Your Body is the Home of Your Soul
We often have complicated relationships with our bodies, but they’re the vessels through which we create, love and share our light with the world. They’re also the home of our soul (in this lifetime). In episode #047 of The Prana + Patchouli Podcast, you’ll release stress and relish stillness in a body scan meditation to get you in greater connection with your body and soul.
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We can be cruel to our bodies, pushing them to the point of exhaustion and burnout, putting ourselves on strict diets, using them to ‘get’ things or allowing our minds to speak unkindly about them every time we look in the mirror. And of course, our bodies hear and feel it all. But they’re the vessel through which we create, love and share our light with the world. They’re also the home of our soul.
We’re spiritual beings having a human experience. So how can we treat our bodies with kindness, compassion and feel more connected to them in this lifetime?
Be Still, Breathe and Know
Well, as much as I value movement to nourish, strengthen and connect with my body, in this episode, we’re exploring the power of stillness. Because when we get quiet enough to truly listen, we can tap into our body’s intelligence that we might otherwise miss.
A few years ago, when I was struggling with severe anxiety, my body knew what was happening before my mind did. In fact, my mind wasn’t worrying about anything at all, but my nervous system was on alert because I was living out of alignment. Like a compassionate warning alarm, my intuition, through my racing heart, rapid breath and rising temperature, showed me that I needed to slow down and pay attention to what my body was telling me.
It was also in that still space that healing happened.
And that’s because even in stillness, there’s always movement. You might’ve heard me say this in one of my yoga classes. It’s the flow of the breath that moves and shifts our energy. Let’s try it out for a sec. If you can, close your eyes and notice the natural lift and softening in your body as you breathe. There it is.
Cast Your Gaze Over Your Inner Landscape
Another gentle and soothing way to nurture that connection is with a body scan.
A body scan is where we mentally scan each part of our bodies without moving, which allows us to tune into places of physical tension, learn from it and release it.
This tension is often a reflection of our emotions, embodied. So, by connecting with ourselves in this way, we can tap into our greatest source of intuition, empathy and creativity.
In today’s practice, I’m going to guide you through a body scan to nourish you and help you navigate your way through any stress you might be feeling.
Practice: Body Scan
Lie down and make yourself super comfortable. You might like to place a pillow under your head and slide a rolled blanket or bolster behind your knees to support your lower back. If you feel chilly, wrap yourself up, so you don’t get distracted as your body temperature drops. Inhale deeply, before you exhale completely and let all of your bones drop more heavily into the floor. Give yourself permission to relax and breathe easily here.
Begin by bringing your awareness to the place where the back of your head touches the surface supporting it, letting the surface completely support your head. Open your mouth a little and gently move your jaw up and down and around. Stay soft. Now, let your mouth rest and close your lips, allowing your teeth to part slightly and the corners of your lips to soften and relax. Loosen your grip and let any tightness or holding melt away.
Tune into your senses now to deepen that connection with your physical body. As you close your eyes, lift and lower your eyebrows a few times. Then relax them and feel your eyes resting behind the dark curtains of your eyelids. Turn your gaze inwards. Allow your eyes to rest now and become still, simply observing your inner landscape.
As you drop into that quiet space within you, any sounds around you drift further and further away.
You’re relaxed here, but completely present as you surrender to all of your senses and let go.
Hold on to that feeling as we move through the body, bringing that feeling of letting go, releasing and relaxing, to all of your parts.
Begin by taking your mind over to your right hand, feeling your palm, right thumb, first finger, second finger, ring finger and pinky finger, then your wrist, forearm, elbow, upper arm and shoulder. Let your whole right arm release and let go.
Relax your left hand, feeling your palm, thumb, first finger, second finger, ring finger and pinky finger, then your wrist, forearm, elbow, upper arm and shoulder. Feel your whole left arm release and let go.
Feel the right foot, first toe, second toe, third toe, fourth toe and baby toe relax and allow that feeling of relaxation to travel through your lower leg, knee and upper leg. Full right leg, releasing as you let go.
Feel the left foot, first toe, second toe, third toe, fourth toe and baby toe relax and allow that feeling of relaxation to travel through your lower leg, knee and upper leg. Full left leg, releasing as you let go.
Go up to the top of your head, the back of your head to your neck, your upper back, middle back, lower back.
Ground your hips and feel rooted through your sitting bones. Soften your belly, heart and throat.
Relax your eyes, feeling your eyelids getting heavier and your brow smoothing out. Imagine you could even let the cheekbones release. Find some space in your jaw. Find the energy of a smile at your lips and see if you can relax and release all of the muscles in your face.
Feel your whole body release, relax and let go.
With your eyes closed, in the darkness, you see the light of your soul and it fills your whole body.
Become aware of the spaciousness between your body parts. Your breath flows with ease. Each part of you is radiant and alive with breath and light. And it’s here in this space of deep rest, embodiment and stillness, that you open yourself up to your intuition, intelligence and the wisdom of your soul. What does it want you to know?
Breathe and receive.
Now gently, begin to bring your awareness back to your breath in your body. Send tiny flicks of movement through your fingers and toes, and when you’re ready, float your eyes open to the room.
Let’s seal this practice with a mantra. Silently, or out loud, say to yourself: I trust what my body is telling me, and take this with you into the rest of your week.
Return to this practice anytime you want to cultivate that connection with your body and soul.
If you want to go deeper, then definitely join my LIGHTER Membership. This month, you’ll get a full spiritual toolkit to tune up the second chakra (which governs embodiment, emotional intelligence, creativity and flow) and so many more practices to support you. Just click here to learn more and I’d be so honoured to have you join us.
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