For many of us, the path to truly knowing about and understanding our bodies can be a difficult one. Yes, we inhabit our physical shells, this "temple of our soul". Yet how much about the workings of our body do we truly understand?
This is not a trivial question, either. I believe that many of the most common, most expensive, and most debilitating health and medical conditions prevalent in our society today are caused in large part by this disconnect between what the body actually needs to thrive, versus how we treat it. It's more than just a simple lifestyle issue, too. Yes, the sedentary, stressful lifestyle that so many people lead is not healthy. But this is a symptom of the larger disconnect we may feel. For those of us with any type of chronic health condition - be it high blood pressure, diabetes, chronic fatigue, asthma, or being overweight or obese - this disconnect can seem huge. I know when my asthma was at its worst, I began to see my body as the "enemy." Why was it whacking out on me, why was it letting me down? And I've battled my weight a couple different times in my life. After awhile, I begin to tune out many of my body's signals because it seemed like an alien to me. Plus, so often, these signals seemed to herald bad news. You can probably relate. Of course, this is the exact opposite of what we should be doing if you suffer from a chronic health condition. Ironically, the most direct way to get back in touch with our bodies - and our psyches and spirit, for that matter - is through breathing. I say ironic because breathing is the most vital process going on in our bodies. Just a few minutes of not breathing means the heart and brain shut down. Yet most people take breathing for granted. And that's one reason why I place such an emphasis on breathing and energy exercises in my approach to health and fitness. Simply doing a series of exercises like in the Secret Power of Dynamic Energy Exercise Course, Volume II - on a regular basis can make a huge difference in your energy levels...and increase your sensitivity to your own energy, as well as that of the other people around you. So, my challenge to you is this: take this "weak spot" in your body - your breathing, the area you tend to take for granted - and begin to use this as the foundation for getting back in touch with yourself. It doesn't require anything elaborate. Simply taking the time once or twice a day to sit quietly and focus on your breathing is an excellent start. For example, sit and breathe as gently, fully and slowly as you can first thing in the morning. This will tell you quite a bit about how you are feeling, your energy levels, and your mental outlook. Later, take a few moments before you go get your lunch to sit and breathe deeply. As you breathe, ask your body what it feels like eating. Does it want the Big Mac and fries you were about to go get. (Sitting in your car at the drive through, of course. No need to walk into the restaurant if you don't have to.) Or, now that you have taken a minute to calm yourself and relax, does a fresh salad with some chicken or steak feel more like what you need right now. Those are two everyday examples of how you can take a moment and use your breathing to help you tune in to your body. A better connection to yourself - on all levels, not just physical, although physical is a great place to start - helps you access the internal wisdom you already possess. You Can Do It! Taken from Karen Van Ness Newsletter.