Introspect Your Mind-Body Alignment through Mindfulness
I Never Asked My Body What It Wanted!
Sometimes, we keep focusing on the spiritual aspect of living and the energy that we exuberate through our spiritual existence in this universe. However, equally significant is the physical aspect, which in other words, is our body. Today, I’ll elucidate the process through which we can achieve a state of ‘Mind-Body Alignment’ by sharing the observations I’ve made through my own experiences.
Interaction Between Our Mind and Body
Our existence can be described as the interaction between our mind and body. If we divide our existence into two distinct parts, the first can be categorized as the spiritual state, and the second can be categorized as the physical state. They have different characteristics: the spirit is like energy, which cannot be seen and can only be felt in various forms like heat, light and sound, whereas the body is always visible and can be felt.
The body animates to function as a being through the interaction of the spirit/energy with the body. But, both energy and mind operate in distinct ways. Both the spirit and the body have different principles on which they work. For instance, energy can neither be created nor destroyed; it changes from one form to another. On the other hand, the body is a matter which exists only for a limited lifetime. The interaction between our form in this body and its development is then overtaken by energy. Gradually, body and energy interact and, hence, become inseparable- energy becomes body and body becomes energy, making it impossible for us to distinguish the difference between the essence of both.
We cannot distinguish between our body and energy, so we suffer from a disconnected disposition. To help us find solutions to align our body and energy, we approach different practices like yoga and meditation. Why do we feel calm and relaxed after yoga and meditation? Yoga and meditation enable the union of our body and energy, which connect for a brief period and then come to their usual relationship.
Of all relationships you have, the most intimate relationship must be with your body.
There are two facets for most aspects of life like the union of two people through marriage or the duality of day and night or the antithesis of God and the devil. Likewise, the spirit and body are distinct, but they share a connexion. I would like to emphasize that out of all intimate relationships, the most intimate relationship you have is with your body, which we tend to forget. We perceive our body as a liability because of the frailty and suffering we might endure in matters about our physical health. I never paid attention to my body, hoping that it would function appropriately on its own, irrespective of the strenuous activities we force it to perform. Most of us push our bodies to keep functioning despite unrest daily, forcing our bodies to stay awake even when there is an immediate urge to sleep. Our body alerts us about its inability to keep functioning properly due to inadequate rest and proper sleep. But, we keep ignoring the red signs it shows us and force it to stay active to accomplish our tasks.
Pay Attention to the Red Flags That Our Body Gives Us
An enlightening moment for me was when I realized that I never paid heed to these red flags that my body raised. I never asked my body: what do you want? I asked the world the whole world what it wanted but never asked my body what it wanted. However, as we haven’t paid attention to our body for a very long time, it doesn’t respond immediately. Due to years of ignorance towards our body, it takes time to respond to your question of what it wants.
Give Considerable Time To Your Body to Respond
When I started the journey to receive answers from my body regarding what it wanted, I felt I wasn’t receiving the correct answer. So is true for everyone. How many of us listen to what our body says?
When I say this, the first thing that crosses most people’s minds is that they are the body. They ask me: What do you mean? I am the body.
They are unable to differentiate, but because the essence of both the mind and the body are different, they operate differently. To do so, to distinguish between mind and body, we must embrace Mindfulness.
A process called Mindfulness makes you aware of what you are doing. Mindfulness is the fundamental human capacity to be fully present, aware of our surroundings and actions, and not unduly sensitive or overwhelmed by what is happening around us.
While we all inherently possess Mindfulness, it becomes more accessible to us when we practice it daily.
For instance, when you are eating food, you will observe that it tells you well in advance to stop eating, but we don’t pay attention to it most of the time. Instead, we keep eating to please our taste buds. And because we don’t stop, our body has to adjust in different ways to our eating habits.
How can we practice Mindfulness?
To practice Mindfulness, we must start looking out for instances when our body is trying to signal something to us three to four times a day.
Our body is intricate and complex and is governed by the mechanism of human physiology. For example, to put it in a simple context in terms of the physiological processes of nutrition, there is an limit to amount of salt or sugar required by the body.
However, if you have been consuming excessive sugar for a long time, your body might have adapted to the excess despite not requiring it. Hence, you might be unaware that you have been subjecting your body to that excessive amount. But for once, if you reduce the intake of that extra amount you’ve been consuming and then start intaking the same amount again, your body, as it didn’t require it earlier, cannot handle it.
We sometimes increase our consumption of some ingredients to a point where our body starts showing its effect in different ways, such as lethargy, weight gain, slow metabolism, inflammation, pains, and other adverse reactions.
This is an example of a mismatch between the connexion of the mind and the body. Let’s now do practice the method of experiencing Mindfulness. The process involves closing your eyes and examining where your body feels stressed. Notice where your body feels stressed, and then just let your body fully express it. After a particular time, you might realize that your body feels tense in expressing the stress to you. This is the point when you must relax. As soon as you start noticing, you will observe various points in your body where it felt strained. You must let it all together show you the emotional stress you feel or whatever amount of strain you feel.
While in the process, you will feel distracted. This is precisely why we need to engage in this activity- we as energy are so spirited that we aim to dash towards other thoughts; hence we disconnect from our body very quickly. As our body is not vibrating according to our energy, it will not be able to keep pace according to the body’s speed. We might feel that our body feels slow, sore, and exhausted during the process. I spent considerable time connecting to my body. It was then that it started showing its soreness. The amount of soreness I felt was to such a great extent that if I didn’t realize that I was doing it purposely, it would have led to a breakdown when I would have to ask for help for feeling this way.