If you’re reading this, there’s a good chance you are disconnected from your body. You might not think that you are. I didn’t think that I was either. I mean, I’m a yoga instructor. I was a dancer all through my childhood and teenage years. I exercise almost every single day, and I have a lot of active hobbies, like hiking and surfing.
I didn’t understand that none of this means I’m connected with my body.
I have body awareness, yes. I know how to align and move my body through space as directed, or as feels correct for a particular activity or sport. And yet, none of this is actual connection to the body.
Connection to the body is knowing how to sit in stillness, breathe, and sense its workings. It’s the ability to give it freedom, intuitively and fluidly, through unchoreographed dance and movement. It’s losing any inhibitions about the way it looks to others and tuning in to what it needs to feel good. True connection to the body, simply put, is total freedom inside it.
It means a lack of self-consciousness and an innocence around nudity. A deep appreciation for all the ways it takes care of and supports you every day – and that taking priority over fitting a societal idea of how it should look. Grounding down into the earth and feeling the feminine energy, so often suppressed, rising in you again as you allow it. Our bodies know how to move, but we’ve forgotten how to allow our bodies to move.
If you need an example of true embodiment, think back to ancient indigenous cultures, and look at the few surviving in their traditions today. With their strong connection to spirituality and the land, they understand how to ground and move their bodies freely. Their music is primal and beat-driven. They work with their physicality all day long, while we barely notice ours in our “developed” cultures. While an hour of yoga does help, it’s not nearly enough to counteract several hours of sitting and slouching at a desk. How often do you move your body consciously and mindfully as you go about your day? How often do you stop to ground into yourself and feel your breath?
Probably almost never, and yet these simple practices hold essential benefits for our souls as well as our physical forms. We are so scared to inhabit our bodies! It’s crazy! Think about any time you’ve seen someone dancing with total abandon, just thrilled to be alive. Isn’t that energy addictive? And yet we are afraid of what others will “think” if we do the same, afraid to look foolish or be judged.
So I ask you: honestly, who the fuck cares? Are you not tired of living your life for other people? Of toeing some line you imagine to be there? If anyone is judging you, feel sorry for them. They are so lost that they are more concerned with feeling superior to others than fixing their own shit.
I get it. I used to be that person too, the one who didn’t know what to do when my yoga instructor told me to take free intuitive movement in my body. I’m still frustrated that my hips are so stuck and tight and I can’t get them to move the way I want to – but I know that in time, as my body learns to trust me again, I can unlock and release the tension. We close off emotionally or energetically and our bodies know. They follow suit. All the answers you seek are there inside you, if you will listen.
Take some time to leap in and rediscover your body. It’ll feel silly and crazy at first. We aren’t used to freeing ourselves from the constraints of our rigid, honestly boring-as-fuck society. The more you do it, the better you’ll feel. The looser and freer you’ll get. You’ll find connection to and celebration of your body. Dance, breathe, ground, move, shake! Don’t think about how it looks, just let your body go. It’s much harder to do than it sounds, so make it a daily practice so it can become more natural to you.
I promise you’ll feel benefits to doing this almost immediately. Let it feel good and keep it up! You got this. You can become deeply attuned to your body and its essential nature. I love you.