You probably hear the phrase a lot, but what does it really mean to listen to your body? Here are a few tips for mastering this important yogic skill…
“Listen to your body.” It’s a phrase you probably hear all the time in yoga class, on yoga DVDs and online videos, and read in articles and on social media pages. But what does that even mean, anyway?
In today’s fast-paced world, many of us live almost exclusively in our busy minds, are very disconnected from our bodies. Listening to your body may be a somewhat foreign concept to you, and while it’s easy to say, it isn’t always easy to do – especially with a thousand things that you need to do, what you’re going to have for dinner tonight, the fight you had with your husband earlier today, and how the heck you are supposed to ever be as “bendy” as the girl on the yoga mat next to you all racing through your head.
However, it is scientifically proven that slowing down and focusing inwards on our physical sensations and our breath can help to calm the mind, reduce stress, and may even boost our immune systems and help make us more resistant to disease.
Listening to your body is a good thing – and it’s a very important aspect of the yoga experience!
So how do you do it?
Here are a few tips from Deepak Chopra, as shared on EckhartYoga.com:
- Feel what you feel. Don’t talk yourself into denial.
- Accept what you feel. Don’t judge what’s actually there.
- Be open to your body. It’s always speaking. Be willing to listen.
- Trust your body. Every cell is on your side, which means you have hundreds of billions of allies.
- Value spontaneity. Emotions change, cells change, the brain changes. Don’t be the policeman who stops the river of change by blocking it with frozen, fixed beliefs.
- Enjoy what your body wants to do. Bodies like to rest, but they also like to be active.
Take your practice with you when you leave your mat, and incorporate these tips into your daily life as well. Take a minute several times throughout your day to stop and check in with yourself. Notice your breath, feel how your body feels, notice any discomfort, and if you spend a lot of time sitting, get up, walk around, and stretch if your body tells you to. You’ll find you become more in tune with your body’s needs, and feel less stressed and emotionally drained at the end of the day.