If I were to guess, I would say your scan traveled from the feet up the shins, over the knees, up the front of the thighs, over the belly, up the chest, over the face, and ended at your forehead.
That's great, but what about the backs of the knees, the shoulder blades, the elbows, the back of the neck, and dare I say it, the booty?
The lack of body awareness that people have still amazes me after nearly ten years in the wellness biz. The problem lies mostly in the fact that our eyes are situated so that we see what is in front of us. Regardless of what your mother told you, she doesn't really have eyes in the back of her head.
A student once told me about a time she was out for a stroll down a street lined with various shops. As she stopped to browse in a window, she moved over slightly to make room for the person behind her to pass. She took a closer look at her reflection in the window and realized that no one was behind her. She had been startled by the image of her own rear end! Not to say that she had a particularly large behind, but she simply had no awareness of her whole body until she saw it in the reflection.
How can we cultivate awareness of what we do not regularly see, and why would we want to?
We are whole beings. We have a front, back, and two sides. We have a top and bottom. All of our body parts fit together to form our whole body. Knowledge of our body is not enough. In order to move more efficiently and safely, we need to bring more awareness to the body parts that we tend to ignore.
Let me give you an example. Every time we take a step forward, the motion begins with a push off from the back foot. In order to move forward, energy comes from beneath and behind.
We have all heard that we should walk by leading with the heel of the foot (heel, ball, toe). The calcaneus, or heel bone, is the largest bone in the foot. It is designed to take the shock and pressure of every step we take. We then land onto the ball of the foot and finally roll through the toes.
Walking in this manner reduces stress on the body because it automatically aligns the ankle, knee, and hip joints accordingly. We can train our bodies more efficiently when we focus on the specific parts and their design. When we move in the ways the body was designed, we can typically have a more pleasurable movement experience.
So, let's bring it back full circle: 360 degrees. Spend a minute or two each day and scan your whole body from head to toe. Take a mental trip along the front, back, and sides of the body. As you begin to cultivate awareness of the whole body, notice how you move throughout each day. Notice all the body parts that work together to allow a particular movement. Play with moving in ways that bring more comfort and ease to your body. Lastly, take a moment to express gratitude for all your moving parts and the magnificent body that you occupy.
For more information, visit www.wiseowlwellnessaz.com.