Updated: Jan 6
Full Presence in my bodies is for me a step towards conscious engagement with the rest of my bodies: Emotional, Mental, Energetic and Spiritual. At the speed we live in present times, very often the physical body is miss-used, overused, under used, very often taken for guarantee. Also some spiritual gurus have neglected their physicality, taking it as something that is the way to achieve enlightening. It makes some spiritual seekers confused around this issue: Which is the right and balanced way to attend the body without identification with it and/or without neglecting their spiritual search. I have asked myself these questions sometimes when I become so engaged with the joy and the challenges of my physical practices. Through the Yoga practice and teaching, I have come to the conclusion that taking care of the body comes as an act of self-responsibility and personal commitment to develop consciousness; It is the most immediate and tangible opportunity to respond with presence to the reality we have chosen to live in with some level of acknowledgement of the fact that we are much more than our physical manifestation. I have experienced different body practices: From a strong runner and swimmer as youngster, I moved to be a dedicated Yoga practitioner and dancer in my adult live. Yoga and Dance are for me my two core practices, both physical and Spiritual. They anchor my body to the material ground, stretch my life to spiritual Connection, and allow me some glimpse of understanding of possibilities outside the ones we touch and see. Through Yoga and Dance I cultivate body presence. Most people live far from their bodies; for different reasons, mostly unconscious, rarely deliberated. Some of these reasons can be: extreme mind work, lack of body education, a way to avoid emotional pains stored in body due to traumas and/or shocks. Each body is a Pandora Box full of felt experiences, colourful stories -not always shinny, often in different tones of black and grey-. Body discipline practiced with consciousness is conducive to unlock clues and stories that we hide as strategy of survival and preservation. Consistent and conscious physical practices can offer us valuable opportunities and tools to unblock and resolve inner issues. From my personal practice and my teaching I can say suggest 2 simple strategies to gain body presence: 1. Breath awareness: there are many ways to conducive to conscious breathing: Anytime you remember, bring the breathing to the abdomen. Whenever you notice your breath is shallow, short, and coming from your chest, bring it down to the abdomen, slow it down, make the inhalation and exhalation longer and more rhythmic. It grounds the body and calm your mind. 2.Choose one Body Practice that you enjoy, that challenges your body (at least a little), and that is available for you most of the times. It means that you are in control and not dependent on someone else. At the beginning you may need some extra support to build your personal discipline around the practice, with the time, you can and you will own it, At the beginning it is awkward to fit it in the schedule, with the time it becomes a more fluid part of your routine. Start simple. Start basic. Start slow but keep going. Slowness helps you to make the practice more conscious and enjoyable, it helps to create and refine intimacy with your body, it is about creating and nurturing a relationship with your body. In this process you make a demand but also you are listening to your body. This will set up a gracious step to start a process of cultivating Body Presence.