What does it mean to be in your body and why is it important? To be in your body is to feel sensations within, in the present moment. The alternative, most often, is to live life in the mind and all of its interpretations of existence. The mind tends to bring negative past experiences and perceived future problems to our awareness, especially when we are moving with haste. This comes from the autopilot mode of the limbic system. And while having many functions on autopilot is necessary, we don’t want to be consumed with effort to simply breathe. However, having constant emotional reactions that are negative interpretations of our world is draining at best. It activates our fight or flight response chronically which inhibits healing.
When we feel our body in the present, whether there’s pleasure or discomfort, we have the mental and emotional resources to express the pleasure and shift the discomfort. We cannot healing rather than letting the minds past or future assertions compound the discomfort.
Increasing internal awareness takes devotion to the practice of being in the present moment. As you develop this awareness, feeling becomes more automatic and the ability to calm the body’s reaction is enhanced. Cells can revert to reparative rather than survival functions. The muscles that support the skeleton can engage appropriately rather holding stress tension. And you can only find improved posture when effect change upon what we are not aware of. When we practice feeling our internal sensations we develop what is called somatic (body) awareness. This developed awareness empowers us to use the present moment as a pivot point for shifting pain and holding gratitude for what is working. It is NOT a judgement of or dwelling upon what is uncomfortable. It’s a present moment opportunity for you to realize the potential for you are aware of your position of tendency.
To start this process, first become connected to your body when you are lying down and uninterrupted with support under the knees to relax the back. This will ultimately transfer to awareness as you are moving about. Feel the tension starting at your center deep within the pelvic bowl then emanating up towards the navel and then dispersing out above and below to all parts of the body. Engage rhythmic breathing which is an easy and evenly paced inhale and exhale. Feel your sacrum bone (flat bone at the bottom of the spine) root or ground down so all parts of it feel flush with the surface you are lying on. Simply play with your ability to effect relaxation of this tension and begin to feel the settling of the body as a result.
As all habits take time and consistency to take hold, so does somatic awareness that positively effects the change you want to see. Don’t hesitate to feel this internal awareness throughout the day, but practice in quiet spaces to optimize your success. And be kind to yourself during setbacks as this positive pivot point allows you to get back on track sooner!