Category: Helpful Meditations Written by Manikesh Views: 1614
Through the inner body, you are forever one with God - Eckhart Tolle (source)
I have suffered from social anxiety and low self-esteem for a good part of my childhood and adult life. What has helped me overcome it to a large extent and continues to help me is the practice of body awareness.
So what is body awareness?
Simply put, body awareness is about consciously "feeling" your body from within. I emphasize the word "feeling" because this exercise is purely about that. Not using your thoughts to feel, but to feel using your body. As an example, when you feel your heart, you don't imagine your heart beating but actually feel it beating by shifting your attention there.
Benefits of body awareness
On a default basis, your attention is lost in your thoughts. Body awareness helps take your attention away from your thoughts (mind) into your body. So for one, it can definitely help you reduce rumination and hence helps you instantly get into a state of relaxation.
Also, your body loves your attention and as you spend more and more time focusing inside your body, your body starts functioning at optimum levels vibrating at a higher frequency - the frequency of healing and restoration. This is also a great way to get in touch with your emotions and understand them on a deeper level. This way, you can gain better control over your emotions. As before, emotions will not sweep you away, you will be able to think and act camly in their midst. Body awareness can also help you release suppressed emotions from your body further leading to physical and psychological healing.
Constant practice will help you feel your body at a deeper level and can be immensely useful in dealing with stress and anxiety. These are just a few of the many benefits you can get out of this practice.
Body awareness exercise you can try today
Here’s a simple body awareness exercise that you can do at home today.
Step 1: Make yourself relaxed and comfortable
Make yourself comfortable by sitting or lying down (you can lie down on your bed or on the floor on a mat).
Close your eyes and take a few minutes to relax your body by letting go. One of the best ways to relax is to consciously feel the entire weight of your body being supported by your bed/floor. You don’t have to hold on to anything, just let go and let the bed hold you.
Now take a few deep breaths. Each time you exhale, let go more and more. Get into deeper and deeper states of relaxation.
Step 2: Become conscious of your attention
You are now going to work with your attention. Start by realizing that your attention is like a torch light. You can focus it anywhere you want. A large chunk of our attention is focused on our thoughts as we are programmed to live in our minds. Through this exercise, we are going to give some attention back to our body.
Realize that your mind in itself is part of the body. And although we stay focused in the mind all day long, we only focus on the thoughts produced by the mind and not the mind in itself. As an analogy, think of being completely engrossed in watching T.V. without being aware of the presence of the T.V. and how it is functioning to provide you with these pictures.
So begin by becoming conscious of your attention and where it is focused. Is it focused on some thoughts? That’s perfectly fine. Simply become aware of it. Awareness brings a small gap between you and your thoughts. Once you become aware, you become the watcher of your thoughts instead of being lost in your thoughts.
Once you become aware of your attention this way, you can direct it anywhere you want.
Step 3: Bring awareness into your body
Now gently bring your attention to your breath. Focus on the air entering your nostrils and into your lungs. Feel your lungs expand as they get filled with life energy and then contract as this energy is expelled out. Try feeling your lungs from the inside. Feel your lungs taking oxygen from the air and then circulating this life energy throughout your body. As you do this, realize that your lungs have been working non-stop on their own, since the beginning, without you having to do anything.
After about a minute or so, slowly bring your attention to your heart beats. If you cannot feel your heart at first, try placing a hand on your heart and see if you can feel the vibrations of your heart beats. As you do this, realize that your heart has been beating non-stop since the beginning, supplying life energy to every cell of your body. You did not do anything to make it work. It just is. Continue to focus on your heart beats for a few seconds to a minute.
Now bring your attention to your hands, starting from your shoulders, your upper arms, your forearms, your wrists, your fingers and finally the palm of your hands. Feel the energy radiating from your palms.
Next, shift your focus to your stomach and feel your stomach digesting food and producing life sustaining energy. Realize that your stomach does this on its own without you having to do anything.
Shift your attention to the lower abdominal area, the area right below your belly button also known as the sacral chakra. Focusing here can be great to eliminate any digestive problems that you might have.
Bring your attention to your feet and feel the energy radiating from the soles of your feet.
Once you do that, move your attention upwards towards your neck, focus on your throat, your gums, your teeth, your tongue, your shoulders, your upper back muscles and the whole length of the spinal cord starting from the top and going to the bottom and then from the bottom to the top.
Bring your attention to the back of your head; slowly move to the front of your head which is your forehead and then to the crown chakra which is the top most point on the center of your head. The crown chakra is known to rule the entire brain and the nervous system. So focusing here can be immensely beneficial to your overall being.
In a similar way, shift your attention to various parts of your body. Whatever part you feel like focusing on. Do you sense a mild ache somewhere? Shift your focus there. Feel the ache completely and relax that area.
Sequence of Focus
The sequence of focus mentioned here is for helping you get started and is not a requirement. You can shift focus to any part of your body at any time based on where your focus takes you.
Let your focus roam free within your body and it will automatically take you to a part that requires your attention. Also, it is not necessary to focus on all body parts in a single meditation. You can focus on any specific part you want to.
Body awareness is a powerful practice that can bring profound transformations in your life. There are so many amazing things happening in your body without your conscious awareness. Don’t you think It’s high time you give your body the attention it deserves?
Visit my site Outofstress.com for more such articles on meditation, mindfulness, relaxation, awareness and expanding your consciousness.
This article was submitted exclusively to CrystalWind.ca by Manikesh
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