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To be aware of your body is to love it

Awareness of the body is an important part of the practice of mindfulness. What we refer to as body awareness is really the awareness of our posture, the sensations that occur in the body, and the movement of our body. This, of course, includes our mind’s response to these movements and sensations

Being aware of our bodies should be a natural process, but there are people who are somehow disconnected from their bodies. For some reason, their consciousness is limited and so their aliveness is also limited. This disconnect affects their joy, the natural happiness that is experienced through our physical senses.

Being more mindful of our bodies helps us to become healthier physically and psychologically. Not only that, body awareness is an important foundation in our spiritual practice. Our mindfulness practice, for instance, often begins with physical mindfulness.

Scanning the body

There are certain mindfulness exercises that can increase our body consciousness and allow us to live more in the present. One basic practice is to maintain awareness of the breath, and then to become aware of the sensations arising in our body.

Scanning the body is yet another body awareness technique that is done to intentionally notice sensations in the body, as well as the mind’s reaction to these sensations. It involves sweeping awareness throughout the body from top to bottom (head to toes) and perhaps back again.

Notice where the tensions are, find out which parts need care and attention. The practice can be done for relaxation but it is generally used as a way to enhance our experience of the present moment. Try it today by sitting or lying down in a quiet place, closing your eyes, and relaxing the breath.

Mindful movement is a dynamic way to connect with your body. Yoga, Tai Chi, and Walking Meditation are among the many practices that can train us to be more mindful. We can bring more awareness to the body while we're doing chores and moving through our day. Simply feel your feet touching the ground or touch into the sensations of each stretch or movement.

The invitation is to be compassionate and kind toward your body. Try to refrain from judging or criticizing it. Remember that your body is what allows you to experience the world through your senses; sight, smell, hearing, taste, and touch. So it's important to be grateful and love your body just as it is, no matter the size, shape, color, and ability.

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