Updated: Apr 5, 2021
If you are not aware of what your body needs, you can’t take care of it.
Take a moment.
Take a deep breath in, and exhale out of your mouth.
Now, breathe naturally and bring your attention to your body. Notice sensations present (subtle vibrations, pain, tension, spaciousness, numbness etc.). What you feel may come and go, or it may spend some time visiting the body. Notice what is here. Don’t analyze it. Simply observe without judgement.
Now, notice your breath.
Do you breathe through your nose or your mouth? Where in your body do you feel the rise and fall of your breath? What is the pace of your breath? Continue to witness it.
Yoga creates an opportunity to connect the mind and the body. You may notice yourself going through the motions each day, on autopilot, completing each task without a pause to notice how you feel or if your choices serve you.
“If you are not aware of what your body needs, you can’t take care of it.” – Bessel Van Der Kolk, MD
Sometimes it can be challenging to listen to your body. Your lifestyle, cultural norms and expectations may support a distracted, disembodied world. At times, it may feel easier to ignore that gnawing feeling inside by scrolling on social media, over-booking your schedule, or withdrawing. It is common to feel like experiencing nothing is safer than feeling too much, but in reality, we need to feel our feelings in order to process them.
Yoga Creates a Path to Explore Sensation at Your Own Pace
On your mat you are invited to notice the rise and fall of sensation and your breath. Just like a wave, all sensations will end, and there will be an opportunity to begin anew. Yoga will remind your mind that all things in life are temporary.
As you recognize changes of sensation in your body, you will notice your ability to effect, impact and possibly control sensation. If I go deeper into this pose, what happens? If I release, what happens? How do I feel in each variation? How does my breath change? Can I breathe more freely in one version? In yoga the choice is yours.
New Ways of Being
Yoga becomes your playground for life. It can be your opportunity to explore new action patterns – new ways of being.
When you create body awareness you create a safer home for yourself. Awareness of the body also changes your sense of time. Trauma and overwhelming stressors often make people feel stuck or trapped. Time stands still. When you lean into the rise and fall of sensation, you remember that time will move forward and challenges will pass. You will be able to listen to your body’s cues and choose to cultivate inner safety.
This week, choose to bring attention to your body and your relationship with responding to your body’s needs.