Our minds have the ability to travel through the past, present, and future, a remarkable tool when consciously employed. When left untamed, the mind can become a chaotic distraction that colors every new experience with the afterglow of memory and the anticipation of what could be. The body is the one aspect of self that is always rooted in this present moment; being the densest layer of ourselves, it is ever present within the physical dimension of reality. By tuning in to sensation, we are able to drop fully into the body and hear its wisdom with clarity. While this is an automatic process, the mind often gets in the way, leaving us blind to what is truly going on within ourselves.
Listening to the body through sensory input is a practice that can be done at any time, however, it can be extremely difficult to remain aware of every sensation that rises and dissolves in the body when so much is going on around us. Yoga and meditation are fantastic practices for withdrawing awareness from external stimuli so that the quiet knowledge of internal happenings can be realized. The sooner we become aware of an inner imbalance, the sooner it may be healed. This means that through regular listening of the body, we can begin to catch and resolve dis-ease before it manifests into a full blown medical condition.
Therapeutic massage and guided movement in junction with meditation are very effective ways that we can reinforce this skill of inner listening, with little effort, and integrate it into our every day experience. Gradually, we learn to move beyond mind chatter so that we may hear and support the innate healing abilities of the body. In massage, yoga and other forms of mindful movement, one gains the opportunity to feel the body in new ways. Integrating meditation is done by withdrawing awareness from external stimuli and focusing entirely on the sensations that flow within the body. With massage in particular, external stimuli is actively employed as a mirror so that one may see and feel the body without past or future perceptions distorting what is truly happening within. Mind power suddenly transforms from a distraction into an unlimited source of fuel for healing and being in the now.
Only in arriving here can you get there, or anywhere. From here, you can begin to consciously let go of anything that is not serving you. Harmful holding patterns in the body AND mind can be felt and release, through gentle attention of physical sensation.
It can only ever begin now. Start with a few deep breaths, focusing on where you feel your breath in your body. Notice areas of tension, and do some gentle stretching. Allow your intuition to take over. Be present with what you feel and allow sensation to guide you deeper into yourself and into the present moment.
Consider trying some guided movement as well, and observe what tensions and restrictions have been awaiting your attention. Breathe deeply into all sensations that arise, and inquire within, “How do these restrictions affect my breath, my mind? How can I relieve my body of dis-ease and return to a state of inner balance?
When body and mind enter this dialogue, clarity on where we are coming from and where we truly need to go for optimal health and wellness may arise.