As a yoga teacher and experiential healer, I get to see so often how people disconnect from their bodies and emotions. And the main reason? We want to avoid pain. Pain is unpleasant at best, and at worst completely disabling.
But what if we could see it differently?
What if we saw pain as a message from our body?
Can you change your view so that physical pain is the bodies messenger and emotional pain the hearts messenger?
If you can, then the question becomes, “Do you then listen to the messages from your body?”
I am a great believer that our bodies are the key to the magic here on earth. If our experience was only meant to be energetic, spiritual, mental or emotional why bother with this complex piece of machinery?
When you can see the real importance of your physical experience, you begin to understand that part of the game is learning to live in our bodies completely. Having spent decades studying bodies, I began to see patterns, even replicas, take a look around... sometimes it is just undeniable that people are nearly carbon copies of each other physically.
It is because we all signed up to have a certain experience in a specific human body type.
Each body type brings its own challenges, living in one means we have a lifetime to get comfortable with the body we have chosen and appreciate it for the challenges and lessons it gives us. And truthfully, it’s not easy!
Each of us has a very specific physical journey within our body, maybe we got injured, got sick, had a baby, had an accident or operation and our bodies changed, sometimes beyond recognition.
We are always living in a state of constantly rebalancing our body, in its current environment and for our chosen lifestyle. And those changes are part of the magic…
I have fallen in love with the way that ancient Ayurvedic teachings, the sister to yoga, describes this very sacred journey to really know our flesh and bones, and more importantly how to get them purring like a well-tuned engine so we feel healthy, happy, sexy and full of the juice of life.
Our job is to embrace what our body is teaching us at every stage.
Our bodies are made of a mixture of the elements of nature: earth, water, fire, air and ether. Each body has a specific proportion of each of those which give us our specific body type and challenges.
For example, I have more earth, water, and fire than I do air and ether. It means I am grounded and have the physical fire to get moving and the endurance to keep going BUT if I don’t move, I get heavy and lethargic very quickly, and build extra fat!
Very different from someone with lots of air and ether who will naturally be lighter, faster, and able to hang out with the fairies more easily than me but will tire more quickly.
What got me excited when I understood this is that, what this means is, no body type is better or worse than another to live in, regardless of what the media says is attractive right now, it is simply an experience.
Maybe this lifetime you are a powerhouse and last lifetime you had the body of a nymph! It is all simply your soul having another experience and learning something else.
So how does this awareness help us?
Firstly, what works for me may well not work for you, in fact if the elemental balance in our bodies is opposite, what I need could be detrimental to you. And this is where listening carefully to what your body needs is the most important health practice you can have.
Many of the basics of Ayurveda teachings are literally about tuning in. Taking time to ask “What does my body need right now?”
Listen to the answer and act on it.
It could be taking time to give it the foods it needs, give it the cleansing, the massage, the rest so it can be its best for you.
And the wonder I always come back to is how well our bodies adapt and repair. I have complete faith in every body on this planet and its ability to heal given the right physical, mental, and emotional environment.
So, what can you do for yourself if you have realized you have disconnected from your body?
- Ask your body “What do you need right now?” and take that action.
- Write your body a letter, talk to it about all the things you do and don’t like about being in it, the aches, and pains, how it looks and feels. Also write about all the things you are really proud of it for. Appreciate it for everything it has ever done for you…every breath it has taken on your behalf, every step it made without you thinking, every physical reaction that protected you in some way. There is a hell load to discuss and be grateful for.
- Make your body one promise, something you know you can keep that you will do to remind it and you of the love in your connection. It could be getting a massage regularly, saying something kind every time you catch a glimpse of it in the mirror (this one can be tough, it requires discipline, but it will transform your life!) or that you will listen when it says you are full… watch for your first burp, or a tightness in your stomach and throat – these are the signals no one ever told us are our bodies way of saying “enough thanks”.
- Meditation is a great way to reconnect. Bringing awareness and attention to areas you avoid most is really beneficial. I love to meditate on the heavy bones in my pelvis for example, or you can take a focused journey from toe to head checking in everywhere looking for what you have ignored so far. You will be amazed what it will tell you.
- Obviously, yoga, which is literally union and mastery in motion, is a fantastic way to open the door to greater body awareness, alignment, strength, flexibility, and healing. If you never tried it give it a go! The hype is there because it works and has done for millennia. And you benefit more the less flexible you are. There is nothing that brings me more joy than a student who was stiff as a board starting who, in only a few short weeks, can touch the toes they never thought they would reach again!
And the most important thing you can do is to stop judging your body and turn that corner and start to love it.
Living in a body is only an experience, and it is not you.
It is a representation of the journey you have chosen in this lifetime, so I dare you to reconnect with the choice you made and let me know how you get on.
I would love to hear about your own journey with your body and what you have learned so far.
To experience a yoga class with me, a healing or health coaching session visit https://www.dragonflyhousespain.com/bookings.html