“Why you should listen to your body.” with Dr. William Seeds & Mark Walsh

I am very much an adherent of the “no diet” movement. Listen to your body and give it the energy it is demanding at that very moment. And also be aware of your emotional life of course so you don’t look for food to solve emotional problems it can’t solve. As a part of my […]

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I am very much an adherent of the “no diet” movement. Listen to your body and give it the energy it is demanding at that very moment. And also be aware of your emotional life of course so you don’t look for food to solve emotional problems it can’t solve.

As a part of my series about “5 Lifestyle Tweaks That Will Dramatically Improve One’s Wellbeing”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Mark Walsh. Mark Walsh is the founder of the Embodied Facilitator Course, Embodied Yoga Principles, The Embodiment Podcast, and the Embodiment Conference. With an honors degree in psychology, 20+ years of yoga experience, and an aikido black belt, he has dedicated his life to embodied learning. In 2019, he released The Embodiment Book to help everyone understand what embodiment is about.

Thank you so much for doing this with us! Our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you share with us the story about how you first got involved in fitness and wellness?

It was a phase in my life when I was seeking to recover from alcoholism that got me in contact with martial arts, and how the body and the mind can be brought back into balance again, that got this started. I then expanded on that and discovered that material arts are only one practice among many that can help you reconnect with your body.

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started your career?

I was part of a peacebuilding project in Cyprus with many different countries involved and discovered how embodiment could really help people not just get closer to themselves, but also others, and how my exercises with people managed to contribute in their own way to reconciliation.

Can you share a story with us about the most humorous mistake you made when you were first starting? What lesson or take-away did you learn from that?

I was doing a job for an opera house. I wanted to impress people and wore a suit to my training session with the lighting crew. They looked at me as if I were from another planet and were very unresponsive throughout the training session. The lesson here was clearly to not assume that dressing smartly is always a smart thing!

Can you share with our readers a bit about why you are an authority in the fitness and wellness field? In your opinion, what is your unique contribution to the world of wellness?

I have practiced and taught embodiment for many years now. I understand the breadth of the many different bodymind approaches that exist better than almost anyone. You mention fitness and wellness. Embodiment adds to the welness field. It is a holistic approach that starts with listening to your body — it does not consider the body to be a mere machine that needs fixing and tuning from time to time.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?

Paul Linden has been a great mentor. He is an expert in abuse recovery and embodied peacemaking. He believed in me and taught me how to explain alternative concepts such as embodiment in clear language that ordinary people can understand. I apply his lessons in all of my workshops and also in my recent book, The Embodiment Book. I have nothing but great memories of Paul, such as the time he tripped over me in the middle of the night when we were staying in a hotel together, and he was completely disoriented, did not know where he was… but in all of that, he was still his true self, and that is a very nice and humble person.

Ok thank you for all that. Now let’s move to the main focus of our interview. We all know that it’s important to eat more vegetables, eat less sugar, exercise more, and get better sleep etc. But while we know it intellectually, it’s often difficult to put it into practice and make it a part of our daily habits. In your opinion what are the 3 main blockages that prevent us from taking the information that we all know, and integrating it into our lives?

For me those those three main blockages would be habit, lack of practice, and lack of a community of support. We are nothing without the help of friends.

Can you please share your “5 Non-Intuitive Lifestyle Tweaks That Will Dramatically Improve One’s Wellbeing”? (Please share a story or an example for each, and feel free to share ideas for mental, emotional and physical health.)

I would list the following things for you:

  • Make your life harder when you have energy for that
  • Meditate every morning
  • Listen to your body and follow your body
  • Surround yourself with people that are different from you
  • Don’t do anything that isn’t play

And yes, I borrowed that last one from the great Marshall Rosenberg.

As an expert, this might be obvious to you, but I think it would be instructive to articulate this for the public. Aside from weight loss, what are 3 benefits of daily exercise? Can you explain?

You will feel your body more. You will also feel psychologically and emotionally stronger than ever before, and you will be emotionally better able to handle adversity.

For someone who is looking to add exercise to their daily routine, which 3 exercises would you recommend that are absolutely critical?

Hmm. Let’s see. Dancing, making love, and walking in the woods are the first 3 great exercises that come to mind. I told you, don’t do anything that isn’t play!

In my experience, many people begin an exercise regimen but stop because they get too sore afterward. What ideas would you recommend to someone who plays sports or does heavy exercise to shorten the recovery time, and to prevent short term or long term injury?

Well, this brings us once more to the core of embodiment of course. You need to turn these practices into embodied practices, and that implies that first and foremost you listen to your body. Which will then automatically have as a result that you will not pass your limit.

There are so many different diets today. Can you share what kind of diet you follow? Which diet do you recommend to most of your clients?

I am very much an adherent of the “no diet” movement. Listen to your body and give it the energy it is demanding at that very moment. And also be aware of your emotional life of course so you don’t look for food to solve emotional problems it can’t solve.

Is there a particular book that made a significant impact on you? Can you share a story?

The Art of Somatic Coaching by Richard Strozzi-Heckler influenced me greatly. In it, the author basically explains how coaching can become an embodied practice. He is one of the leading people to apply embodied work to corporations and leadership.

You are a person of enormous influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

I would of course call on everyone to support the global embodiment movement. But you know, more seriously now, I want people to follow their own very individual calling, and not any cognitive idea, whether it is offered to them by Mark Walsh or anyone else.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Do you have a story about how that was relevant in your life?

I am not a huge fan of life lesson quotes. Quotes don’t provide life lessons, they simply don’t cut it, what matters is what we practice, not the clever words we use.

We are very blessed that some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this if we tag them 🙂

I would love to have lunch with Donald Trump. He is a person of great influence. I don’t agree necessarily with his politics, though. He seems to be suffering a lot. Maybe I could be of help.

What is the best way our readers can follow you on social media?

I invite everybody to start following me on Twitter (@warkmalsh) to hear what I am up to.

Thank you for these fantastic insights. We wish you only continued success in your great work!

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