Integrative Movement – Making peace with your body
As a woman who suffered from fibromyalgia most of my life, I know what it feels like to think that my body is the enemy. I felt like my body had betrayed me and didn’t support me. It, along with all the symptoms, was an enemy to be conquered. I prayed for a new body. If I just had a different body, then I could do and have the things that I wanted.
Then I discovered yoga
I was lucky that early in my life I discovered yoga and then lived as a residential member of Kripalu Yoga and Health for several years. It was during that time that my life changed, it literally saved my life. The things that I learned through the practice of yoga and creating a deeper relationship with my body has been the foundation upon which i have been able to rebuild my health.
Your body is the best book you will read on your health!
A quote from my teacher highlighted this principle, “Your body is the best book you will ever read on your health.” By practicing yoga, I built a healthy relationship with my body. Yoga gave me the gentle exercise I needed, it kept my muscles toned, my organs healthy and detoxified, and helped me to develop the ability to be present. But more than that, it taught me to listen to my body and understand its messages.
Pain is just a sensation???
One day, when I was feeling intense pain, someone said to me, “Pain is just a sensation, see what happens if you watch it”. Such a novel idea. Until that moment, I just thought of pain as something that I hated and wanted to go away. In my yoga practice, I began to watch the pain/sensation. I began to discover what happened when I was simply present with the pain/sensation. Often pain would dissipate when I was present with it. I created a relationship with my body and with the pain.
Benefits of being present in your body.
The ability to be present in my body and listen to my body, has been my guide in rebuilding my health. Here is some of what I learned:
- What types of exercise were right for my body.
- What foods were healthy for my body and which weren’t.
- How to release tension through awareness and breath.
- How to feel and release trapped emotions.
- How to uncovered negative beliefs that were sabotaging my health and my life.
- My connection with my body helped me to connect to a higher wisdom that has guided me in my life.
The experience of yoga carries into other types of movement.
In later years, when I explored other types of exercise, I realized that because of my yoga practice, I could easily pick up other forms of exercise and movement. Self-awareness became an asset in any form of movement I practiced and enhanced the benefits.
If yoga isn’t a posture, then what is it?
Yoga really isn’t twisting your body into a pretzel. The word yoga means union. It is the union of body, mind and spirit. It is the practice of being present in your body (and in your life). The essence of yoga is awareness of each moment and creating a harmonious relationship with your body, heart, mind and spirit.
The birth of Integrative Movement
Out of this awareness, I developed what I call, Integrative Movement. Integrative movement is what happens when you combine movement, awareness, breath and intention.
On January 29, I am offering a free webinar introducing you to the practice of Integrative Movement. We will be using a guided gentle chair yoga practice to learn how to be present with our body with awareness and breath. Magic happens when you combine awareness, breath and movement with a healing intention. This is a simple class that anyone can do. All you need is yourself, a chair, clothing that won’t inhibit your movement . . . and a computer, pad or cell phone.
Stay tuned for more details.
This week, consider your relationship with your body, with your pain. Here are some questions you can ask:
- Are you aware of your body?
- Do you hate your body?
- Do you love your body?
- Do you hate your pain?
There isn’t a right or wrong answer to this. Just be truthful about how you feel. The truth will set you free.