Benefits of Body Awareness

What is body awareness?

It is the sense we have of our own bodies. It is also about knowing where our own body is in space. Try touching your nose with your eyes closed. You sense where the nose is. Breath in deep focussing on expanding the lungs as you inhale. Right there. When I’m teaching yoga or qigong I can see where a person’s body awareness is at in the way they move. A “disconnected” person won’t have a sense of what their body is doing and how.

Why is it important?

Having body awareness is about the body and mind connection and integration. It helps you stay very present, instead of getting stuck in the past (guilt/depression) and racing into the future (anxiety/panic).

Instead of being stuck in the parasympathetic nervous system (fight or flight) you will be cruising along in the sympathetic nervous system more often. The benefits to your physical and mental health are too great to list here. Feeling calm is the number 1.

Are you another person telling me to do yoga?

Nope, but yoga, tai chi and qigong practice is way to achieve a greater understanding of somatics. (Greek soma = body in it’s wholeness).

There are many ways to get connected and stay present with your body in the moment. Recently I read that dance is one of the best ways to achieve this (will update ref soon). After 20+ years of yoga and qigong practice I’m going to give dance a try myself, even if I feel like a clown out there!

www.flickr.com/photos/lidok/

How did we become so disconnected with our bodies?

Trauma is the big one.

Trauma (physical or emotional) sends us running from the feelings stored in our bodies, for obvious reasons. It hurts like hell to revisit those. Take it slowly and find an experienced teacher or practitioner to help. Someone who you really resonate with. This goes for your kids too, listen to them if they don’t like the practitioner.

So why don’t you give it a try. Get away from your devices and take some deep breaths in nature somewhere. Go swimming. Stretch. Dance. Talk to a shaman — they are really into this. It’s all about balance. Hope you find yours.

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