Be Still and listen

By Change Is Good
Posted in Our Blog, on February 15, 2017

In many ancient religions the belief is that the energy of the soul lands in the body when an infant takes its first breath.  As a nurse, I have had the honor of being present to many births as well as to many deaths and I hold this belief to be true.  The energy that enters in and out of our bodies upon birth and death is palpable and in my opinion, not debatable. I consider our bodies to be our greatest gifts.  Our physical body is the vessel in which we house our soul.  Our bodies are also the vehicle by which our souls communicate to us.  If we are unsettled or not caring for ourselves it shows up in physical dis-ease.  Brilliant.

 What a gift to be able to measure how well we are caring for ourselves.  What I have seen is that the physical messages start like subtle whispers.  Perhaps you begin to notice a rash that shows up after eating a certain food.  Maybe you have a kick ass yoga practice after sleeping for 8 hours instead of your typical 6 or perhaps you get a  sense of nausea in the pit of your belly when a particular person walks in the room.  If the whispers are left “un-noticed” they can become a “slap” up side the head.  "Slaps" can lead to a multitude of “issues” and if left neglected can lead to what I refer to as a “collision”.  Here I am speaking to what healthcare professionals refer to as "catastrophic events".  These are the events, like heart attacks and strokes,  that rob us of our “vessel”.  

As  beings living in a human body we have a responsibility to listen to our bodies and care for them as needed.  The problem is that the body speaks quietly and the world around us can be loud and distracting. In a day and age when every quiet moment is an opportunity to fill space with facebook or instagram, it is our bodies that are suffering.  Consider for one moment the proven physical ramifications of prolonged sitting and prolonged device usage on our musculature.  The evidence is clear.  Increased levels of back pain, neck pain, carpal tunnel, visual issues, headaches etc etc.  How about obesity?  I could go on and on but it’s a blog not a study.  My point is; stop for a moment and take a breath.  Listen for physical feedback.  Look for it in a non-judgmental way.  Be curious about it .  Its information.  Gather the information and make decisions accordingly.  If you have a headache ask yourself why.  Maybe you haven't  had anything except coffee in 12 hours.  Huh.  Lightbulb.  Take it a step further and do the actual work of drinking the water and then re-evaluate.   Practice this not only with the food that you eat but with the conversations that you have.  Practice this over and over again with everything that you do.  Make it game.  Most importantly, through all of it learn to love and respect your vessel and when your yoga teacher says “supta baddha”, put one hand on your heart and one on your belly.  Take the opportunity to  check in, to listen and most importantly to love and appreciate yourself.  Get present, "be still and listen."

-Jen Silvera

Co-owner Baptiste Yoga San Francisco