Being in the body is a means of staying present. When you connect to your body you can be present with yourself, but also with your environment and in your relationships. When you become aware of what you are sensing, your window of perception and connection widens.
How do you connect to your body? How do you bring yourself into the present moment? Feel your feet on the floor, your sit bones on your seat. Follow the breath, drop your shoulders. Did you commit?
When we show up with awareness, we show up present. It is a physical act, rather than a philosophical idea. Connecting to your body allows you to be with what is at that moment. Connecting to your body allows you to be present. Connecting increases your awareness of your sensations, and it opens up your capacity to sit with what is there now; in your body, in your environment, in your experience.
Connect to your breath
Pay attention to how you are breathing. What is the quality of your breath and what does it tell you about your current state?
Breathing is key when we connect to our embodiment. Our breath lets us expand and take up more space. It supports us in getting grounded, and allows us to sense bodily sensations. Connecting to our body through the breath allows us to slow down, and to be more receptive to the information that is coming at us.
What does your breathing allow you to sense? Does it make it easier to connect to certain body parts? Sometimes deep breaths will let us discover areas of our body that have felt numb, and are somewhat unfamiliar or very distant from our thinking mind.
Consciously breathing into those areas or placing your hands on them can make them wake up, allowing you to include them in your sensed embodiment.
Scan your body and sensations
As you scan your body, notice what sensations you become more aware of. And can you become aware of your invisible body parts, such as your organs, your neck and upper back? Breathe into them. Do you feel more connected to yourself now than when you began?
Stay with the sensations you sense in your body. Is it challenging to stay grounded? Do your thoughts take over? Do you get restless and uncomfortable? Perhaps you even feel as if you are looking at yourself from the outside?
If you are used to relying on the analytical and rational mind, exercises like this can make you feel as though you are observing your body. It could mean it takes a while for you to even sense your body at all. To simply be aware of your traits and patterns helps you to change them. Practice connecting to your body and your breath, and relating to what you are sensing. Practice maintaining a connection to the present moment.
Stress disconnects you from your body
Many lead hectic lives that operate around to-do-lists, deadlines, materialism, possessions, and social status. The stress of that has us scrolling, consuming, hustling, judging, and leading superficial lives. In the midst of it you lose your connection to your soma, leaving you in your head with your thoughts, exhausted. That, in turn, could have you breathing shallowly, or pausing in between breaths, which signals stress and anxiousness to the brain. Remembering to take deep breaths interrupts the stress signals, and makes you aware of connecting to your body.
Stress, or being too much in your thoughts, can have a numbing effect on your body, leaving you feeling disconnected from all but your analytical mind. That makes the body merely a vehicle that transports your personality around. Connecting to your soma, and the present moment, will let you access more of who you are, and get a sense of how you are actually feeling.
Connecting to your felt experience can help manage stress and anxious thoughts. Additionally, it can help you discover yourself anew. Connecting to your body fosters a sense of self and aliveness in the body. Connecting to your body fosters self-awareness and self-regulation.
Connect anew when thoughts get loud
A mind that is used to analyze and question everything outside of the body, may need some time to quiet down. How can you stay with the sensations that are present for you, without starting to analyze them?
Meditation can help to quiet the mind, but it can also have the opposite effect, because it can be very difficult to stay still if your mind is loud or anxious. Free form movement or meditative dancing may be a practice that allows the mind to stay quiet for longer, as you need to be present in the body while dancing. If sitting in stillness leaves you anxious and overthinking, I encourage you to try moving freely in a dance.
The soma is the focus point when we want to connect to ourselves, get present, and sense our embodiment. Consciously connecting to your body makes you more aware, and with awareness comes the opportunity to listen and understand your body’s communication. What are the biggest challenges for you when practicing connecting to your body? Are there distractions or sabotagers? Let me know what you discover.