As an Occupational therapist, I often find myself using my yoga teacher skills and passions to engage my clients in self care. I am currently focused on nature based therapy and how we can access the benefits of nature even if we can’t get out into nature itself. Some of my clients are non mobile or have challenges exploring the nature we have access to. For example, some of my clients who live in group homes or long term care homes depend on others to take them everywhere, so getting to a beach may be a rare (potentially a never) occasion. So to incorporate nature into our programming, I have put together a beach day meditation! (Youtube has great beach wave sounds like the ones in the video here to add to the meditation!).
Please note that this meditation was a mixture of a bunch of different meditations I found online, but with modifications to benefit the clients that I have at my job. Each individual may be comfortable with something different, so feel free to change around wording as one size does not fit all! Often times the best meditations happen when you can connect personally to the words, so writing one can be fun and so beneficial! Happy meditating 🙂
Find a comfortable sitting or lying down position. Notice anything that might be a bit uncomfortable and just be curious about it. Become aware of any tension you may be carrying in your body and try your best to breathe out and let it go. Begin to bring your attention to your breath. If you can, place one hand on your chest and the other on your belly. Feel your chest rise and fall with each breath.
For the next few breathes try to breathe into the belly. Feeling your belly, and the hand on it, rise and fall as you breathe.
Let’s take one more breath into the belly and one more breath out of your mouth. Removing your hands from your chest and belly and place them at your sides again.
You are calm, you are relaxed, and you are at peace. Remember that this is your time. If you would like to, close your eyes.
Imagine you are on vacation on a beautiful beach. The sand is white and soft and water is the most brilliant aqua colour. There is nothing to worry about, nothing that worrying will solve. It is important to take time for yourself to relax and step away from your worries, even if it is just for a few minutes right now.
You are laying on a comfortable lounger chair by the sea. You feel the warm sun on your skin and the sand on your toes. The corners of your mouth rise towards your eyes as you smile because you feel calm and safe. You can smell the salty water, feel the breeze of the wind as the air moves around you.
Now begin to focus on the sound of the waves. Hear the waves flowing in and crashing on the sand. You watch the waves washing up on the sand and receding back to the sea…. washing up and flowing back down,. Enjoy the ever repeating, calming rhythm of the waves. Water is part of nature and part of our bodies. So allow the sound of the waves to help calm and soothe you.
You feel drawn towards the water, wanting to be part of the movement of the waves. You walk through the warm sand towards the blue-green water. As you walk closer to the water, you can feel the cool mist from the sea on your face. The sand becomes more wet and firm on your feet. A wave crashes on the sand in front of you and you feel the cool water rush over your toes before it recedes…. Feel the sense of gratitude towards the water, for cooling your toes on this hot day.
You walk further into the water to feel the cool water splashing higher on your legs if you wish… dive in and swim if you want to … allow yourself to enjoy the refreshing sea for a few minutes. Allow your relaxation to deepen… feeling more and more relaxed.
You walk back out of the water onto the beach, feeling calm and refreshed. Stroll slowly along the warm sand at the water’s edge, free of worries for a little while.
Sit or lie down back on your lounger and feel the warm sun beaming down on you, the breeze kissing your skin, hear the waves meeting the sand with a splash.
You feel peaceful and relaxed as you are surrounded by this beautiful beach, which is just as lovely as you are.
Remember that you are a part of nature. That you are perfect just as you are, just as nature is. That you deserve all that the universe has to offer you. Just like every water droplet, every grain of sand and every sea creature, you are unique and have a purpose on this earth. Allow the universe to protect you and to nourish you, giving you the strength to fulfill your life’s purpose.
Begin to wiggle your fingers and toes. Coming back from your beach vacation and back into your body. Take a deep breath in and let it out of your mouth with a big sigh. Carrying the calmness and power of water with you as you open your eyes and get ready to continue to go about your day.
You can practice this meditation whenever you like, allowing your imagine to take you on a mini vacation. I enjoy thinking of beautiful nature scenes when I am trying to relax, or when I am doing savasannah in a yoga class. Find what works best for you, and move away from the expectation of achieving something during a mindfulness meditation, and just allowing yourself to enjoy 🙂
Check out my podcast recording here : www.podbean.com/ei/pb-ezahz-1294e4a
Feel free to check out my rainy day visualization for another option 🙂 !