I credit the fact that I received a quick and accurate diagnosis for PCOS, an array of hormonal imbalances and Adrenal Fatigue with the fact I’ve developed, refined and honed an intuitive connection with my body. With practice and through tuning in every day, I am able to tell as soon as something seems the slightest bit off with my physical or emotional state.
Even armed with all the knowledge, experience, education and formulas in the world, experts don’t have the one thing you do – your intrinsic connection to yourself. Your unique power is this internal communications line between your body and brain and through developing this sense you can greatly enhance your quest for optimal health and high vibe living.
THE EXPERIENCE OF CONNECTING TO YOUR SELF
For me this connection is second nature, I have moved and practiced in my body since age 3 and checking into my physical self has been an automatic modality. However choosing to become consciously aware of this connection has been strengthened over the past 5 years as I dove further into examining physical practices and especially in my experience teaching others. It was in my teaching that I noticed just how disconnected we can be from our bodies, how we can’t feel certain actions or notice subtle, intimate cues our body is giving us. By not clearing, or holding space, we are filled up with external noise OR just try to will our body to do what it wants.
Some may call this hyper aware, or even a hypochondriac tendancy, associating negative connotations of it as taking up energy to constantly see how you feel – however I see it as a vital link, with subtle signs, alerting me rapidly when something is wrong. For instance, I may notice inflammation in my knees or a bloated tummy and think – okay what is that in response to?!
THE PHYSICAL INTELLIGENCE OF THE BODY
The body is constantly informing the mind and vice versa. The nervous system in itself is a series of feedback loops, aiming constantly to keep you optimally balanced in a state of homeostasis. When we tip the scales, ignore those warning signs, or simply just miss them – we lose that intuitive connection and connection to our vital force.
THE PROBLEM WITH “BUSY”
The current state of busy-ness and “noise” of our lifestyles can block our most primal relationship – that with our body. Continuing blocking or ignoring these signals from the body can lead to serious ill health – bourne from experiences of sickness, stress, chaos.
The first step to healing, either a physical or emotional ailment, is always going back to the body. If you are unable to understand what your body needs, how can you give it what it craves? For most of this, this means taking time out to get off the grind and hustle to take time to notice, understand and connect with the body.
The secret is knowing that is not something exclusive to certain people, who are born with an inbuilt channel to their body. Sure, some people may be naturally a little more intuitive, but everyone can become more in tune with a little focus, work and practice.
Here’s how to dial in, clear the static noise of our busy lives and tune into the channel of your body.
MONITOR YOUR PHYSICAL CYCLES
Our bodies are inherently smart. REALLY smart. Following your physical cycles will give you a base level understanding of how your body is functioning. It begins by knowing what your optimal, healthy orown version of ‘normal’ cycles are – how can you tell if it is different (and perhaps a warning sign) if you have no precedent of what has been occurring. Become interested in your body’s cycles – breath, digestive, sleep, menstrual. Observing, monitoring and checking each of these cycles and their regularity will give you some clues of how things are going. If something is out of balance of the feedback loops, these cycles will shift.
In practice: Gather the evidence of how your body works and keep track using notes or apps (I love utilising a Bullet Journal system and Clue for everything menstrual cycles). This will help you figure out if these symptoms or patterns are regular or normal for you or if it is a new change and out of the blue?
Utilising a body scan as a meditative practice or just as a quick run down, all you need to do is literally scan over the body through the minds eye and see how the physical feels, what the sense of the body is, the emotional state, the general feeling. Notice areas of tension, areas of pain. Points that feel worked, or areas that feel spacious and light. If something feels tense, try to think of breathing space or light to those points.
In practice: Work long hours at a desk or physical job? Take 5 minutes in the middle of your day to do a quick body scan and reset for the rest of your day.
DEVELOP A MINDFUL PRACTICE OF BEING PRESENT
When we are in pain we often try to send ourselves to another space “don’t think about it and it will be less painful” but what we want to cultivate is being present and begin to notice the microfeedback loops rolling through the body. Try to be present in exactly where you are as you note the occurrences in the body. This additionally helps to strengthen and build your proprioception, as you develop awareness of where every part of the body in space at any given moment.
In practice: Take running – get interested in how is the foot striking, how does the thigh reverberate as you stride, what is the sway of the pelvis as the legs swing, where is the tension held in the shoulders, what has changed to the breathe, can you expand the ribs further, what are you seeing in your surrounds. Become present in the run, rather than just trying to make it to the end of your route!
CHANGE UP YOUR PHYSICAL ROUTINES
As a sophisticated and elegant machine, the body is able to to develop muscle memory through training, making it possible to work to the same difficult level, with less effort or physical output during our next performance or attempt. When we become stuck into a routine, the repetitive nature of the body’s movement makes it easy for the mind to wander and to not be fully aware of the feeling in the moment. Similarly, you may find you also clock into the memory’s held within the body, such as a recall of the last time I did this class it felt like this – instead of how does this move feel right now, in this body? By switching it up, not only do you reduce boredom and overtraining, but you strengthen the neural pathways by constantly challenging the body to assess its capabilities.
In practice: Always choosing spin over yoga? Do the exact same weights workout week in, week out? Try spicing it up and selecting a different class, or getting a workout from a trusted PT.
ALLOW YOURSELF TO FEEL
In order to develop your intuitive sense you have to allow yourself to interact with your physical body. Try to cultivate a sense of awe, wander, amazement that this is possible. If you continually block the sensations from your body you may limit these connections, so remind yourself it’s okay to feel the things.
In practice: Note what emotions, feelings, sensations arise when you move or rest and check in to what response it evokes – does it make you cry, laugh, react with anger? You don’t need to indulge in the response (or you can if you really want..) but become interested in your emotional states.
HONOUR WHAT YOU FIND
Here is the difference between just checking in and truly becoming in tune with your body. Once you build the awareness of what is going on in your body, you should try to honour what your body needs. View your tuning in as the foundations of research which you will then be able to use to make better decisions and choices which will enhance your optimal and high vibing life!
In practice: Try to adjust your schedules, where possible, to suit your rhythms. If you check in and your cycles are out, you’re in pain, you feel emotionally drained and physically frazzled – smashing out that HIIT class isn’t really honouring your body – you need rest.
TRY IT OUT
For one month really focus on honing the connection with your body and tuning in to monitor yourself. See how you feel and if you can start to notice subtle signals or messages that begin to come through. Let me know how you go!
This article first appeared on www.rosiehope.com