5.1 – Bringing Awareness to the Body
Lesson 10 Chapter 5
Welcome to day five. Up to now, we've been mostly working with mindfulness of the breath.
But today, we're going to do something a little bit different.
Today we're going to expand that awareness to the rest of our body, and practice something that's known as the body scan meditation. This will help us cultivate more of a body awareness.
So, you might be wondering, “Why should we cultivate a body awareness?”
“Why not just stick with the breath?”
So, there's a few reasons.
The first reason is that mindfulness is not just about getting good at noticing the breath.
Mindfulness is about opening up to all of the aspects of our life, including our body. Sadly, most of us have lost touch with our bodies.
We live most of our lives lost in our head, completely wrapped up in the stories that we're telling ourself about our life.
Another great benefit of body awareness, is that it can be a sign for when we're feeling stress and tension.
Often, we carry a lot of stress and tension in the body. For example, in the shoulders and in our fists, and in the muscles in our face.
And so, the more we can cultivate a body awareness, the more that we can actually notice when we're feeling stressed and tense, and we can actually start to lessen some of that tension, slowly relaxing some of the body.
I'm sure you know what it's like to get home at the end of the day only to realize that you're just a big bundle of stress and tension.
And so, if we practice mindfulness of the body, what happens is that during our day we notice our shoulders creeping up, we notice our fists clenching when we get angry, we notice our jaw getting tight, and we can actually let this go before it builds up.
So, this is one of the benefits of practicing body awareness and the body scan meditation.
So, how do you actually practice the body scan meditation?
This is very similar to how we practice mindful breathing.
We just want to notice the physical sensations in our body, but bringing our awareness to different parts of the body, not just staying with the breath.
So, what we'll be doing is going through the body part by part, and piece by piece, and just bringing our awareness to the different places.
Noticing any physical sensations that you can actually feel.
There may be some places where you don't feel anything and that's totally fine.
Again, just practicing acceptance.
So, if you're ready to try the body scan meditation, go ahead and click on the next video.
I'll see you there.