We will soon discover when we sit to meditate, anything can take our attention away from breathing and one of the main sources of distraction is our own body. Our body does not take long to feel uncomfortable after spending some time in any posture. And the normal thing is that we respond by changing our position without realizing when it is useful to resist the first impulse and instead direct our attention to those sensations, mentally welcoming them. Why? Because the moment they reach our consciousness, those feelings of discomfort become part of our present moment experience and become valuable objects of observation and inquiry. They provide us with the opportunity to directly see our automatic reactions and the whole process that occurs when the mind loses its balance and is agitated by being overwhelmed and dragged by the flow of thoughts of one kind or another that move it away from any conscious breathing.
By including them this way, in our field of consciousness, knee pain, back pain or shoulder strain cease to be distractions that keep us from being attentive as it gives us an alternative way of contemplating discomfort. This is how bodily sensations, however unpleasant they may be, become allies and even teachers of our own learning and contribute positively to the development of our powers of concentration, tranquility and awareness.