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How to Tune into Your Body

By Andrea Kartika Deierlein

We live in a high-tech, yet low-touch world. It’s very easy to live just in our heads. That’s why at yesterday's Mindful Monday meditation at the Crestwood Library, we focused on listening to our bodies. The participants enjoyed this exercise so much that I now want to share it with you, too.
 
Our bodies are so much more than just vessels we need to feed, hydrate, move, and rest. They enable us to show up in life - and to be present. The body is always in the present moment. It’s the mind that wanders into the future and into the past. Here is a simple meditation exercise that helps you be in tune with your body. You’ll only need a quiet space and a few moments.

  1. Find a comfortable position. You can either sit or lie down.
  2. Close your eyes or leave them open with a soft gaze.
  3. Pay attention to your breathing. Inhale slowly to the count of five into your belly and exhale to the count of six or seven or longer. Repeat 10 times.
  4. When you feel settled, bring your awareness to your body.
  5. Start at the feet. Focus your attention on your toes, then the heels, then the soles. Stay in each spot for a few breaths and notice the different sensations you are experiencing.
  6. Then bring your attention to your legs and knees. Notice how they are feeling in a non-judgmental way.
  7. Proceed to bring your attention to your abdomen, how it rises and falls with every breath that you are taking. Stay there for a while, resting in your center.
  8. Then proceed the same pattern with your torso, your back, neck, face, and head. One by one.
  9. Whenever your mind wanders, bring it back to the body part you last remember.
  10. Repeat until you feel calm and centered. Or fall asleep ;-)

Please do not judge or analyze what you are feeling. Just notice your body and its presence. Let it be your anchor. Develop moment-to-moment awareness and over time, hone this skill.

Don’t hesitate to tell me how you like this meditation. I am here to help you be more present and balanced, so that you can be in tune with yourself – and with life.

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