Have you ever shoveled snow and woke up the next day feeling muscles that you forgot you had? That’s the kind of physical muscle awareness you’ll remember for days!
It’s funny how often we forget that we are living inside of this amazing tool we call “the body.” And yet, even when we don’t pay attention to our muscles, joints, organs, blood and flesh, they are still there — doing what they need to do to support life.
Sadly, we are sometimes critical of this miraculous machine we call the body. We complain that we are too thin, too thick, too weak, too tired, or don’t look good in our jeans. If you could wish your body well just for today, what would you say? Can you take a moment and thank your body for getting you out of bed and going about your daily tasks? When you go to bed at night, can you add a moment of gratitude for your hands, your feet, your heart, your lungs?
By practicing this 8.5-minute muscle awareness meditation, we are taking the time to notice the whole body and giving it some much needed attention. Practice this in the morning, at lunch or before bed, to offer some loving care and recognition to the parts of your body that serve you throughout the day. You can even practice muscle awareness while standing in line at the supermarket, watching TV or sitting in your yard!
Moving the body does not have to be another task to add to your to-do list. There are so many ways we move and nourish and strengthen our muscles and joints. You can start by standing, moving in your chair or bed as much as possible during the day. A recent study published by the Mayo Clinic showed that standing for at least six hours throughout the day can significantly reduce the probability of obesity (59% for men and 35% for women). If standing or walking is difficult or not possible, check out these excellent suggestions from the Center for Disease Control Disability and Health Promotion website.
Today can be the day that you increase your time in an upright position if you are able. Can you add in some movement while watching your favorite show? Maybe stand on the bus or subway rather than sitting. Or invite a friend to a moving chat to catch up – you don’t even have to walk (or wheel) fast!
Learn more about the benefits of moving the body here.