eyes.

Let's inhale with a double breath. Squeeze your muscles tight. Throw the breath out. Relax your body completely.

Let's do that. Again. Inhale, intense. Squeeze the muscles, throw the breath out. Relax completely.

Now this third time, we're going to do it a little bit differently. In addition, to releasing stress from our body, we're also going to release it from our minds. So as we do this, inhale, intense, especially squeeze the muscles in your face and forehead. We'll throw the breath out and make your mind a blank movie screen. And onto that blank movie screen, you're going to project a beautiful scene, a scene that makes you feel happy and content. Let's do that together.

Inhale with a double breath. Tense very hard. Throw the breath out. Make your mind a blank screen. Now on that screen, Project, a beautiful scene it could be from your life. It could be from your imagination. But feel the happiness in that scene. And let that happiness permeate your mind. Let it flow into your whole being. Feel a sense of well-being.

Now let's do a body scan. But hold on to that feeling of well-being as we check our bodies to relax all of the body, holding tension nowhere.

So first, feel your feet touching the floor. And then just bring your attention to the left foot. Relax the left foot. Breathe into it, releasing any tension.

The right foot. Bring your attention to the left calf. Relax it, the right calf. The left thigh become aware of it. Notice it. Release any tension right thigh. Bring your attention to the buttocks and relax them completely.

And now bring your attention to the back. Your whole back. Just feel it relaxing.

And now to the abdomen. Especially to the belly. Let the belly become very soft so that it flows in and out as you breathe.

Bring your attention to the chest, the lungs, and the heart. Feel them calm and open.

Now feel as if you're breathing into the throat feel and sense of expansion in the throat, and bring your attention up to relaxing the jaw. Relax your tongue, the back of the tongue especially, your mouth and cheeks.

Soften the eyes. Let them sink backward a little bit and tip them upward just slightly.

Now relax your forehead; feel it's smooth and relaxed.

And let's take our relaxation more deeply by breathing into our palms. Bring your hand over the belly and take some very gentle but deep breaths. Breathe deep into the bottom of your lungs, which pushes the diaphragm down in the belly into the palm of your hand. Hold that a moment and then exhale; let the belly recede backward. Do that again, inhaling slowly and deeply. It's very calming to feel the bell come into the palm of the hand. Hold the breath and then exhale.

Going at a pace that's very comfortable and relaxing for you. Let's do this a couple of more times, inhaling deeply into the palm of the hand and one last time and relax your hand back in your lap. And take a deep breath in and let it out.

How to Meditate Spiritually

Next, we're going to breathe in such a way as to bring our attention to the point between the eyebrows. This is what Yogis call the spiritual eye, what doctors call the prefrontal lobes. To help us focus there, inhale deeply, exhale completely, and focus your mind at the point between the eyebrows and mentally repeat. Aum spirit bliss, Aum spirit bliss, Aum spirit bliss, Aum spirit bliss, as often as you can, on the exhale. Then breathe whenever you need to. Take some gentling breaths, some calming breaths. And let's repeat the process, bringing all of our attention to the spiritual eye when we silently repeat those words. Exhale. Aum spirit bliss, Aum, spirit, bliss, Aum, spirit, bliss, Aum, spirit, bliss. Aum spirit bliss.

And can keep going if it's natural for you, or just breathe now at that point. Keeping your mind at the point between the eyebrows. Let's repeat this one last time. Inhale, exhale, Aum, spirit, bliss. Aum, spirit, bliss. Aum, spirit bliss, Aum, spirit, bliss. And when you finish that, take a deep breath in and let it out.

And begin now to let your body breathe in a totally natural way. Not controlling it in any way. Your breath may seem very shallow. That's perfectly fine. Your breath may come in slow deep breaths with a pause between the inhale and exhale. That's totally fine. Just let your body do as it wishes. And notice the flow of breath.

Feel your body is so relaxed. Relax also the inside of the nose and begin to feel that sensation of breath flowing in and out of the nose. Keep your eyes your gaze behind closed eyelids tipped upward. But notice that feeling of breath inside the nose. Where exactly do you feel it, the very bottom of the nose or perhaps the middle? Perhaps the top just notice that. I'll give you a few moments to just be with the breath.  Notice that if your mind wanders, come back to the feeling of the breath to help you concentrate.

Now especially notice that movement of breath at the very top of the nose right as the breath is coming into the head. This is right below the point between the eyebrows.

Now shift your attention and imagine that the breath is flowing in right through the head right into the spiritual eye, the point between the eyebrows coming in with the inhalation and going out with the exhalation, helping to bring your attention more deeply to the point between the eyebrows, the seed of calmness and the body, the place that helps you release all anxiety and fear to go more deeply into calmness.

Now let go of watching the breath move and focus only on the calmness that you feel at the point between the eyebrows. You can mentally repeat I am calm. I am happy. I am calm. I am Joy. Identify more and more with your true nature,

And let's finish our brief exercise by inhaling and joining me and chanting on Aum. Peace Amen.

I hope you'll practice this exercise to remind yourself who you really are. Your calmness and your joy