10 Steps to Enhance Body Awareness
Before and during workouts, I want you to get in the habit of doing a quick body scan to get a feel for where you might be out of balance. You might not think you have any imbalances until you do this. Your goal: zero tension.
The 10 Steps:
- While standing upright, act like a string is pulling the top of your head away from your tailbone, elongating your spine.
- Take a few deep breaths, and then, starting at your head, begin to scan each body part.
- Bring your attention to your head and face. Feel any tension in your facial muscles, your forehead, the top of your head, and the back of your head. Take a deep breath and release any tension as you exhale.
- Now bring your attention to your neck and shoulders. Turn your head from side to side, bring your ear to the right shoulder, then to the left, do a few shoulder rolls forward and back. Take a deep breath and release any tension as you exhale.
- Moving down your body, bring your attention to your upper and lower back. Notice any pain or tightness there. Breathe deeply through this area and allow your muscles to relax.
- Focus your attention on your stomach. Pay attention to how it moves as you breathe in and out. Release any tension as you exhale.
- Turn your attention to your hips, butt and thighs. Tense all the muscles in this area, then relax. Repeat this by contracting muscles when you inhale, then release all tension as you exhale.
- Now bring your attention to your calves and shins. How do they feel? Visualize breathing air into these areas and then exhaling out any tension.
- Finally bring your attention to your ankles and feet. Circle your feet to the left and then to the right. Flex and point your feet and toes. Wiggle your toes. Feel the tension releasing and flying away.
- If you noticed any areas of your body that were painful or overly tense, or any imbalances from side to side, take time to do a few extra stretches for those areas.
You may not get to zero tension after the first time you do these steps, but the key is to go through these steps enough times that they start to become a part of your routine.