The theme for this month’s practice is SLOWING DOWN.
This week we will turn inward in the spirit of the changing seasons to attune to the wisdom of the body. Our bodies are always sending us messages, yet we are often so busy or distracted that those messages have to get louder and louder before they are heard—often showing up as pain or discomfort (emotional or physical). We will cultivate awareness and gratitude while we slow down—practicing active listening, connecting to our amazing bodies, and nourishing self-care.
This first 10-minute practice will begin our quest for a softer pace, so that we may be more gentle with ourselves. Find a quiet and comfortable space to lie down, away from distractions and technology. You may want to read the practice through once before beginning so that you can be fully present.
Take one minute to breathe, consciously letting go of your day, the week, any stresses or concerns, anything hanging on from the past, or anything that is yet to come. Allow yourself to simply be present with your breath.
- Begin to relax your body, starting at the crown of your head and working all the way down to the tips of your toes. Let your eyes soften, relax the muscles in your face, relax your jaw, inhaling and exhaling. Continue moving down the body, softening and letting go with each breath.
- Make a mental note of anything that wants your attention, such as an emotion, feeling, or sensation in the body. Notice if there is a message there for you—a toothache, a knotted muscle, a pain in the heart. As you move through the body, do so from a place of non-judgement, letting sensations and feelings arise as gracefully as your breath.
- After you have completed the body scan, come to a sitting position and journal your findings. What is your body telling you? What needs attention? How is your body asking you to slow down and nourish self-care?
- Take action by committing to nourish self-care in some small way—for example, making an appointment for a massage, going to the chiropractor, talking to a trusted friend, taking care of that nagging toothache, or whatever it might be.
Repeat this daily to grow your awareness of the magnificent relationship between you and your body. Stay tuned for next week as we progress on our journey of slowing down by bringing gratitude and mindfulness to our experiences with food.
Photo: Can you blame the sky? by Norte_it on Flickr (cc)