(waves crashing) Welcome to this body scan practice and meditation. I'm going to invite you to either sit comfortably or lie on your back, whatever feels the most comfortable for you. You could also sit with your back against a wall or against some support. It's going to take about 10 minutes so just want to be assured that your body's not creating so much discomfort that it takes your mind away from the experience. Take a moment to get yourself comfortable and then find your way into your body by closing down your eyes if that's available to you.
And then by tapping into your own breath. Feeling the oxygen against your nostrils as you inhale. And tuning in to the sensation of the oxygen against your nostrils as you exhale your breath out. Not necessarily manipulating the breath in any way, simply tuning to it. This breath that's been working for you all day long maybe without you noticing it's there.
In this body scan we're going to go through some parts of the body, and we're going to invite you into the experiences that you've had with these parts of the body, that ways that you speak to these body parts. Before we begin, invite in compassion to your heart. Invite in acceptance for this experience and for what comes up. Ask the judgmental, critical part of you to set itself on the shelf for now, to set itself aside, so that you could be inside of this investigation with curiosity and with openness, but without criticism of how you are and how you've been. First part of your body to draw attention to is your legs, your calves, your thighs.
How have you spoken to yourself about your own legs? What kinds of words have been said to you about your legs? To you are your legs a reflection of either of your parents' legs? Are there ways that you've been critical or judgmental about this part of your body? Are there specific idiosyncratic terms you've used toward yourself about your own legs or that you've heard about them from others?
How does this way of treating and speaking about your legs impact your heart? About being judgmental or critical of yourself for the way in which you speak to your legs, let yourself recognize now what it feels like to say these things. To wish in any way that they were different than they are. Allowing time for an inventory of these words. Begin to allow these thoughts to recede into the back of your mind.
And draw your attention now to your butt. What thoughts do you have about your own butt? What do you say about your bottom? What's been said to you about this area of your body? Do you criticize this part of you in any way?
Do you hold judgment against it? Wish it were other than what it is, smaller, bigger, stronger and some way different. Is this a part of your body that you celebrate? Is this a part of your body that you can integrate with your body temple as a whole, or do you see it as separate? Allow yourself to experience what it's like for you to speak in these ways to yourself about yourself.
How does that impact your heart? How does the rest of your body respond when you are tuned to the words you use about your own butt? And now draw your attention to your own belly, to your stomach. The area of your torso between your hips and your chest. Front and back.
What words do you use to speak to yourself about this area of your body and what's been said to you about this area of your body? To what degree do you accept this body part and what amount do you wish it were different? Stronger, thinner, less, more. Any amount other than the way that it is. Let yourself experience the impact that the words you use about this body part has on your heart.
About being critical be honest with yourself. Now draw your attention to your chest, to your breasts. How do you treat this part of your body? What words do you use to describe it? What do you say to yourself about this body part?
How have other people spoken to you or about you about your chest or your breast? To what degree do you wish this part of your body were different than it is? Without judging the way you've been treated or the way you've been treating yourself, about the size or the shape of your breast or of your chest, allow yourself to experience the impact it has on your heart. To treat this part in this way or perhaps to disintegrate this part from your body as a whole. Be with those sensations.
And now draw your attention to your arms. How have you treated your arms, the way that they look? What words do you use to describe them? How have they been described to you by others. To what degree do you wish your arms were shaped or felt or were seen differently than they are?
Let yourself remember and feel the ways that you've talked to yourself about this body part. And allow yourself to feel impacted in your heart by how you treat this part of your body. It might be heartbreaking to you. Take a deep inhale. Pull the ground underneath you and exhale it out.
Now draw your attention to your face. Consider the ways you hold and you talk about your eyes, their shape and their color. Your nose. Consider the ways you treat and you talk about your own mouth or teeth, your smile. And let yourself feel the ways and know the ways you talk to yourself about the shape of your skin, the shape of your face, size of your ears, and also your hair.
