Spark Inspiration

Body Scan

Running sunrise silhouetteWith a busy meeting schedule and projects that fill my workday, I notice there are some days I do not make it outside or even out of my office. I observe the effects on my body of sitting too long in front of a computer or in a chair. My eyes are tired. My neck is sore and stiff. I feel fidgety, my body wanting to get up and move. I take deep breaths, seeking fresh air.

It’s on days like this that I want to be more intentional about taking breaks. I could take a few minutes to stretch in my office. I could take a walk outside. I could rest with my eyes closed. All of these activities can provide relief from the tension built up in my body. But in order to take advantage of these activities, I need to be aware that I am in need of a break.

Since there is always another project to work on or another meeting to attend, it’s easy to neglect my body’s need for attention and movement. I may be so focused on what I am doing that I lose track of time. I also lose track of what my body may need from moment to moment.

It’s for this reason that I practice doing a body scan to check in with my body. I close my eyes, create a visual image of my body and mentally scan my body. I ask myself, am I hungry? Thirsty? Do I need to get some movement? Is there tension in any areas of my body? How am I feeling?

Through this process of scanning my body, I can be aware of and take steps to remedy any problem areas. Without such awareness, I could go long periods without attending to my physical needs. My ability to focus on work helps with my productivity but can be a challenge to my physical well-being.

Right now, I’m aware of my desire to run. I want to stretch my legs, feel the ground under my feet, the wind in my hair…

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