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  • lifeunbound21

Become body aware

Updated: Feb 3, 2022

I’ve worked with the human body in the field of health & wellbeing for more than two decades now through massage, nursing and yoga. Physiology has always been something that I’ve wanted to study and learn more about. Over time I have learned that the body is really just like a machine. It's the thing we get to inhabit that helps us move through the experience of life. Just like any machine, if we take care of it, it will run for a long time.

I plan on sticking around for a long time, triple digits is my goal! What I don’t want to happen is to be stuck in a body that is no longer working or allowing me to have the experiences I want while I’m here. Body awareness becomes an important tool then because that's how we learn to pay attention to our body, our machine. Body awareness comes out of the ability to separate yourself from your body and look at it objectively.

I like to think of the body like a spider web. There are some things that pass right through us. We have experiences, and then let them go. They pass through us like the way wind passes through a web. However sometimes things can get caught in the web, both good and bad. We have experiences or interactions that stick in our body. For me, I always feel this as a physical sensation in my chest. If it’s a good experience my chest feels warm, lifted, open. If it's a negative experience, I feel it as a burning sensation. My shoulders will round forward, my head drops down, I get smaller physically and close in around my chest.

Soft tissue (our muscles) hold memory. When this smaller body posture happens and doesn't get moved through, our body creates this imbalance as a posture. The longer we stay like that (running a malfunctioning machine) the more problems result. Again for me, this could feel like upper back pain, shoulder pain, clenching my jaw and headaches.

Rhythmic movement is how we detangle the experiences caught so that we can go back to a properly aligned machine. This could be in the form of walking, dance, deep breathing, etc. The rhythmic movements of these activities make us feel better because they help us to declutter our physical body.

Body awareness is one of the most important tools to help with health and wellbeing because we can't change something we can't see.

This week's practice is to become body aware. I'm trying to notice when life events happen and cause a physical reaction in my body. I want to notice the sticky ones and what the reaction is. If it's holding my breath....easy (I think)....I'll try to remember to breathe. If it's holding my body tight, I'll work to find a way to relax with meditation or move it through with exercise. The point is to get really clear on where feelings stick in the body, what the sensation feels like and how to move it through.

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