Script for ~30min MBSR Mindful Movement.
This is a key practise of MBSR. Other guided MBSR meditations I offer are:
Bodyscan, 3-Step Breathing Space, Awareness of Breath
Mindful movement can be practised standing, lying down, seated or a combination of these.
This particular guided mindful movement practice focuses on doing the meditation seated, which is beneficial in an online group setting.
MBSR Mindful Movement
Intention – Rather than taking the mind off something, practising bringing the mind onto something – in this case, the sensations of breathing and the body
Attention – Stepping out of the automatic pilot. Allowing our attention to explore the breath, body sensations, thoughts and emotions. – Pausing and exploring our edges
Attitude – Curiosity, gentleness and kindness, cultivating patience and non-striving – allowing the practice to unfold in whatever way it may be.
Let’s begin the mindful movement by sitting in our usual sitting meditation posture, aware of the contact with the chair, cushion or ground.
Maybe moving the head – finding a point where the head balances over the neck.
Let the heart be over the hips.
The spine is erect but not rigid.
and if it feels right, closing the eyes,
feeling the support of the ground beneath
Moving our awareness onto the sensations of the body
the feeling of the breath as it flows in and out of our body,
we might notice the sensation of clothes
or the temperature in the room?
Perhaps asking ourselves, “what is here for me today?”
If it feels right, placing the hands onto the body, maybe the lower belly, the heart or the upper chest?
Gathering our awareness onto the breath, just following the rhythm of the breath with a gentle curiosity,
inhaling – expanding
exhaling – returning
no need to change or alter the breath, just noticing how it is in this moment
Expanding our awareness now
allowing the attention to move – with the breath – through the body.
What parts of the body are noticeable at this moment?
Are there any areas of tightness, tension or comfort?
Maybe pleasant sensations, or perhaps unpleasant?
Or maybe no particular sensations are present?
Bringing the attention to the shoulders
What is there to be recognized right now?
Are the shoulders soft or tense?
Let’s invite some movement.
Maybe doing some gentle shoulder rolls
Gently bringing the shoulders up to the ears
Bringing the shoulder blades together
to the front – and up again
As slowly as possible
Starting with the intention to move
Bringing the attention to the part of the body we want to move
Bringing the attitude of curiosity and gentleness to the movement
When we start to practice some slow and gentle Mindful Movements, the eyes may stay closed or open – whatever feels right at this moment.
Rolling the shoulders in the opposite direction
remembering to listen to the messages of the body
only moving in a way that feels right for us today
Guiding the attention into the arms.
Allowing the arms to rise gently up to shoulder height.
Exhaling and releasing your arms back down.
Repeat a few times, moving with the flow of the breath,
finding the rhythm of the breath with the movement of the arms
With the next out-breath lowering the arms back down
letting the hands rest in our lab
What can be felt in the arms and hands after this movement?
We are now going to move our arms up towards the sky
being mindful of any sensations in the neck, shoulders and lower back as we move
Gently lifting the arms towards the sky, perhaps feeling the sensation of the movement coming from the torso as well as the shoulders?
Leaving the arms stretched up for a few breaths.
Stopping and pausing to notice any sensations here. Pleasant, unpleasant or perhaps neutral?
Feeling into the hands.
Breathing into the arms and gently expanding a bit more, if that’s possible today
On the next exhale, allowing the arms to float back down.
Letting the arms rest for a few breaths
Repeat a few times at our own pace
Investigating how all parts of the body are connected
When we move the arms, in which areas of the body can we feel that movement?
tuning into any bodily sensations, thoughts/feelings, or echo’s of emotions that may be here
remember there is no right or wrong,
simply resting with awareness of what is here for us right now
As we come back to stillness, letting the arms fall in by the sides or perhaps let the hands land on the
How does it feel in stillness?
Any warmth, tingling, aching, tension – change in breath tempo?
Now when we are ready, placing the palms on the sides of the hips,
and in our own time,
bending to the side as far as is comfortable
investigating the position
it’s effects on the spine
the neck and head
then back to centre,
and down to the other side.
