I was in yoga class this past Saturday and the yoga teacher said something that truly resonated with me. I was twisted up like a pretzel in eagle pose trying not to lose my balance, when she said to the class, “Let your body be your teacher.”
Hearing those words immediately caused me to tune into my breath and relax into the pose. I felt a softening in my joints and muscles, and became aware of the areas of my body that were aching for further stretching and released all the tension I was unconsciously holding in my jaw.
It was amazing how such a simple phrase took me out of my head and into my body.
Her words stayed with me long after the class finished as I repeated them silently to myself as I went about my weekend. I was thinking about how so often in my practice I teach people how to reconnect and listen to the messages that their bodies are trying to communicate in order to experience the healing they long for in their lives.
These clues or messages from our bodies can range from a subtle ‘gut feeling’ about someone or a certain situation, to an all-out wake-up call through a diagnosis or chronic ‘dis-ease.’
So often we go looking for answers or wisdom outside of ourselves. We do our Google searches or read books looking for an ‘expert’ opinion on what is ‘right’ for us with regards to our health and wellbeing. Rarely are we taught that we can discover what’s truly right for us but tuning into our inherent body wisdom. What feels right in our gut.
I felt this way a lot along my healing journey. I was always looking outside of myself for the answers and looking to everyone one around me asking, “What do you think that I should do?” I read countless books and stories about healing and self-help and it wasn’t until I got to my breaking point and found myself yelling at the universe, “I give up!”, that I heard that still small voice inside of me say, “What do you think you should do?”
At first my answer to that question was, “I don’t know!” But then after getting quiet and reflecting through some journalling I realized I did know what to do and what felt right in my gut.
I realized I had ignored my own internal body wisdom in exchange for ‘expert’ opinion time and time again.
Now I’m not saying not to seek expert advice, there’s certainly a time and place for expert opinions. Heck – I’m giving mine as a naturopathic doctor on a daily basis.
The point I’m making is that most of us walk around unconsciously all the time and have been conditioned to tune-out our inherit body wisdom in exchange for someone else’s opinion.
How often have you sought out the opinion of someone else before you got quiet and reflected on your own feelings about the situation first?
How often have you sat down to eat a meal and before you knew it you’d hoovered the entire thing and realized that you barely tasted any of it?
Or when was the last time you remember ignoring the urge to get more sleep or slow down only to push yourself to the max and end up exhausted or worse yet, sick in bed with a cold or flu?
Our bodies are sending us messages all the time but often we are so tuned-out or distracted that we don’t hear these messages and ignore our body’s wisdom until it speaks so loudly that we can’t ignore it.
Listening to our body’s wisdom not only helps us navigate our self-care such as knowing we need more sleep, if we’re sensitive to a certain food or if we are feeling stressed; It can also help us think for ourselves about big life decisions and tuning into how certain scenarios make us feel in our body.
“I had a gut feeling.”
“It made my skin crawl.”
“I felt it in my bones.”
These are just a few sayings we throw around that speak to the sacred wisdom we hold in our bodies as a tremendous resource in navigating our lives.
By connecting with yourself and working with your body, not against it, you can trust that your body is smart and knows what’s good for you.
So let me ask you; What’s a message that your body trying to send you?
What gut feelings are coming up for you about a certain person or situation?
What physical symptoms are you experiencing and what messages might they be trying to convey?
Where are you ignoring the signals that you’re pushing too hard or need to pay closer attention to your needs?
I’d love to hear from you in the comments below.
Remember, it’s one thing to ask the questions, it’s another to pay attention to the answers and truly listen to what your body is trying to tell you, letting its wisdom be your teacher.