Our body is an amazing place to live and the outer shell of our being. This outer, physical part of us can give many clues as to how the internal environment or emotions are doing. Regularly while practicing in class I have had big realisations or sudden floods of tears as I moved through poses; my students do on occasion also. I know I have not necessarily had anything weighing heavy on my heart or been pondering life’s great mysteries when I rolled out the mat, but at some point, something releases. What is the connection between moving my body and moving my emotions or thoughts?
We are integrated beings, each aspect of ourselves influencing and impacting every other aspect. A simple experiment for you, smile or even laugh and see if you can be truly sad or angry at the same time. Or hang your chin to your chest and roll your shoulders in hunching forward slightly, can feel super confident and ready to face the world like this? We know posture impacts emotion impacts posture, what else?
How we walk or, more specifically place our feet on the ground changes as we do. Check out your bare footprint. Are both the same? Do you place the weight evenly on both feet, are you truly ‘standing on your own two feet’? Do both feet point in the same direction, are you clear where you’re headed in life? Some of us are heavy on the heels, almost leaning back and away from people, while others are on their toes almost bouncing ahead. Ideally we walk as though we’re not in a hurry but happy to be going where we’re going. We all know how enthusiastic we perceive someone who literally shuffles their feet.
At the other end of the body, think of those who carry their head a little forward of their shoulders. This creates short and tight muscles in the neck, it is also a problem that comes from sitting at a computer or laptop too long, too often. When the neck is short and tight, it actually impedes full blood flow to the brain, impairing ideal mental function and slowing creating a ‘what’s the use’ attitude. We start to create limitation in the body and the mind. It’s also a lot harder to look around to see the beauty in the world if your chin is constantly drawing towards your chest.
There are so many indicators of your holistic state of health if you just tune into the body’s signals. This is what a yoga practice does, it tunes you back into yourself, yoga realigns us and unwinds the unnecessary patterns that we have embodied. Read more at aloka.com.au/body-of-emotions/.