Yoga asana: Asana, or posture, yoga practice in particular helps me so much in improving my proprioception. By having specific postures to practice over and over again and following both new and old cues (i.e., the way a yoga teacher explains how to get into a pose and how to align your body once there), I’ve learned how to identify new sensations. And by really paying attention to what my body is doing as I move through poses, I can identify what does and does not feel right. I understand better how I move, how my body feels in each pose, and regular practice keeps me in touch with my body and my movements. This generalizes off my mat too – my body feels more natural to me as a result of spending dedicated time with it.
Yoga isn’t just the asana practice either, and it’s other limbs are worth investigating as well. Much of what yoga teaches has had a positive impact on my mental health and led to a deeper understanding of myself. But, alas, we’re talking proprioception right now.
Meditation: I use body scan meditations as a way to check in with myself. A body scan meditation is especially useful if I feel off, but can’t identify why. I’ll often come across interoceptive sensations I missed, or I might identify an emotion I didn’t know was hitting me so strongly (thanks, alexithymia).
I find a comfortable place to sit or lie down, take a few moments to focus on my breaths, then start walking through my body; starting with my toes, asking myself how each part feels, and how I feel overall. I’ll often sit, and use my hands to massage different parts of my body, bringing my attention and awareness to an area on multiple fronts.