Mini-Programme Week 3
MINDFULNESS OF THE BODY
Before you engage with these practices, please ensure you have read the guidance note on the main Mini-Programme page.
This week is about the ’embodiment’ aspect of mindfulness practice. Although we do work with thoughts and emotions in our mindfulness practice, learning to fully inhabit our physical body is an important part of the path.
A little bit about embodiment
We experience life in our body. But we can become disconnected from that reality. When I first came to mindfulness, I was hardly aware that I even had a body, I was so accustomed to inhabiting the reality that existed only in my head, as a stream of thoughts about the past and the future.
As we become more aware, we re-connect with our embodied, physical experience – and we develop a new appreciation of both the external environment and the sensations inside our own body.
Mindful living helps us to maintain a balance between doing and being, and between mind and body. We can take a break from achieving, to allow for just being. We can embrace being in the body to give the thinking mind a rest. All of this helps us to access a peaceful state of natural wellbeing more often, one in which we are fully connected to our experience of being alive.
To hear a bit more about this, watch this week’s video, Mindfulness – It’s Not All About Your Mind
You can also find the video on my youtube channel here.
A prompt you can try this week is ‘the sensations I notice in my body are…’. Try describing the sensations, as you feel them directly in the body, in this moment. Don’t worry if you can’t find the right words at first, it can take time to build familiarity. It might be easy to notice sensations that feel unpleasant, or that you associate with stress (we are wired to do so, for self-protection), but try also looking out for any pleasant experiences that you notice in the body. These might be physical sensations such as warmth, expansiveness, softness, openness, or anything else that feels good – there’s no ‘right answer!’
Again, you can do this as a daily journalling exercise, and just see what is present in that given moment, or you can pause during daily life to check in with the body. This exercise can be helpful when you feel stuck in a ‘thought loop’. You may also notice that it’s quite difficult to keep your attention in your body, and this is quite usual: it’s why increasing our body awareness is a practice that we develop over time.
This week’s suggested practice is ‘Feet On The Floor’, which is outlined in the video below entitled Get Grounded. This is another practice that you can apply many times per day.
As always, if you find one of the other practices that I discuss there is more appealing right now, go with your instinct.
You can also find this video on my youtube channel here.
If you want to do some meditation this week, you might like to try one of the recordings in the ‘Body Awareness’ section of my Meditations page, such as ‘Basic Body Scan’ (22 mins), or the 5-minute ‘Body Check-In’ from my Short Meditations page.
When you get to the end of the week, you might like to make a note of anything that you found particularly helpful, or interesting.
Once you reach the end of the mini-programme, you may choose to continue your mindfulness journey in whatever way best suits you at the moment. Here are a few ideas:
There are lots of blogs on this website (arranged by category at the bottom). If you prefer books, you might like my Top 10 Mindful Reading List
1-to-1 Reflection Session
If you have found it helpful to engage with the practices in this mini-programme, and you would like a private space to reflect on your experiences, you can book in for an optional ‘Reflection Session’ with me. This is a 1-to-1 session via zoom (or skype), where I give you the space to reflect on what has been helpful, where you would like to develop further, and possible next steps. At the end of the session, we can also discuss the programmes I offer, and other options for learning mindfulness.
Please note I am currently only able to accept session bookings from people who are in the UK. Also, I only accept new clients for programmes where I think my approach would be a good fit. When this is not the case, I can usually suggest other options that may be more suitable.
If you would like to book a Reflection Session – please only do so if you have engaged with the Mini-Programme material (so that you have something to reflect on!). For more information about 1-to-1 coaching sessions with me and how to book, see the Mindfulness Coaching page.
I am not currently running group mindfulness classes, but you can find links to other options on my page Update On Classes