Perhaps bringing awareness to any sensations of bending and stretching
Repeating a few times at your own pace
With the next side bend, lifting the opposite arm overhead
Which areas of the body become more prominent?
Did anything change at all?
Repeat a few times- perhaps in sync with the breath
Breathing in – bending and reaching up
Breathing out – stretching
Breathing in – exploring
Breathing out – coming back
Notice if the mind has wandered – which is what minds do,
choosing to come back to the anchor, to the sense of the breath, to the body sitting here
Just resting here.
In our own time, adjusting the position so we feel stable,
the hands resting on our thighs
breathing into the spine – lengthening it
Resting in an attentive, dignified posture
feeling the breath in the body
Sending the intention of moving to the torso.
Starting to move the torso, the shoulders in the slowest and smallest circles possible.
Feeling into the hips.
How does the body stay balanced?
How does that feel?
Being mindful of the sensations in the body.
Checking in what is here for us now?
Slowly making the circles slightly bigger.
Expanding the size of the circles
Experimenting with the size of the circles
Experimenting with the pace
Bringing a gentle curiosity – a playfulness to the movement
Slowly coming back to stillness.
Noticing how it feels in stillness?
Taking a few deep breaths here
and when we are ready – taking the arms out to a T position,
exhaling as we bring the fingers to the shoulders,
inhaling as we open to the T.
at your own pace
Practising becoming mindful of any sensations, thoughts or emotions.
Repeating a few times with awareness of the movement and the breath
How do the shoulders feel?
How do the arms feel? Tired, happy, energised, heavy, light?
no expectations other than to be present here, not needing to fix or change the movement; this is
What does it feel like to move in time with the breath?
When the fingertips are touching the tops of the shoulders – elbows pointing out to the side
let’s do some big circles with the elbows
letting the circles be as big or as small as we want
maybe letting the circles grow in size as the arms keep moving
and then in the other direction
Playing around with the size and pace of the movement.
letting the circles become smaller and smaller now
and when they have come to stillness
then perhaps bringing the elbows together in front of our hearts
resting there for a moment
and then opening them out to the side
a short pause there
before bringing the elbows to the back – as much as possible today
exploring the edges
Where is the movement most vivid?
How does that feel?
Maybe repeating this movement a few times if it feels okay before returning to stillness
…back to the breath,
back to the body,
back to the connection with the ground
remembering to listen to the sensations from the body
and only moving in a way that feels right, safe and supportive
letting the arms hang gently on the sides of the body
the hands resting wherever it is comfortable
siting in whatever way feels supportive and stable,
Breathing into the now still body
exploring the sensations where the movement might still be present
How do the shoulders feel now?
How do the arms feel?
In which position came the hands to rest?
the breath rolling in
the breath rolling out
Just observe what’s here for us now, letting go of any need to fix or change anything, simply exploring the landscape of sensations.
Perhaps the mind has journeyed off to thinking, planning, or remembering; that’s what minds do. Notice what brings us back to our anchor, feet on the floor, sounds in the room, the sound of my voice? What brings us back to the body and breath?
Rest here a while with what is arising.
(Timeline 17 minutes for a 20-minute version)
(Timeline 27 minutes for a 30-minute version)
As we come to the end of our mindful movement practice, notice if there are any different sensations to be felt here now?
What might they be?
Is there an echo of emotion here? Boredom, joy, frustration, disinterest?
With a kindly awareness, just gently enquiring what is showing up.
As we slowly become aware again – of the whole body – right now
perhaps in stillness,
perhaps you are moving gently in whatever way feels good,
take a moment to congratulate yourself
for taking this time to be with your body,
becoming aware and awake to the sensations.
If it feels appropriate, you may wish to pause here with a soothing hand on the heart, chest, belly.
and now beginning to expand your awareness out from the body, into the room that you are in,
noticing any sounds that might be here?
if your eyes are closed slowly and gently, allowing a sliver of light to enter,
beginning to allow your awareness to focus on colours, textures, shades, shadows, shapes
taking in your surroundings
Begin to move, shake, jiggle, wiggle – stretch your body in whatever way feels good to you now
The MBSR Mindful Movement is now complete.