And the third exercise of mindful breathing belonging to the category of body is the aware of the body, the whole body. Breathing in, aware of the whole body, breathing out. --- Being aware of my whole body, I breathe in. Be conscious of the whole body, I breathe out. --- So, it's very clear that on the third step, your attention comes to the body and not only to the breath. In the first two exercises, the object of mindfulness is the pure breath, pure breathing. With the third exercise, mindfulness embraces the whole body. Aware of my whole body, I breathe in. Aware of my whole body, I breathe out. Your energy of mindfulness embraces the whole body, the totality of your body, whether you are sitting or standing or lying down.
And the fourth exercise. "Calming down the whole body, I breathe in. Calming down the whole body, I breathe out" is very methodic. It's very scientific. And step by step like that.
1st: Aware of i/b and o/b (i/b: in-breath, o/b: out-breath)
2nd: To follow the i/b and o/b all the way through
3rd: Become aware of the whole body
4th: Allowing your whole body to relax
This is the practice of healing of the body. There is no thinking. There is only mindfulness, focusing on the breath and the body. There is the concentration on the in-breath and the out-breath. There is the concentration on the body. So, the practice of deep total relaxation is based on these four exercises. --- We go further. We recognize each part of our body from the head to the toes. And we practice scanning our body. --- In our practice, we scan our body with the ray of mindfulness.
Thich Nhat Hanh