During a discovery call with a client, she confessed, “Jess, I can’t always feel what’s happening in my body. I realize that I don’t notice it a lot.”
This is a totally normal phenomenon and it happens to many of us.
Most of us are not taught to listen to our bodies.
I spent my early career as an elementary school teacher. I watched the littlest ones (five to six years old) enter school on Fridays with dark circles under their eyes. They were tired. Between school and afterschool programs, kids have long weeks, too. The older ones are required participate in extensive testing, which require them to sit still long past what is developmentally appropriate. There are whole generations of children who are learning to ignore their bodies’ desire to MOVE.
As adults, we have to re-learn the ways that our bodies speak to us. Our bodies radio frequencies tends to start quietly. They don’t typically revolt on us immediately. We move too fast too often to notice their signals, until those small taps feel like an elephant sitting on our chest.
Most of us need help tuning into the frequency of our body, pre-elephant. If you’re feeling disconnected, try one of these seven ways to get more IN your body.
Embodiment requires that we pay attention. Our bodies can’t shout at us, but they get cramps. Bodies get goosebumps. They ache. They get tingles. They numb. It’s the COLLECTION of that information, and observing our own unique patterns, that helps us decode what can feel like bodily morse code.
Dancing/ Qoya classes: This is a way to actually allow your body to move the way you feel. If doing it in a group doesn’t suit, turn up the tunes in your living room and have at it! Amy Tatsumi has an amazing playlist on Spotify.
Run, then sit: Go for a run or a brisk walk. Get your heart rate up. At the end, find a place to sit. I like a tree, but a park bench/the grass works. Sit and breathe just a little bit heavy (ok, a lot), and feel. What do you notice in your body? Sweat dripping? Discomfort? What sensations arise? How does your breathing change? Where is there heat in the body? Emotions often emerge when we move and then pause and breathe. But when we keep going, we pummel through the intel without gleaning or settling into the present. Allow yourself to SIT still and scan your body. Listen to how your body communicates back to you.
Immerse yourself in water: Take a bath or jump in a pool or lake. Let your body float.. What does it feel like in your limbs? Where do you notice cold, hot, warm, or a breeze? It is the being aware of unique sensations and conditions that helps bring us back to our bodies.
Put your hand in a glass of water: Sometimes, it’s just too much to do an entire body scan. Bringing awareness to just one part of our form teaches us, as well. It is this targeted noticing that can help us practice tuning in to parts of our body.
Find a wall or a corner: Standing or sitting, lean back and notice all the places in your body that touch the wall. Notice where you are leaning. Breathe in. Notice what it feels like to be supported by the structures around you.
Try a Yin Yoga class: These are slower moving and you hold poses for longer. This provides juicy time to really sink into the body and realize how it feels. There are subtle differences in your stretches. You begin to learn where your edges are in your body. You learn about how you could push yourself more AND when you need to back off and rest.
Remember that embodiment is a muscle. The more we tune in, the more we gather awareness about our body’s signals.
Are there other tactics that you use to listen to your body? I find that most of my clients have new and different ways of connecting and when they share, they support each other. Please email me + share!
To your deepest embodiment!