Embodiment Exercise

This week's exercise is inspired by Niels Diffrient's work as a pioneer in the field of ergonomics. His 50+ patents led to the development of industrial designs that made the workplace less painful.

Does work wreak havoc on your body?

From laptop induced hunching to expense report triggered teeth grinding, our bodies get whacked out at work. 

Researchers like Linda Stone argue that even technology - not just your work environment - encourages you to ignore important information about what your body needs. By taking a brief moment to check in with your physicality each day, you can gather insights from your body about how you're feeling and where your biggest sources of tension might exist. 

Introducing Your Embodiment Exercise

What It Is
A five-minute opportunity to tap into your body’s intelligence.

Why We Love It 
Our bodies can give us a lot of information about our biggest sources of stress before we are even consciously aware of them. This exercise uses physiological observation to help you gather insights about yourself.  

How It Works
1. Take 5 minutes at one or two points in your day for an embodiment meditation.

2. During this meditation, close your eyes and take a scan of your body. Work your way up from your toes all the way to the top of your head. Pause in each section and let yourself notice each area. (e.g., What are the sensations in my feet? Are my shoulders relaxed? Where is my front? Where is my back? Am I clenching my jaw?)

Then, without trying to control your body, take note of what it might be telling you. Ask:
- Where might I be feeling tension?
- Where am I intentionally holding myself up?
- When is my breathing shallow or deep? 

3. When you complete the meditation ask yourself:
- What new information do I have about how I am feeling?
- Are there certain parts of my day where my body is sensing a change in my emotions?

Want to dig deeper into this topic?
  • To explore more about body scanning meditation, check this out from NPR.
  • To learn more about how to beat physical forms of stress at work, read this.
  • To learn about where people commonly hold stress in their bodies, check this out.
Shout. It. Out. To Angel Hu for her exercise crafting skills!
Shout. It. Back. To treks@lifetrekkers.me if you have praise or gripes about this trek or random thoughts about Life Trekkers.
Here's what your fellow trekkers have to say about past treks:

"The Tutu exercise was one of my favorites. Bob Carey's story was really inspiring and the exercise motivated me to reflect on a number of things that I feel vulnerable about in life and the workplace."
- Alex Farivar, VP of Product @ McGraw-Hill Education
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Shankar Desai