Wednesday, May 1, 2013

My body knows

There was a time when I lived mechanically. I operated pretty much the same way people around me did. I heard what I heard, I saw what I saw and I felt what I felt. Sleep was sleep. Being awake meant having my eyes open. I perceived life on the surface.

Then, about twelve years ago, I started practicing yoga after suffering a back injury. It began as physical therapy. Yoga had a huge impact on my body and my overall health almost immediately. Through yoga, I came across meditation. That was a different story. It took many starts and stops. Meditation was frustrating. In the beginning, what I was trying to help heightened when I tried to meditate. My worries came to the forefront and my anxiety sped up. Meditation was stressful. Yet I kept at it. I kept at it long enough to create a habit. I kept at it long enough to notice a change.

Between the two, yoga and meditation, I started to relate to my body in a different way. I started to listen to it. I noticed that all experiences are physically connected even if just perceived in our mind. This, I learned, is the mind-body connection.

How do we tune in to our mind-body wisdom? We do it through awareness. This awareness is not an active thought process. It is more of an intuitive state. Our subconscious is working, constantly, figuring out that which we don't understand, sorting out details for us, knowing more than we are aware of. When we deepen our awareness we expand the many ways we find answers, insight and direction. Our body, constantly connected to our mind, knows things that we are not conscious of.

A few days ago I laid in my bed with my eyes closed. I was pondering several options for an issue that has been bothering me for a few months. In one scenario, I took action. As soon as I started imagining the details, my heart started racing and breathing became difficult. My next thought was to do nothing. To let circumstances settle and to be open, receptive and patient. My body relaxed. That was my answer. I am used to this. When my body senses distress, I stop. When it is easy, I go. Just yesterday, I stood in tree pose. I took ten breaths on my right foot, but I couldn't stand on my left foot for one breath. I knew something was out of balance. I have noticed that when my mind is cluttered, unclear and bogged down, my shoulders tense up and my neck aches. It is my body, again, telling me I have things to sort out.

Today is a good day to connect to your body-mind wisdom. You don't have to be a yogi to tune-in. All you need is silence and a willingness. Notice how your body feels in the face of a decision you must make. Is your body uncomfortable, in pain, anxious? Is it calm, light and easy? What is it trying to tell you? Listen to the clues your body is giving you. Your body knows...

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