Usually, when I try the Body Scan Meditation, it’s mid-afternoon or before bed. So I usually miss the last half, because I’m snoring.
Today though, I was alert and awake, and somehow found myself inclined to ditch my usual three minute meditation for a 30 minute Body Scan.
And wow it was special.
Because I spent much more time paying attention to different parts of my body, I really noticed things that even when I’m being mindful, I miss.
I noticed the feeling of my toes touching each other. I noticed the way that my right knee feels different to my left. I noticed the feeling of my pelvis and buttocks on the chair. I noticed the feeling of my right elbow, touching a soft cushion. I noticed the weight of my hair in my hairband. I noticed a sense of relief when I reached my head, and my brain worked out that we were nearly done.
I feel like I reached a whole other level of awareness, and with it came curiosity, kindness, acceptance and gratitude.
The breath was key to this as before moving to another section of the body, I was instructed to breathe into this place on the inhale, and then to bring it right back to my nose on the exhale. I’ve been ‘breathing in’ to areas of my body for years now – it’s something that you’ll hear frequently, in a range of different meditation types. But I don’t think I’ve ever experienced it quite like this, in this much detail or with this much feeling.
Before we finished, I repeatedly inhaled and exhaled, from the souls of my feet to the top of my head and back down again. The narrator spoke of how nourishing the breath was for the body; of the gift that I was giving to myself in doing this.
Honestly folks, I genuinely did feel ‘nourished’ by my own breath. And there was a real sense that this was a gift that my body both needed and deserved – after all, it’s been working for me for 35 years.
I felt like I stepped out of my rather chaotic mind, and into my body; a body that when I really looked closely, was a place of calmness, contentment and comfort, but also home to an unshakeable inner-strength.