Body Awareness Exercise
With your eyes closed, stand normally without postural correction (i.e., don't move your feet to feel more stable, or adjust your shoulders to stand up straight). Be in your body as it is. If you find yourself correcting, shake it out and again find your stance.
Feet: Observe your stance:
- Do you have a wide or narrow stance?
- Do you feel stable or unstable? If you feel unstable, adjust your feet so you feel stable.
- Are your feet pointing inward, outward, or straight ahead?
- How is the weight of your body distributed? Is it evenly distributed or mostly on your heels,
balls of your feet, or the insides/outsides of your feet?
Pelvis: Imagine that your pelvis is a big bowl filled with water.
- Where is your pelvis in relationship to your feet? Are you spilling water out of the front onto
your toes, or back onto your heels, to the sides, or not at all?
- If you are spilling water out of your pelvic bowl, adjust your pelvis so you're not spilling
- Is one side of your pelvis positioned more to the left or right? Bring your pelvis into a more
Ribcage / Trunk:
- How does your ribcage/trunk feel? Do you feel compressed in your ribs? If so, lengthen the
ribcage upward, giving space between your ribs.
- Are you collapsing forward in a slouch or leaning backward? Make adjustments to bring
your ribcage into a more neutral position.
- - Is your ribcage twisting forward to the left or right? If so, adjust a more neutral position.
- In relationship to the pelvis, is the ribcage shifted more to the left or right of the pelvis? If so,
adjust to a more neutral position.
Take a deep breath
- Is your breath shallow or deep?
- Is your inhale accessed from your belly (lower ribcage),
chest (upper ribcage), or back? If your inhale is accessed more dominantly in one area of the
ribcage, are you able to inhale into the less dominant area?
- Is your exhale long or short? If short, can you make it longer?
- Is your head pulled forward over the front of your ribcage or tucked back? Adjust the head
to feel in a more centered position.
- Is your head tilted or turned to the left or right? If more to one side, adjust to a neutral
Before opening your eyes, check in with your body. Does it feel awkward with the adjustments you made, or does your body feel more organized? Do you feel more open and spacious or the same as before?
The sensations you feel in your body can be very subtle, and accessing these sensations is a deep practice. The more that you engage in this type of body scan, the more tuned in to your body you will become. This exercise is more of an awareness tool than a correction tool. However, if your body feels better with the corrections made, continuing with this practice will have lasting effects.