Have you heard that our bodies ‘just know’? Our bodies like to TELL us stuff; sometimes it’s obvious like when we get knots in our stomachs or goosebumps as an emotional reaction to something, or when we display symptoms that pertain to an illness we’re fighting. Other times it’s less physical, and more subtle.
Last week I attended my favourite class at the yoga studio, and my teacher put together an inspiring sequence that related to propelling ourselves forward, and moving ahead. She spoke about how we do this both physically and mentally, and explored breath and movement that articulated these notions. When we finally got to the peak pose section of the class – the part where all the juicy and delicious work comes together! – my body just wasn’t having it. It was strange, really. That day, I was happier just chilling in downward dog with my thoughts. I wasn’t taking rest from exhaustion or lack of ability; I was picking up all the messages my body was sending me in that moment.
After class, my supportive gem of a teacher checked in with me. She put her hand on my shoulder and said, “Devoncé, is everything okay?” (Sidenote: I am always okay with anyone that wants to refer to me by my fierce alter ego!) I smiled and assured her YES – everything was totally okay. I said, “I really appreciate the check-in. I know you’ve seen me do those poses and movements before, and it’s unlike me to not participate, but today I wasn’t feeling it. And I realized why. When you were asking us to propel our bodies forward, I had a breakthrough moment where the mental met the physical. There are some things in my life that I know I need to let go and move beyond, but I haven’t totally done that yet. I think today for me, the work was in the mind, and I truly experienced what it was like to be STUCK when we can’t move past the things we need to.”
While maybe not the most transformative experience, it was certainly powerful. Whether we listen or not, our bodies send us messages all the time. Sometimes we’d rather ignore those signals, but I truly feel that when we’re willing to do the work and figure out what our bodies are telling us, we can ultimately move forward more effectively, and be better people in all facets of our lives.
Now that my teacher training is complete (YAY!!! Stay tuned for updates if you’d like to practice with me!), the work to continue developing myself, my practice, my style, and my classes is ongoing. I’m thankful for all the supportive people, resources, and tools that emerged as a result of my training, and will use those to help me. But I cannot discount the value of my body as one of my greatest and most powerful resources.
What has your body been telling you lately? If your actual BODY is intelligent, then why are you not tapping into that resource? Do you think you can listen to improve your performance in the game of life?
“There’s a lot of neuroscience now raising the question, ‘Is all the intelligence in the human body in the brain?’, and they’re finding out that, no, it’s not like that. The body has intelligence itself, and we’re much more of an organic creature in that way.” – Joel Kinnaman