No equipment and no special location are necessary in order to do a body scan. Start by sitting on a chair or on the floor and quickly assess where you feel tension in your body; feel how your head sits on your neck and if your shoulders are relaxed or not. Do not judge or try to explain what you feel, just gather the information your body is offering to you. Next lie down and start breathing, inhaling and exhaling through the nose. Keep your knees bent or straight, depending on what feels more comfortable for your body. Feel how your body is becoming very heavy. This is not a relaxation exercise, even though you will feel more relaxed at the end of it. It is a body scan: you are gathering information about how your body feels as a whole and how the parts of your body feel in relation to each other. This exercise teaches you how to create a conscious partnership between the body and the mind. Pay attention to the following: Continue reading
How many times do you begin your workouts with an internal body scan? Do you breathe and feel how your body is doing in that particular moment? Do you take a few minutes to get in touch with your own body and then start your workout from an informed perspective?
If you do, than you know that this is maybe the most important part of a workout or training session.
If you do not, then it is time to start exercising your body in a more conscious manner. At this point you might ask why such a step is necessary or even dismiss it from the start as a waste of time and stop reading the remainder of the article. If you feel compelled to do just that, I will ask you to remember a time when you got injured during a workout or a running or cycling session.
With the understanding that learning to listen to the physical body is of utmost importance for every day life, general health and well being, learning to do a body scan is of equal importance. Knowing what feels tight, weak or out of alignment before engaging in any physical activity will influence the workout routine, its duration and its intensity.
Working out within the paradigm of respect and cooperation with the body will lead to faster results. Most importantly, working out while understanding the signals and messages coming from the body will prevent most of the injuries acquired due to lack of awareness.
In the next post I will guide you through a body scan.