5 Steps to Radical Awareness: Step 2

Body Awareness – Two Minute Body Scan

Spiritual growth begins with Awareness, awareness of the world around us and the fact that we may not see it clearly. Meditation, breathwork and other practices help us expand Awareness.

Here is the second of five short practices to expand Awareness and help us see more clearly.

Most people can feel stress physically. Parts of their body begin to ache. But we don’t have to wait until our body screams at us for attention. Regular body awareness can stop the effects of stress before they start to hurt. Practice regular body scans to catch stress before it hurts.

A body scan can be done almost anywhere at any time as long as you can focus your attention on your body.

Begin by paying attention to your right foot. Relax it. It may tense up again in a few minutes but for now consciously relax your foot. Ten relax your left foot. Relax your legs, your right leg first, then your left. Move up to your hips, your lower back, middle and upper back, shoulders, arms, hands, neck, jaw, forehead, whole face.

Did you have to move any part of your body, even imperceptibly, to relax it? If you did, it was tense to some degree.

This exercise is a scan, a diagnostic. It prompts you to be more aware of your body. If any part of your body is tense, take action to relax it. That may mean a change of posture, stretching or more extensive stress management practices such as breathwork or mediation. Set an alarm at intervals throughout the day to remind you do a quick body scan.