You know that feeling you get when you’re happy? You feel light, relaxed, and full of energy. How about the feeling when you are unhappy or stressed? You can sense it in your gut or your heart, you feel tense in your body.
These sensations are your body’s way of calling your attention to feel the physical impact of whatever challenges in life are being hurled at you, and respond with a deep inner feeling of wholeness and resilience.
Inner well-being that is only attainable through a mindful awareness of yourself. One of the best ways to access this is through a kind of body sensing style of meditation.
Practicing body sensing meditation whereby you scan and attune to your physical body can teach you its unique language and help you translate that to a language your brain understands.
On the whole, we pay a lot more attention to what is going on in our thinking minds than in our feeling bodies. With meditation, you can cultivate awareness to support a coherent body and mind.
We should not treat our bodies and minds as two separate entities. We are one being. Radiant health, deep self-wisdom, and the ability to act with integrity come together when these two parts of yourself are working in harmony.
This kind of scanning meditation is also called embodiment meditation. It simply involves practicing body sensing, scanning, becoming aware of and responding to the tiny, subtle clues that your body sends you about your health, thoughts, feelings, emotions, and well-being before they become bigger and more dramatic, and potentially more health-threatening.
How often do you really feel what is going on in your body on a cellular basis?
Do you ever truly focus on how your knees really feel, for example?
Or do you just become aware one day when they suddenly cause you pain?
This is an invaluable practice to master. It’s a way to tune into your body and understand those tiny messages before they become uncomfortable. When you are really in tune with your physical being, you will be able to detect tightness, discomfort, stress symptoms, or irritation at the beginning stages before they potentially worsen to become an illness, high blood pressure, fatigue, stomach ulcers, whatever it may be.
This kind of meditation also helps develop a deep presence at the moment. It is grounding and opens you to become more receptive, directly present, communicative, and aware.
Most of the time stress, fear, and anxiety stems from a lack of presence and a tendency to be stuck in unprocessed thoughts and emotions. When we live in fear of the past or the unknown future, we tend to operate from stress.
When we are grounded and present, we have the clarity to see beyond that fear. Our higher consciousness flows through the body and can override the principles of fear that were otherwise in charge.
Regular in-body meditation will calm your nervous system and guide you to deep relaxation on a mental, physical, and emotional level. You can tune into the physical sensations and inform yourself of what’s really going on in your body, changing your behaviors, thoughts, and approaches to life accordingly.
How to practice embodiment meditation?
There are many different methods of this type of experience. This is a quick example of how to check in with your feet right now, using this approach of sensation and embodiment.
Sensing your Feet
Close your eyes.
Think of yourself as a field of energy, stretching out in all directions through space and time.
Bring your focus to your left foot. Notice the sensations present there. Don’t think and analyze them, simply sense. Welcome all sensations of calm, tension, warmth, coolness, stinging, tingling, pulsing, loosening. Sense how your foot is a field of energy. Sense how far this energy can extend.
Now feel your right foot. Notice the sensations in the same way. What can you feel? Can you sense the presence of your foot as radiant energy?
Now become aware of your presence inside your feet. Can you feel yourself inside them? A sense of your aliveness and energy. Sense your feet as two sources of energy that spread outwards into space for as far as you can imagine. Sit with that sensation for a while. It will feel like a deep knowing, a sense of who you are on profound levels.
Feel this radiant presence of yourself as you sit in meditation for a while longer.
You can extend this practice to include all parts of your body, or just drop in and check the sensations anywhere you feel the inclination.
When done on a regular basis, you will enhance your ability to deal with stress, grow your natural resiliency, and learn how to experience true health and wholeness.
Becoming more in tune with your body’s language will help you to feel more grounded, present and it will even affect your relationships with others positively.