Are you someone who’s only conscious from the neck up? If I were to ask you how your toes feel, would you be able to answer such a question? Many people are simply unaware of how their body feels.
Unless there is an injury and your body is signaling some sort of pain, or you’re experiencing euphoria through orgasm, most people would struggle with the concept of being able to feel internal aspects of their body. With the stress load that many of us bear, there are unprecedented cases of TMJ, and clenching of our jaw. Sometimes we unknowingly hold our breath and create strain, rather than keeping an even breath using our lungs. Perhaps you hunch over and don’t even know it. I often wonder how patients diagnosed with cancer or cysts had growths detected that were the size of a baseball, yet could never feel the mass inside of them.
Becoming aware of our bodies, including the pains, the pleasures, the normal and the abnormal feelings, will allow for living and maintaining a healthier lifestyle, both physically and mentally. If you are feeling disconnected from your body, try this simple meditation to restore your sensitivity.
1. Find a comfortable position and relax. I suggest lying down on your bed or floor on your back. Although this is not typically a suggested pose for meditation, as quite often you drift into sleep, for the purpose of this meditation, this position works well.
2. Begin breathing in to the count of five through your nose, and out through your mouth for the count of five. Identify your diaphragm, located in the lower portion of your lungs in the center of your chest. Try to generate your breath from this location. How does this feel? Is your breath tight or flowing? Identify the feeling of air filling your lungs and see if you can feel the difference when you are actually trying to feel the air penetrate the lungs, as opposed to just feeling yourself take a breath. A little tricky!
3. Next, allow your senses to identify and feel the muscles and any tension within the feet. How do your toes feel? At first your response may be… “My toes… I can’t feel my toes!” But give it a minute. Soon, you’ll actually be able to feel your toes once your mind has shifted and is receiving signals to your brain from the proper receptors. So now, how do your toes feel? Are they stiff? Does your pinky toe ache from being crammed in your shoe? Is there a burning or tingling feeling?
4. Now shift your focus to another part of your body. Rather than moving upward in the body, I suggest choosing another location to focus on that’s distant. How about your neck? Now this should be an easy spot, as most people feel their neck. Why is this? Because our neck and lower back are some of the more common locations where we store our stress, resulting in stuck energy that may cause us pain. I am sure you won’t have any problem identifying how your neck feels… If only there was somebody nearby to rub it!
5. Continue switching to other locations in the body and repeat this exercise. Remember that it may take a moment for you to mentally tap in to the location to feel your body using this new sensory method.
This quick and easy workout is designed to bring mindfulness into your body and daily routine. Just because you may not be distracted by a painful sensation in your body doesn’t mean that you don’t have the ability to “feel” your body if you desire to give yourself a check-up. Taking a few moments each day and tapping into the deeper sensations of your body will acquaint you with how they feel in their healthy, functioning state. Furthermore, when something is out of balance, you will definitely be able to recognize a different feeling, and your quick response will aid in healing. Allow yourself to thoroughly feel your body, like you never have before.