We often hear in yoga classes the expression “listen to your body”, but what does it really mean? Our body has many ways of letting us know what we should or should not be doing. Some messages are clear: when we are hungry, we need to eat; when we are tired, we need to rest or sleep. But sometimes, those messages are not as loud and clear, and it is up to us to tune in to them. We tend to feel guilty if we skip that yoga class, or don’t go for our regular workout at the gym because we don’t feel completely right. And then, we have to pay it when our body forces us to listen by getting sick or injured.
One of the principles of Yoga, Ahimsa, refers to non violence to all living beings, starting with ourselves. By listening to our bodies and following through with what it is telling us to do or not to do, we are honoring this principle by protecting ourselves.
Practicing yoga teaches us to stay on our mat and focus on our practice, without letting our ego compete with what others are or are not doing. Here is where listening to our bodies comes into place, when we have to be humble enough to know that a particular pose will not be good for us this particular day, and we just bring our practice to the level we need it that day, or even better, we skip yoga that day, because we don’t feel quite well. By practicing this on the mat, we learn to accept it and bring that acceptance to our every day life. It empowers us to listen to those subtle signals and act accordingly.
In any case, if we don’t listen, our body will let us know. How many times haven’t we ignored that little voice in our head that is advising us not to do something, and then we end up getting sick or injured? We live and we learn.
Wishing everyone a great weekend! Namaste!