“In today’s rush, we all think too much — seek too much — want too much — and forget about the joy of just being.” Eckhart Tolle
The next part of our program is about reconnecting with your body. Most of us tend to live in our heads, taking our bodies for granted. Our bodies sometimes ask for attention. Try to think of all those headaches or bodily sensations that you might try to ignore. In fact, we often try to get rid of unpleasant sensations that bother us.
We then tend to disconnect from our bodies trying to avoid any unpleasant sensations happening to them. It’s important to have good communication with your body and to recognize all the signs of stress it gives you, and to understand what your body is telling you. If you ignore the body, it starts to complain. The best way to prevent the body complaining is to practice mindfulness. With this exercise you will learn how to reconnect with your body and you will then experience a greater sense of energy as a result.
The Body Scan
One of the most effective ways to reconnect with your body is to perform the body scan. This can be done when lying down, standing up or sitting down. Scanning the body allows you to take note of the bodies reactions or sensations. When we are being mindful, we remain in touch with our experiences as they are happening to us. You may experience different sensations on different days or at different times. This is perfectly normal.
All you have to do is to observe what these sensations are.
Please allow about thirty minutes to perform the Body Scan.
Find a place where you can lie down without being disturbed. If you’re not comfortable lying down it is fine to do the practice sitting in a chair.
If you lie down, make yourself comfortable on your back, perhaps using a mat or cushions, or lying on your bed, with a blanket to keep warm.
The point of the exercise is to be aware of your body as it is, not necessarily to become relaxed. Think of it as a chance to ‘fall awake’, rather than falling asleep.
See if you can bring an attitude of ‘Just doing it’ – not expecting the practice to be a certain way, not expecting any particular effects or benefits, just being friendly to yourself and your experience, whatever that might be.
Please play the Body Scan Audio File below now.
Complete this exercise for three days in a row before moving to the next exercise.
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Diary Questions: Please answer these questions in the ‘Take Notes’ Section.
- How did it feel trying to get in touch with your body’s sensations?
- Did you feel ok, strange, confused or even anxious?
- Did you connect more easily with your upper body or lower body?
- What types of sensations did you notice?
Assignment: We want you to practice the body scan each day for seven days, and answer the diary questions above after each body scan.