The mind and body are inextricably intertwined - even in ways that we fail to yet understand! Despite being aware of that connection, however, this internal connection sometimes becomes blurry. We might feel that our heads are running the show 99% of the time and our bodies 1% of the time. No matter what your individual ratio is at the present moment and from day to day, I am an advocate of “continual maintenance” i.e. touching base with your beautiful self daily by following your breathe, feeling the sensations in your body, and also tuning into your tummy. Together they can say so much and, properly directed, will bring positive results for your overall wellbeing!
The following practices will strengthen the “pathway” between the mind and body and will naturally leave you feeling more at ease and at peace in your mind and body.
1. Find a quiet space. If you are at work, take a few minutes and find a space outside in the fresh air or, if you are to able, even a forward bend in the bathroom stall will work! Find a place where you will not be easily disturbed or disrupted and come to a seated position with your legs and arms uncrossed. Take a deep breathe in and fill your belly and keep your eyes open or closed. After the inhale, pause at the top, and then slowly exhale. If you want to really let go – exhale through your mouth, counting to 10. Repeat, ideally, for 10 breathes. Imagine your breathe entering in your nose and going down into your belly and alternatively, flowing up your body and out through your nose.
2. During the day - even if you are busy and especially if you are busy – find a moment to ask yourself: How am I feeling in my body? Am I tense? Am I relaxed? Am I impatient? Regardlesss of your answer, take a moment to reflect on what actions, thoughts, and/or behaviors took your body to this sensation or feeling. Be sure not to make any judgments about what took you there - good or bad. The point is to cultivate awareness so that the more you ask yourself/touch base with yourself the easier it is for you to learn by experience and then you will be able to make adjustments in your thoughts, actions, and behaviors so that you can maintain a calming and peaceful presence.
3. Do a few forward bends. Start by reaching up toward the sky, your fingers leading your entire body up, including your gaze. Stretch through your fingertips. Once you have reached as far up as you can, slowly bend forward, exhaling as you release forward. Hang there - noticing your breathe and all sensations in your body. Place your hands on alternative elbows and slowly rock side to side. Let your head relax completely.
I hope these simple and loving practices will bring your mind and body into a continuum of calm, peace, and tranquility as they have for me.