Finding a healthier way of ‘being’

Rocks balance sunsetI’m often the “person to talk to” and I often wondered what it was about me that brought people my way for support and advice. It became apparent that I had something to offer, a way of life or an understanding of ‘being’ that didn’t come so easily to others.

Yoga has been a way for me to share that. To help and guide others to find ‘their way’ of being -happier, healthier and more fulfilled.

My key to ‘being’ is connection and union with the physical body. I believe that most illness and injury is generally a result of this union being in disconnect or in severe cases the connection not even being recognised.

In our modern lifestyle we are very head space driven. Our eyes feast continuously on external stimulation and our brains and minds are constantly engaged through overuse of technology, our fast paced lifestyles and the lack of community in big city living.  Our bodies just come along for the ride, like servants to the master brain they submissively do as they are asked usually without complaint. However when we are so busy and never take the time to be still, we do not hear the subtle messages, the little voice saying slow down, the whisper of ‘what about me?’.  Without this vessel we occupy we would cease to exist. So then shouldn’t our highest priority be love and respect towards this body that our all-powerful brain and mind calls home?

Through my personal journey of yoga I have come to know my body as my best friend, my constant companion and the one place I can truly call home. This has required dedication and commitment on my part to carve out time in my life to be still, to withdraw from external stimulation, to be quiet enough to listen to the messages from my physical body.

But of course I am human, sometimes the pace of life takes over and I rush, I spend too much time on the internet and I forget to listen. However it doesn’t take long for my body to start to display some sort of physical symptom in response. Maybe it’s a sore back or shoulders, a headache and in the more urgent cases a cold or sore throat. Those are the more obvious symptoms of disconnect which push me to carve out more time to reconnect and refocus.

It doesn’t have to be a long time, like most things its best to start small. We’ve all heard about not using computers and phones before bed and this is a great tool to work with. However you can experience reconnection by just being still.

When you’re going to bed, try lying flat on your back and just observing your breath for as long as you feel comfortable. If you’ve had a particularly stressful day and find it hard to get out of your headspace, find a quiet space where you have a little room to move and start shaking first your arms, then your legs, imagine flicking water from your fingers and toes, take a couple of big sweeping circles with your arms in both directions. Take a deep breath and sweep the arms above your head, let your exhale release through your mouth and allow any sound to go with it as you flop your whole body forward (with bent knees) and hang here for a breath or two. When you feel ready, sit or lie down and just observe your body, your experience, notice what you notice without expectation or judgement – just be still and listen.

Simple practices such as these can be hugely beneficial in shaking up the energy in our bodies, helping us to connect more to our physical experience. As you begin to incorporate some time in each day for stillness and reflection you may notice the need and want to do this more – Great! Go with it, increase the time you spend observing, come along to a class, do your own practice, anything that helps you get out of your head and into your body will guide you to finding a more healthy way of ‘being’.