Your Body Is Not Man MadeDec 01, 2015
Each time I work with a student, I am in awe of the complexity, brilliance, and interconnectedness of our design. I remember again, that the body is not man made. It belongs to nature. The body that you and I inhabit every day is not one in which we have ultimate control over. We are not the architects, we are studying the blueprints and re-engineering our occupancy. We do not beat our own hearts, pump our own blood, nor choose the particular constellation of our inherited genetics.
However, we have tremendous influence over the expression and trajectory of our health and movement potential. Our bodies are the places we enact tremendous choice and also experience powerlessness. We do not master our bodies. We are in relationship with our bodies. Similar to our relationship with the planet, we are co-creators. We are dependent for our survival and yet have the greatest footprint on our own piece of nature, every day. Your body is your personal natural resource and is an expression of your continued co-operation with it.
Your body is LIVING! Whether you exercise or not, eat well or not, process your emotions or not. Your body will go on, organizing itself without your permission. How is your body responding to your life? This is the main question to ask. Your body is giving you information about how the relationship is going. Fatigue, tension and chronic injuries are all your bodies responses to your life, particular to you. Feeling your body. Noticing what is happening for you. This dialogue is the practice to master. It is your relationship to discover, negotiate, maximize and enjoy.
Our bodies are the places we inhabit and process our experiences as human beings. It is not only how often you exercise but how you respond to the information coming from your body, that changes you over time. How do you respond when your body is exhausted, excited, adrenalized, nervous, pleasured, lethargic?
I have been both very ill and very well, from several years bound to a bed to flying joyously through the air as a dancer. I have had my share of injuries and have worked with hundreds of people to move through theirs.
Health is the ability to navigate through life. The movement practice to cultivate is connection to our bodies, throughout our lives, regardless of the circumstances. The commitment is to continue to tune-in, notice and feel what is happening for you, within your body. This is especially useful in times of discomfort, through injuries, accidents and emotional pain. It is your way through, and the body is resourced to help you if you can stay connected to it. Our long-term health is largely dependent on the quality of this communication.
Many people search for the right "routine", putting their body through the paces without tuning in to feel their body. This is like watering a garden on a schedule, not stopping to notice if it has rained for a week. If you want a flourishing body, you have to practice feeling how your body responds to your life. Noticing when to rest, when to challenge yourself, negotiating fuel levels, sleep, sex drive, and managing emotions. Without tuning into living things, you cannot know what choices will be supportive. Your body is living. Tuning in is essential.
The body is a regulatory system which you participate in, intrinsically designed to fluctuate and change. So, it is not going to be perfect. Ever. It is a relationship! Practice being with your body in stillness and in movement during your day. Listen. Feel. Notice subtle changes. Your body is speaking to you and the information is invaluable. The aim of my work is to refine the process of conscious participation with our bodies to support our lives. Movement is the conversational bridge between what we are given by nature and what we wish to create. Movement is the place where the soul and body connect.
May we tread kindly.
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