Do your mind and body feel unified? Or are you constantly at war with yourself?
A few years back I attended a yoga class that shifted my understanding of my relationship with my body, and I’d like to share that shift with you.
I was very new to yoga and thought it would be a fun hobby to get into. I found a spot in the back left corner of the studio and glanced around the room observing others as they prepared for class. A few moments later, our instructor had us sit at the front of our mats and tune into our breathing. She helped the class set the intention to connect with and be grateful for our bodies that were enabling us to practice yoga that day.
As we began moving through different poses, I found myself becoming deeply emotional. I couldn’t understand where it was coming from. I felt my throat choke up as I tried to swallow the feelings down and blink away the burning in my eyes. This continued for the entirety of the class as waves of emotions passed over me, but I only partially succeeded in pushing them away.
The class ended with a meditation lying on our backs. As I laid there, I had a realization that completely changed my life. I realized that I had been at war within myself for as long as I could remember. The subconscious war of my mind and my body.
My body welled with emotion again as I recognized the pain I had put myself through for so long. The constant disappointment I had placed on my body as it failed to meet the expectations of my mind. This disconnection screamed at me as if my body was finally able to communicate how wrong I had been! I had been fueling an intense and gruesome war within myself and it needed to end.
I have thought so much about this experience and how to mend my relationship between my body and mind. We live in a world that distracts us from inner connection. If we aren’t careful, we allow feelings of hatred, unworthiness, and disappointment to become the foundation of our relationship with our bodies. As I have sought answers, I’ve recognized how common this separation is within all of us, big or small.
Dr. Melissa Smith often talks about “Laying down your weapons of war”. To me, this means recognizing that we shame our bodies for not meeting our mind’s expectations, and shame our minds for not meeting our bodies expectations.
We desperately need to view the shame, the should’s, and the disappointment within us as cruel weapons against ourselves, and LAY THEM DOWN.
When we acknowledge the war we have created between our minds and bodies, we can begin to grasp just how vital connection really is. We are not meant to live with a constant war inside of us. Our minds and bodies were created to work together, to be unified. As we do this, we enable that connection to spread like wildfire in our life. This means greater inner peace, sense of self, meaningful relationships, and an overall increase in quality of life.