A deeply relaxing guided meditation in which you use your breath and body to travel towards open awareness

When I first started meditating, I was strongly against the idea of guided meditations. I believed quite rigidly that someone else’s voice added too much noise to the practice. In more recent years, however, I’ve come round to the idea, and even occasionally offer guided meditations in my yoga classes.

Here’s one in which I try to help you enter a state of deep relaxation by using your breath and body as vehicles of meditation, before settling into open awareness. If you’ve got half an hour to spare, I invite you to try it. Taking the time to relax deeply can be a powerful tonic for both mind and body.

I use some of the body-scanning techniques of yoga nidra – often described as meaning “yoga sleep” – but none of the imagery-based or semi-religious elements of that practice. This is a wholly secular meditation, suitable for anyone wanting to relax and explore the nature of consciousness.

Martin Yelverton is a yoga teacher and Pilates instructor working in East London; more information here.