What exactly is body awareness? Tolle discusses body awareness as a way to the “inner body” or our life energy. Yogis call this life energy “Prana”; Buddhists use the word “Chi.” Our minds are often so busy we confuse thinking about and judging our bodies and as being “body aware,” but this is the antithesis of body attunement and awareness.
Right now take a moment to sense your fingers from the inside out. You can do this with eyes open or closed– it’s not looking at your fingers, but sensing the energy or aliveness that is within each finger and giving your focus to that. If you quiet yourself enough you can actually feel your own essential energy–starting with one small body part and eventually, if the mind doesn’t get in the way, connecting to it throughout your entire body.
The purpose of this is to connect with a more peaceful, aware state. If you are agitated with a current circumstance, taking a few breaths and practicing some inner bodyawareness will help you get grounded and clear. This can prevent reactions with others and/or a way to catch negative impulses going on in your own mind; because IT IS beyond the mind. It also helps you be more in tune with your body’s natural desires for food, water, exercise, sleep, play, rest, etc.
It is amazing how much people push and punish their bodies, demanding from them more and more, and then become surprised when they crash- physically, mentally, emotionally, etc. Accessing body awareness is not just a way to become more present for the bodies’ needs, it’s a way to simply become more aware. As a practice in itself it creates an inner atmosphere of increased tolerance, kindness, patience, and calm—a surefire way to enhance every circumstance.
Anni Johnston, LMHC-S, BC-D/MT, CEDS, CYT works at Therapeutic Oasis of the Palm Beaches as a Licensed Mental Health Counselor and Movement Therapist. In addition to her therapy work, Anni offers weekly Beginner and Advanced Meditation classes at Sacred Treehouse. She also offers book studies and special workshops throughout the year.