As children, we explore the world with curiosity and awe. Babies experience their surroundings with all their senses, exploring and delighting in the sensations of touch and the discovery of new sounds and textures.
As we grow up we tend to use our minds more than our bodies, perhaps failing to realise the important connection between the two. Our minds and bodies work in tandem, constantly sending signals to each other – if we are stressed our shoulders become tense if we are hungry our body signals to the mind that it’s time to eat.
However, sometimes our minds can become so busy with thoughts that they fail to pick up on the signals that our bodies are sending. Signals of stress, tiredness and pain can all go unnoticed until they become too loud to ignore.
Through mindfulness, you can increase your awareness of your body. One of the key mindfulness meditations, the body scan, involves a guided meditation which encourages you to focus on each part of your body in turn, from tip to toe. In this way, you can explore the tensions in your body and ease them using the breath. But beware – it is so relaxing that you will probably fall asleep the first time you try it!
If you’d like to try it for yourself check out this body scan meditation which combines relaxation for a deep sleep. Jennifer Piercy’s Yoga Nidra for Sleep