One of the most puzzling questions women new to Body Centered Wisdom have, is trying to understand how does the body actually “talks to them”.
While we are used to getting information through verbal or written form, the body communicates in a nonverbal way – through sensations, emotions, feelings, and insights. We can then “translate” these experiences into words, but they originate outside of our intellectual mind.
And we are used to spend a lot of time every day analyzing, categorizing, calculating, and organizing in our heads! How can one “turn off” the constant inner chatter?
Well, for most of us is not that simple. Fortunately, there is a mindfulness method that I guide you through. I can use it both in the bodywork and yoga session, whenever needed and wanted by the client.
I am providing an outline and explanation below. However, please understand that you do not need to understand any of this to benefit from the session and have empowering experience from connecting to your body.
Also, learning the language of your body is similar to learning communicating in a foreign language. It takes time and practice, especially if you wish to become fluent.
Some women are naturally intuitive and pick it up fast, others need to work at it longer – however, everybody can learn it! And since I practiced a lot, I can pick up messages not only from my own body but yours as well, so you will never leave a session without having better understanding about what your body is trying to say.
Mindfulness Guide to Access the Messages of your Body
1. To start, it is essential to arrive into a present moment by connecting to your breath and your body sensations.
Breath – the volume and speed of a breath can be tell-tell sign about your immediate way of being. Is it shallow or deep?, smooth or bumpy?, effortless or challenging? Our natural way of breathing when not physically active is the fullness and speed of breath of a sleeping baby. Breathing restrictions point us to physical and emotional restrictions in the body and mind.
Sensations – by paying attention to the sensations in the body we can yet again learn about ourselves. The most typically women describe sensations good, nice, tender, or painful. But there are more accurate words to describe both comfortable and uncomfortable sensations: clear, smooth, spacious, nourished, velvety …, constricted, dull, mucky, coarse, empty… .
Becoming fluent with wide range of sensations is an important step of understanding your body messages.
2. Once you are present and connected with your physical body you can access the emotional level.
Emotions – every sensation is linked to an emotion or feeling. So once you point out the sensation in your body – for example you sense that your thighs are dense, congested, and there is uncomfortable heat in them. Even common sense will tell you that there will not be pleasant emotions associated with that. So you can start exploring from a list of emotions until you find one that sounds true – is it fearful?, dreadful?, jealous?, or angry?
It can take a while to connect emotions to sensations as we rather do anything (usually distract or numb ourselves) than to feel emotion that is unpleasant. Which is why it is good to practice on the areas of your body where you experience sensations that are pleasant.
3. Once you connect to the emotion stored in the sensation another level of understanding becomes available to you.
Insights and Images – these are the gold nuggets of this work. When you are connected to your body you can receive an insight or image relevant to your life about the sensation and emotion you have. For some women it is a memory of something that happened a long time ago and are now ready to release and let go off. For other women the insight or image provides personal information about their current life situation.
For example, one women can have sensation of tension and blockage in her right arm and feel emotion of frustration and stuckness in her work life. And she gets the insight that she feels uninspired and stuck in her current work and needs a change in this area of her life (what she on some deeper level suspected for a while but choose to ignore because of fear of change). Other woman can have the same sensation of tension and blockage, and the emotion of frustration and stuckness in her worklife but she is clear it is because she has been holding back out of fear of failure and actually needs to become more self-expressed and proactive with her ideas at her current workplace.
While the individual messages vary, any form of pain and discomfort in your body is a message to pay attention because something is not right or going as well as it could in your life.
Similarly, sensations of pleasure, freedom, and strength are affirmations of your well-being and being on the right track.
That said, it is absolutely important to remember that we are humans and have a compassion for ourselves and all (especially the difficult) experiences we have – on physical, emotional, or cognitive level.
To learn more consider reading these additional posts:
Your Body Has a Story to Tell. Includes body-mind connection Maps.
Learn how the body stores the information about your life.