THE BODY SCAN
Ever wonder why your stomach gets upset when you are feeling sad or nervous? Our feelings and our bodies are so interconnected but we rarely tune into our body parts individually to actually discover where we are holding tension. Common places include shoulders, traps (trapezius), and stomach. But oftentimes, we are holding stress in places we don’t even realize.
Benefits of a body scan:
• Tune into our physical bodies
• Learn to identify where you hold tension when stressed so that you can do something about it
• Take time to pause and focus on yourself rather than the busy world around you
• Can provide relaxation and stress relief
Get comfortable – lay down or sit upright, as long as you can fully relax the body.
Close your eyes, take a deep breath, and focus your attention on every inch of your body as you scan from your toes to the top of your head, pausing at each body part and pausing at every organ.
Notice how each body part and each organ feels. Pay attention to any areas of tightness, discomfort, or tension. Spend a bit more time focusing on areas of tension and practice “breathing into this area.” If you want, give yourself a massage in that area or note it for later. Move on to the next body part when you feel ready.
Practice this technique as little or as often as you need – any time you feel stress.
ALTERNATE NOSTRIL BREATHING
• Slows your heart rate
• Relaxes your body and may lower stress
• Quiets the mind by shifting focus to the breath
Sit in a comfortable position.
Exhale completely then use your right pointer finger to close your right nostril.
Inhale through your left nostril, then close your left nostril with your left pointer finger. Open the right nostril and exhale through this side.
Inhale through the right nostril then close this side with the right pointer finger.
Open the left nostril and exhale through the left side.
Repeat for 3-5 cycles.
Always consult your doctor if you have any concerns or medical conditions. Stop all practices if you feel any adverse effects.