Guided meditations and visualisations more contemporary than the mindfulness practice that we wrote about earlier. They are often used by psychologists, therapists, hypnotists and body workers to help activate chemicals in the brain which release positivity. This form of meditation is very easy to do and helps enormously if you’re having a hard time relaxing or if you prefer to listen to the sound of someone’s voice instead of listening to your breath. It’s something we love to share with guests on our Bali retreat.
Most guided meditations will ask you to imagine yourself in a specific situation, it could be a fragrant garden or on a beach with a gentle breeze. This depends on the teacher you choose, there are many meditation recordings online and you will often find a guided meditation or visualisation at the end of a good yoga class.
The benefits of guided meditations and visualisations are similar to those of other types of meditation. Reduced stress and increased awareness. Enhanced physical and mental wellness. A greater sense of self-awareness and calm in situations that once challenged you and an increase in your feelings and ability to be creative. Through guided meditations or visualizations you’ll discover the joy and self-healing that’s on offer when we tap into pleasurable experiences as a distraction or remedy to specific problems in our lives.
So How Does It Work?
We’ve all heard the term that our thoughts create our reality and guided meditations are based on this concept. Visualisation is built on the premise that the thoughts going through your mind will create an experience that your nervous system can’t distinguish from reality. It pretty much cleverly tricks our minds and bodies to heal or perform to their optimal capacity.
Guided meditations and visualisations are so effective because they give us an experience of images and emotions which impact the subconscious mind and cause positive change in the way we behave or the way we think. This type of meditation is a true shortcut to mastering your mind and body to work for you instead of against you which is why it’s popular with elite athletes, famous performers and creative professionals.
The Scientific benefits
There have been all sorts of studies on guided meditations and visualisations. Everyone from cancer doctors to cognitive-behavioral therapists uses it as a tool for healing. Doctors have found that they can create visualisations based on specific situations or important memories in their patients as a catalyst for psychological and physical healing. It’s an amazing way of replacing the symptoms of distress with feelings of physical calm and peace using just the imagination.
More and more these days the Western medical tradition acknowledges that out mental processes will greatly influence our health and it’s very exciting to see the ancient practice of meditation being recommended by doctors as often as it is by recommended by spiritual teachers.
It’s Time To Whet Your Appetite
Guided visualisation is something we practice with our guests on our Bali women’s retreat. However, if you can’t get to Bali this year, just go online or visit the Apple App or Google Play store to find guided meditations and visualisations which are available for purchase. They can even be found free on some websites.
Below I’ve also included one of the very first visualisations I ever did. It’s a famous one that you may have heard before – but it’s a great piece of evidence for the connection between the body and the mind. You don’t even have to close your eyes to experience the power of this one. Simply read the passage below and notice what happens to your body. The mind is a powerful tool indeed!
Imagine a lemon. Imagine you are holding the lemon in your hand. Visualize it clearly in your mind. You can see its colour, feel its bumpy surface, and see the stem. Imagine that you drop it on a wooden table and hear the sound it makes. Imagine you have a very sharp knife and are cutting the lemon in two. See the cut surfaces glistening and notice that you have even cut one of the seeds in half. Now visualize a sparkling clean glass and squeeze the juice from one of those halves into the glass. See it run down the side of the glass.
Now imagine that you are lifting the glass towards your face so you can smell the lemony flavour of the juice. Place the rim of the glass in your mouth and as you tilt the glass up, let the lemon juice flow down the side of the glass into your mouth. Taste the lemony taste. Taste the sourness of the juice as it flows over and around the sides of your tongue. Savor the tart flavour and notice the flow of saliva.
I hope theses articles could be the prompt you need to follow that tiny voice which calls you towards a complete wellness. Whatever form of meditation you choose I wish you peace and wellbeing.
Yours in yoga, Laura
Escape Haven Bali Retreat, supporting women on year making wellness experiences.
We invite you to come and experience for yourself our award winning Bali yoga retreat. If it’s time to fill up your cup and shrug off all the roles that you wear and all the balls you juggle in your busy life, we’d love to pamper you. From transformational yoga and meditation classes, to exhilarating surf lessons in the warm waters of Bali, fun fitness in our tropical gardens to restorative healing and pampering sessions, how much or little you do is all up to you.