“The body never lies.” ~Martha Graham
I have always been interested in body language. The communication of our bodies speaks more strongly than anything we could ever say. We are all experts as reading other people’s body language whether we realize it or not. Somehow, though, we seem to lose the ability to read our own body’s language, extinguishing the conversation.
We know that we should “listen to our bodies” whenever we workout, especially when we practice yoga, because we are told by our teachers time and time again, but have we really given thought to how we “listen?” Listening implies that something important is being said. Our bodies speak. They tell us when they are tired, when a pose is too difficult, when they are injured, when they are hungry, when they are cold, when they are lazy, when they want to stop, when they’d like to lie on the couch. Our bodies speak but often they speak so much that when we begin to listen, we are overwhelmed by the sheer volume of language emitting from our bodies.
After we begin to recognize our body’s language, we have to move beyond just “listening” into “conversation.” We listen. We hear. We interpret. We decide. Our bodies are constantly sharing information with us but we must learn to discern the important pieces of information and shuffle through the rest. We must learn the statements that are emphatic, valid and potentially harmful if ignored. Some of those statements could relate to imminent danger or injury.
Other statements we have to completely override from time-to-time. Statements from our bodies that hold us back or detract us from our goals – such as skipping workouts because of not “feeling like it,” or overeating. At those critical times, we begin to truly communicate with our bodies through our minds. We override the temptation to allow our bodies to be in charge and instead make logical, well-thought-out and safe decisions based upon input from our bodies but with a clear understanding of the facts. (Am I truly tired or just feeling lazy? Am I really hungry or do I just want to eat more?) In essence, we speak back to our bodies after listening with an open mind.
Body language is so much more than just watching and listening. We should move beyond listening to our bodies and instead, begin a full conversation with our bodies. We need to engage them, listen to them and then make the best decision we can, based on all of the data.
Your body is talking….are you listening? Step into the conversation today!