What kind of relationship with do you have with your body? You know, that part of you that carries your head around? Your temple, right? Do you have a friendly, supportive, appreciative and tuned-in relationship? Or maybe it’s a relationship with plenty of frustration, criticism and being ignored or taken for granted? For most of us, there’s a mix.
Since we all get only one body in this life, it’s nice to work on making friends. This week, we’ll be practicing mindfulness of the body through attention to alignment, doing a one-minute STOP and a body scan practice. Simple stuff, just takes a little practice.
This week’s practices: the Body Scan, versions of which can be found on all of the websites on your resource list and the one minute S.T.O.P. Try for at least two body scan practices, short or long, and throw a S.T.O.P. or two into each day.
A few words about alignment and posture… “Posture” sounds like something that moms nag about. However, proper alignment is a big deal – with it we’re more comfortable and don’t get tired, achy or restless as quickly. Here’s a fun way to think about alignment - when standing, imagine you had a tail...
Picture a nice tail coming off your tailbone - would it be extended out in a graceful curve like the tail of a happy dog? Or, following a slumped back, tucked under like a scared dog? Or be overly erect and stiff like a tense dog? This can be easier to see on others, so next time when you’re someplace where people are standing in line (Starbucks is perfect), check out how they’re standing and imagine their tails, then notice your own. Naturally, be polite – try not to stare!
These illustrations of Sad Dog, Tense Dog and Happy Dog, from movement therapist Kathleen Porter, make the point.
Do yourself a favor - as you go through your day, take a moment every so often to check in with your body and notice your posture. Take a breathe and re-align yourself. Comfortable, relaxed and alert.
If you're interested in learning more about alignment, check out Kathleen Porter's website and her videos on YouTube,
Be well - see you at Mindfulness Training!