How well do you know yourself? Can you recognise stress or illness in your body and mind, both of which can be thought of as dis-ease?
When we practice yoga, sound therapy or meditation mindfully we are trying to tune-in, to really experience the sensations in the body, as well as the processes or stories in our heads, so that we can learn about our body, mind and breath.
When we tune-in to our body, mind and breath on a regular basis we start to build a strong, intuitive and deep understanding and awareness of how everything feels when there’s peace, ease and flow without tension. This then helps us to recognise when there is tension impeding our flow or ease so that we can take steps to find ease again.
Too often in our busy lives we accept tiredness, sluggish digestion, tense shoulders, shortness of breath and all manner of ailments that signify less than optimal health. Before I found yoga I spent several years working 14 hour days, sleeping for 4 or 5 hours and commuting, while thinking I was healthy. I wasn’t healthy, I had just forgotten what healthy felt like.
My yoga and sound therapy practices see me giving myself a daily check-up to spot any changes. A regular practice spots tiredness, tension, judgement, attachment etc. so that I can take steps to bring back ease and flow before I forget what they feel like.
Here are some tips for how to check-in with your health, if you come to yoga class with me you’ll notice how integral these e,events are to our yoga practice....
1: Focus on the breathe - feel the breathe enter the nostrils and travel down the throat, into the heart and ribs cage and down to the belly. Really watch the body respond to the breath. Is the breath slow, even and deep, or shallow, fast and erratic? Can you bring a more calming breath in?
2: Focus on the body - feel how you are holding your body. Is the jaw clenched? Are the shoulders closed and up by the ears or rolled forward? Can you soften the jaw, roll the shoulders down and back, lift the heart and lengthen the neck? How’s the digestive system feel? Is there an opportunity to soften, take slower, deeper breathes to calm the digestive system.
3: Focus on the mind - are you able to focus on the present, your immediate surroundings, or did you struggle to tune in with your breath and body? Are you replaying a situation from the past about which you don’t feel at ease?
Or are you projecting into the future in a way that causes physical, emotional or mental tension? If so examine on,y how to move forward positively. What can you do and if you can’t influence the future
Have fun and good luck tuning-in.