Reconnecting With Your Body
Our bodies do so much for us each day — digest our food, pump our blood, give us mobility to walk/type on our phones, etc. Instead of celebrating this, we spend a lot of time shaming our bodies and trying to manipulate them. We restrict calories, we over exercise, and we stand in the mirror and pick ourselves apart which creates disconnection.
I speak at my workshops and retreats about the power of yoga to reconnect you to yourself. I subscribe to the philosophy that body + mind + soul are all intertwined and your breath is the thread that weaves these three together. Have you noticed how you feel better after working out? How you wake up with clarity after a great night’s rest? Maybe you’ve noticed shortness of breath when you feel anxious or a deep fuming breath when you’re angry. Our emotional states and physical states are linked and the easiest way to access this connection and rebalance it is through the body + breath.
When we are out of alignment, we are more easily agitated and lose the connection to ourselves. We feel stuck, annoyed, and have a low level of unease. When we are being hard on our bodies, we are creating dissonance within ourselves. As we start to pay attention to how we’re treating our bodies, we notice the areas that may need more compassion or attention.
In my personal life, I turn to yoga and breathwork when I know I’ve lost my connection to my body. After a stressful day, my body and mind are in two different places. I feel tension in my neck/shoulders and am exhausted. My body is aching but I’m lost in my thoughts, to-do lists, and making plans for the future. My body is trying to get my attention with aches and pains and my mind needs a break from the incessant chatter. Start to pay attention to your body and the messages it’s sending you.
Below you’ll find three ways to reconnect with yourself when you feel things are off.
Close your eyes and take a big inhale and a big exhale. As you exhale let your shoulders relax. Keep your eyes closed and count 10 breaths. Inhale – 1 – Exhale – 1. Inhale – 2 – Exhale – 2. Inhale – 3 – Exhale – 3. As you count each breath, let yourself relax. You might notice your mind is racing and you keep losing track of your breath count. That’s okay. Stick with this until you can count all 10 breaths. You’ll notice you feel more clear, calm, and centered. Want to dive deeper? Try this RECONNECT Fierce Clarity Yoga Class to slow down + breathe deeply!
2. Get Moving
Move your body. Animals need freedom every day to play and burn some excess energy, treat your body to the same! Dance to your favorite song, go to the gym, or do some YouTube yoga (FC Reconnect Yoga Class). This movement doesn’t have to be structured, just do what feels good. Intuitively, the body knows what it needs — some days it may need to go for a run and others it may need gentle stretching. That’s okay!
3. Tune Your Body’s Messages
As women (and men), there is a lot we don’t understand about our bodies. A few years ago, a wonderful healer recommended the book Woman Code to me and it changed my life. I learned about hormonal imbalances and working with our natural cycles as women. Besides the book, take time each day to check in with your body. Ask yourself “How am I feeling?”. Maybe you’ll notice you get a headache towards the end of the day when you’re hungry or perhaps your wrists hurt after your 5th-hour typing. These small aches and pains are signals + prompts from your body that it needs something. Try and start listening!
Treating your body as a temple is one of the greatest forms of self-love. Take care of it and heed its messages. As we start to lovingly pay attention to our bodies, we begin to respect ourselves and realize what a heavy load we’ve been carrying. Through the practice of yoga, I invite myself and students to rest and be at peace in the body. You’d be surprised how taking care of your body can lay the foundation for taking care of the rest of you. I invite you to make friends with your body today — treat it to a compliment, a relaxing bath, or just the opportunity to truly relax!