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Equine Inspired Embodied Awareness: The Body Scan

29 October 2013

Key Themes: Groundedness; Being in your Body; Mindfulness, Somatic Awareness; Emotional Agility; Boundaries; The Power of the Breath.

The most important self-awareness skill that you can develop is to become fully connected to your body in every moment.

The Body Scan is a powerful mind-body awareness tool, developed by my trainer and mentor Linda Kohanov, best-selling author of The Tao of Equus, It is now being taught throughout the world by Eponaquest Instructors, and in my view, is the most important skill you can develop; especially for women.

Unless severely traumatised, horses fully inhabit their own body 100% of the time. Humans on the other hand, tend to inhabit their head 98% of the time, hmmm. So, no wonder when the two species come together, often mayhem ensues!

Here’s the thing: When your energy is predominantly sited in your head, and in your thoughts and verbal communication, you are omitting to listen to and act from, that “other 95%”, i.e. what’s going on in your body and your real emotions.

Developing somatic awareness until it becomes a fluid and natural way of being for you is vital to ensure the following:

  1. You are grounded and present
  2. You are connected to your true emotions
  3. You are congruent, i.e. your thoughts, actions and words are in alignment with you true feelings
  4. You have solid yet flexible boundaries which are clear and obvious to others
  5. You are calm internally.

Horses disconnect from people who are disconnected from their own body.

So, how do you re-connect to your wonderful physical body?

Two simple ways:

1) Learning and incorporating the “Body Scan”: An information gathering tool, whereby you learn to scan your entire body and notice the most prominent sensation, focus on it, get the message behind it and then allow it to dissipate.

The Body Scan is not a meditation or relaxation technique. And yet, paradoxically, the very act of putting your full attention on your body for a change and out of your chattering, energetic mind, automatically calms the body, relaxing any points of tension, leaving you, guess what? Yep, relaxed andgrounded.

It seems that the body merely wants our full and open attention, instead of being ignored, disregarded, medicated or even punished (extreme or no exercise, careless diet, alcohol, etc).

2) The Power of the Breath: Breathing into your body is the most powerful way you can calm your mind, reduce your energy level – from frantic and ungrounded – to calm and present.

Simply focusing on your breath, breathing deeply into your abdomen several times and pushing your breath as far down your body as you can, again relaxes and grounds you. Making you, a) far more attractive and safe to our equine friends and experts, and b) more powerful and attractive to your human companions and colleagues.

Why? Because when we are calm, body-focused, relaxed and grounded, we are then more empathetic and caring towards others. In addition, our stress levels are immediately reduced, making us feel more in control, more centred and more in our own power.

Also, especially vital for women, and particularly those with a history of abuse or disempowerment: When we are in this state, we have stronger boundaries. We can take care of ourselves, stand our ground and say no, simply and powerfully, without the need to give ground or an explanation.

Curious to learn more about the Body Scan and the Power of the Breath – two tools that can absolutely change your life?  Please contact me through my website to find out about Womens Empowerment sessions and Workshops with horses.

© Angela Dunning, The Horse's Truth

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