Choose to Tune In

   

Mindfulness:

It’s such a buzzword nowadays but as I was leaving my yoga class today and reflecting on how tight my left hip flexor was feeling from the kickboxing I’ve been doing,  I realized how grateful I am for all the training I’ve done in yoga and mindfulness. 

Feel your Body.  Tune in.

The more you practice noticing how your body feels, the easier it is to compare: 

  • one day to the next
  • one body part to the other 
  • one side of the body to the other… 

The more aware you become of how your body feels from day to day allows you to create a baseline. You then start to recognize changes in your physical body, and your energy. It’s amazing to me how I can now detect subtle changes in my body. 

This allows me to recognize from day to day and moment to moment what is really going on with me: how I’m really feeling, and how I’m affected by what is going on in my life. I can sense when I’m tired or fighting illness.  I notice even  faint indications that my body needs to recover or is slightly injured… I can tell when emotions are weighing me down. 

And because I can detect the subtle differences I can adjust my behaviour, my practice,  accordingly. 

I know when I need to give my body more:

  • attention 
  • love 
  • strengthening 
  • stretching… 

I know what I need to lay off or go deeper. I know when I need to take rest. I know when I need to bring in movement as I feel the effects of stagnation.

Whispers vs. Screams:

If you can’t hear those little whispers and you’re not attuned to your body, the body WILL scream-  it will get louder and louder until you take notice! 

Your body will be screaming for attention and connection. 

Take a headache for example- which is often the result of us missing the whispers that we were thirsty or tired… That  we needed to take a drink of water or go to bed. And because we missed the whisper, it manifested into a full-blown headache or migraine forcing us to stop, to drink, to sleep.  

I’m reminded of this when I get on my mat and I tune into something that I didn’t even know was going on.  Like the other day- I could barely turn my head to the right and bring my ear onto the mat as I lay facedown… I hadn’t realized how much stress and tension I was carrying in my neck and shoulder until that moment.
When you tune into your body you become mindful of sensation, of feeling, of tension and tightness. It’s amazing the wealth of information that you can get by listening to your physical body and checking in with your emotional state and your mind and thoughts. 

What you might find when tuning in to your body during a yoga or meditation practice: 

Sometimes when we’re stretching or mentally focusing on a certain part of the body in meditation, negative emotions can come up like anger or frustration. This often happens when in a deep hip stretch like pigeon or frog pose in yoga.  Notice if you ever get frustrated or angry with the teacher or yourself or just in general and see that as information that you’re holding onto these emotions in your body. 

We can also hold onto grief, sadness, pain, and trauma. What’s fascinating to me is that sometimes when a person has experienced trauma (either physical or emotional) and it has been stored in the body it will show up as a numbness or boredom. The person may not be able to feel that body part or they may not be able to control it. They may actually yawn, start to look away, find their mind wandering… become bored or distracted. This can be a sign that the part of the body they’re stretching is holding onto something that they are resistant to feel, express and ultimately release. It takes an awareness and ability to tune into this and recognize that this is possible and to question it.

Sometimes we will feel joy, happiness, and bliss! Those are the best times and I noticed that I feel them most often in a deep twist. I don’t know why or how that works… 

 detoxifying twists in yoga  to wring out negativity and bring joy 

They say twists are detoxifying and that there is a compression. I know my body likes compression and feeling grounded and safe and held and hugged so maybe that’s it. But it doesn’t really matter.

 yoga poses that compress and ground me are like a hug! 
What I want to share today is what I’ve learned about the power of tuning in. I have so much gratitude and appreciation of the benefits of this practice of yoga and mindfulness and meditation. It has created an awareness for me of what is quote unquote “normal” for me and my body. I know can easily tell when I’m off- when I’m high – when I’m low – when something’s different… 

I have cultivated a practiced ability to tune in and get curious – to make adjustments – to check in again and evaluate. I feel what’s working and what’s not. I hear those whispers.

listen to the whispers of your body 

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