Your body is talking. Can you listen to your body?
The other day in yoga, the teacher asked us to ask our bodies what they needed. In yoga, there is often talk about creating a union of mind, body and spirit. It isn’t unusual in yoga practice to foster awareness of what your body is feeling or doing in the present moment. Somehow, the way she said it felt different and so I handled it differently.
I literally asked my body what it needed and I heard a very clear answer immediately after I asked. That’s when I heard an internal voice say “I need rest.” The immediacy and clarity of the answer surprised me! I feel a little silly admitting this, but I had never considered simply asking my body what it needed. Usually I try to intuit what my body needs and that often works. But this experience made me curious. It made me realize that our bodies talk. Your body is talking. Are you listening? You can easily learn to listen to your body.
How to listen to your body
This is so simple! In fact it’s so simple you’ll wonder, like I did, why you hadn’t thought of this. Sit quietly for a moment. For me, I’m easily distracted so I try to limit distractions by closing my eyes. I invite you to either close your eyes or drop your eyes to a soft gaze somewhere on the wall or floor (that isn’t interesting at all!). Take several slow and deep breaths allowing your body and mind to relax by keeping your focus on the breath. You can do this by telling yourself “breathe in, breathe out”.
Once you feel yourself calm and connected to your body, you’ll begin to notice your mind isn’t racing as much. It’s important to slow your mind because otherwise it can be hard to hear your body. Or at least, it can be hard for me.
Once your mind and body have slowed and calmed, ask your body, “Body, what do you need right now.”. Then listen to your body for the answer. I’ve found that we often already know what our bodies need… but for some reason, we sometimes ignore it.
Why we ignore our own needs
Why do we sometimes ignore what our body (or mind) needs? I think it’s because we get caught up in the busy-ness of our daily lives. We hear the needs of those around us being expressed and we work to meet as many as we can.
It can be easy to forget that unless we keep our own needs met, it will be very difficult to continue to meet the needs of others. This means that seeing to your own needs is not selfishness. It is imperative for your health and your ability to continue to help others. Learning to listen to your body is one of the best things you can do for yourself and the people you love.
Are there other ways you listen to and meet your own needs? I’d love to hear from you!
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All my love,