Allow yourself to remember and to feel the ways that other people have commented on these parts of your body. But any sensations in your body arise as you witness what it means to you and feels like for you to have treated yourself or have been treated in these particular ways. To what degree do you wish any aspect of your face or your hair were different than it is? Give very deep inhale. Exhale it out.
All of the energy we spent fighting what is, what is reality is harmful to us. It's hurtful to us. That energy that we expend beating our heads against the wall even though the wall is sure and we are not. It's harmful to us. When we take in words from other people that have been said out of their fear or confusion, it's hurtful to us.
What if instead we could begin a practice of gratitude for each part of our body and for our body as a whole? Whether it's healthy or injured, whether you experience yourself as being strong or weak. Can we open up any room for gratitude for the ability that we do have to breathe, perhaps to move, and if not to move then to feel? To have awareness and sensation. Drawing your attention now to your feet.
Can you thank your feet for being? If you're lucky enough and fortunate enough to have feet that carry you through your life, can you appreciate them to any degree? Draw your attention once again to your legs. If you have the privilege of legs that work for you, that are able to walk even some of the time. If you have the privilege of having legs that can bend and move and practice yoga, can you offer gratitude now to this part of your body for its availability?
Draw your attention back to your butt. Can you open up any room for gratitude for this part of your body, the strong muscle that helps you move? That allows you comfort. That supports you. And now draw your attention once again to your torso, to your belly, to your stomach.
Can you open up to gratitude for this part of your body? It's a necessary. It's holding up your spine. All the vital organs exist within this realm of your body, within this sphere, it's keeping you alive. Can you offer it gratitude for being exactly how it is in this moment?
For digesting, for metabolizing, for breathing. Draw your attention again to your chest and to your breast. Can you offer any amount of gratitude to this part of your body? Perhaps our breast have fed children. Perhaps you can recognize that there is a heart beating inside of your chest, and that muscle, that organ is necessary for your life.
Can you find gratitude for that? Once again, draw your attention to your arms. These very arms that exist in this very moment exactly as they are. Can you find gratitude for the fact that they're there? You get to have arms.
If you're fortunate enough to have arms with hands, think of all the ways in which you're able to give and receive through your hands and with your arms the hugs you can give. The ways you can express, the food you can eat because you have the privilege of arms and of hands. Can you offer yourself any gratitude for the availability of these arms? And finally, draw attention to your own beautiful face. Can you open up any amount of gratitude to your eyes for all the they let you see?
Or to you nose for its capacity to smell. Create memory. Or to your mouth for its ability to speak, to take in food and air. And for your smile for its capacity to connect, to express joy, to be of service. Can you offer gratitude to the face that you have, for the ways that it works for you?
If you're listening to this it means you get to have ears that hear, can you be thankful for that? Can you offer gratitude for the way in which the hair does or doesn't grow on your head? Take a very deep breath in. Drawing your attention to your heart, feeling into any openness, any sense of appreciation, any sensation that might be available to you. And having compassion for any constriction or hardening or rejection of this practice.
Recognizing that where you are in this moment is exactly where you need to be in regards to your journey toward finding acceptance and appreciation for your body as it exists. And together, we offer ourselves forgiveness. We bring compassion. We forgive ourselves for the ways that we treated our bodies that have been unkind. We forgive ourselves for the times that we've forgotten to be appreciative to these bodies for what they're able to do, and how they're able to serve a purpose greater than ourselves.
We deserve better than that. And with that knowing, we can move from this moment forward in a new direction. When that's inclusive of appreciation, when that's inclusive of acceptance and when that's inclusive of gratitude for what already is the gift of this body, the gift of this breath, the gift of this temple, and the gift of this practice of awareness. Again inhale into your already beautiful body. Exhale it out.
And when you're ready, slowly begin to untangle your eyelashes opening up your eyes to the soft gaze. And finding your way back into this moment inside of the body that you're in. Thank you for joining me in this practice. Namaste.