What are sensations?

Sensations are often defined as the five senses - sight, smell, taste, touch, and sound. They can also be defined as physical, mental, emotional, and energetic stimulation as a result of the five senses, creating greater awareness of our life in any given moment.

What are examples of sensations?

Some examples of physical, mental, emotional, and energetic sensations within the body are:

  • Physical sensations - hot, cold, light, heavy, smooth, rough

  • Mental sensations - confused, clear, still, busy, focused, scattered

  • Emotional sensations - happy, sad, calm, frustrated, angry, peaceful

 

Energetic sensations tend to be more complex, longer, and vivid in description since they are usually a combination of the physical, mental, and emotional sensations. For instance:​

  • To describe one's happiness - the heart feeling open with energy bursting from it, like a seed bursting from its shell into new growth

  • To describe one's agitation - the mind feeling cluttered and heated, the jaw and shoulders feeling locked and tense, and the guts feeling twisted and tight

Eyes Closed

How do you Explore sensations?

There are many ways to explore sensations in the body, and no one way is right or wrong, good or bad. It's really about what works for you in any given moment. At Root To Rise, we love using yoga, art, and nature-based activities to practice mindfulness. Try the following mindfulness activity and notice the sensations you feel throughout and after the practice.

Moving Mountain

Stand on a solid, non-slip surface with your feet about hip distance apart, arms by your side. Bounce your knees gently to ensure they aren't locked or hyper-extended.

  • Begin to wiggle your feet by lifting and lowering the heel, pointing and flexing, making circles, or any other way that feels safe. Notice how it feels to move your feet. 

  • Start to move your legs; you can make circles, bend and straighten the knee, swing the leg back and forth, or any other way that feels safe. Notice what's working in your body; what's not working?

  • Wiggle your hips and torso: get sassy and swing your hips side to side. Do you feel playful, awkward, or something else moving in this way? Press your heart forward and back; how does this feel in your chest, shoulders, and spine?

  • Add movement to the hands and arms: open and close the fingers, bend and straighten the elbow, make small and large circles with the whole arm. Notice how it feels to move the arms and hands in this way. Notice what's happening to your energy.

  • Move your head "yes" and "no." Does one way feel better than the others? Open and close your mouth. How does that feel?

  • Lastly, move your whole body in any way that feels natural, safe, and nourishing. Dial the motion up or down as feels right for your body in this moment. 

Once you're finished moving, find some stillness and notice how your body, mind, and energy feel. Notice the sensations you are experiencing.

 

Some questions to consider after Moving Mountain: 

  • What's significant or interesting about the sensations you are experiencing?

  • Have you felt these sensations before somewhere else?

  • What can you take with you or leave behind for the rest of the day?

Snowy Mountain

Want More Mindfulness Practices? 

Select any of the videos below for easy 5-15 minute practices you can do anytime, anywhere.

All Videos

All Videos

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Mindfulness Break 1.2: Connecting with Kind Wishes

Mindfulness Break 1.2: Connecting with Kind Wishes

11:49
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Mindfulness Break 1.0: Connecting with the Environment

Mindfulness Break 1.0: Connecting with the Environment

11:09
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