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Why We Need to Listen to our Body

Feb 03, 2018
Why We Need to Listen to our Body

For most of my life, I have scheduled in how I moved my body. The night before I’d decide I’m going for a run or going to yoga or going to the gym (or whatever it might be). I lay my clothes out the night before, set my alarm, I’d get up and exercise (admittedly I still do this quite often). This was based on purely a mental decision of what I ‘thought’ I should do with no real regard for what my body is asking me on any given day. The body just did what I told it, like it was an employee of mine rather than part of me.

As I get older I realise this is not the best way for me. I realise that there are so many factors at play that influence how my body is feeling on a given day and what it needs from me.

The simple act of asking ‘what does my body want today’ can fundamentally change the way I feel.

This morning I did something different. When I woke up I asked my body what it wanted today because it felt a deep sense of tiredness running through me. The dialogue went a bit like this:

Me: run?
Body: no, thanks.
Me: yoga?
Body: no, thanks.
Me: okay, why don’t you tell me what you want?
Body: I want to dance and stretch and move in my own way.
Me: OK – I haven’t done that in a long time, but I honour you and I am listening to you.

And so I put on some great music and danced like no one was watching. Thank goodness no one was watching, except my cat who looked at me as if to say – what on earth are you doing as I jumped around the living room doing handstands and basically whatever I wanted. It felt so good to move in a different way, it felt spontaneous, fun and creative.

I came to some important realisations during this process:

  • We get so hung up on our own schedules, our own idea of a ‘productive use of time’ and our own idea of how to move our body for fitness and efficiency of time that we completely disregard the needs and wants of our body.
  • Moving our bodies in a different way brings about renewed creativity, inspiration and motivation. Just moving your body freely for 20 minutes can bring about more creativity and flow than sitting in-front of the computer waiting for a bright idea. We just need to change our preconceived idea of work and productivity.
  • We all want more fun and play in our lives but often we have forgotten how to do this. One of the greatest ways to bring about spontaneity and fun is to check in with your body and move it in a way that feels good rather than what you think is good in terms of outcome.
  • Some days your body will tell you to go back to sleep or do nothing and at times we need to honour this. However, moving the body in some way every day is so important for enhancing our energy and moving our qi. Whether we feel tired and need a restorative yin yoga class or we have an abundance of energy and want to be run, the important thing is to let your body guide you to what it needs.
  • If we keep ignoring what our body is asking us, it will find a way to make us listen. This might be through adrenal fatigue, ME, skin issues or worse case disease. If our body wants us to slow down or move more and we don’t honour that it will find a way to force us to listen.

Listen to the whisper of what your body, it is trying to give you the wisdom you need to hear.

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