By Courtney Sheehan
Becoming naturally in-tune with your body is highly underrated. Feeling connected and in your flow needs to be seen as fundamental, but can often be thrown into the ‘too complicated’ or ‘time-consuming’ basket.
The fact of the matter is, the more balanced and connected we feel, the stronger our relationship with all areas of our life is. So, we wanted to recommend some sure-fire practices that will allow you to reconnect not only with yourself, but also with your environment, your family and your whole community.
You can be anyone, anywhere, and at any time of the day, to practice these mindful exercises and to truly reap the benefits. Before we dive right in, it’s important that we touch on one of the most crucial things, you need to commit to before practicing anything.
And that’s to…..
Listening to our bodies, and hearing everything it is telling us, is paramount to becoming naturally in-tune. And it’s one of the first positive steps to heal or change the habits that we’ve created that may not serve us.
A great way to improve and refine your body listening skills, is to set up a time everyday where you ask yourself some questions. It only takes a few minutes and you can ask them while you are driving the car, hanging out the washing or having dinner. It’s that easy.
How does my body feel today?
How did my body react to the food that I ate?
What is one nurturing and loving thing I can do for my body right now?
Questions are amazing tools that often guide us directly to any issues that may be at play. There are many other ways in which you can begin to transform your relationship with your physical self, however it’s important to nail down your listening skills first.
The movement our bodies make and the food that we fuel it with, are the main elements that directly impact us on a minute to minute basis. Check out these rituals, tools and ideas below that when practiced abundantly, will allow you to bring a state of alignment and contentment to your physical, mental and spiritual self.
Play allows us to use creativity while developing imagination, dexterity, and physical, cognitive, and emotional strength. It also gives us the chance to be spontaneous, which encourages new sensations and feelings. Play on the playground, get the soccer ball out, or jump in the sand pit with your kids (or neighbours kids!). Bring play into all parts of your life and embrace it in every sense of the word.
*Deep Breathing Exercises
We often don’t give conscious and deep breathing exercises the respect they deserve. Deep breathing is best practiced in the morning, setting yourself up for a full day of healing and a lowering of stress, muscle relaxation, and a decrease in perspiration.
There are many breathing methods being taught around the world and online, one of my favourites at the moment is Wim Hoff and his personal method - check him out here.
*Close Your Eyes + Stop What You’re Doing
Stopping what you are doing, closing your eyes and taking a few slow inhales and exhales - is one of the quickest paths to dialling in to your inner self. Sometimes we need a refresher on coming back to ourselves and being in the present moment…. don’t discount something so simple.
*Intense To Still
Think sprinting then meditating. Jumping jacks to stationary standing. Chaos to simplicity.
It’s lovely to play with those extremes and notice how your body, mental state and self really react.You can learn a lot about how you're feeling by playing with intensity and stillness.
Whether it’s by yourself or with a partner, grab those clothes that make you feel sensual, put soft music on and dance like nobody’s watching.
Movement doesn’t have to be intense to feel connected and present. Slowing down can be exactly what you need to sink into your body and simply just feeeeeeel.
A gorgeous pic of the author Courtney on one of her well renowned Yoga retreats.
Have you ever been on a slow walk to simply be mindful? To see colours, notice beauty and smell the world? Head to your closest nature playground, like the park or the beach, and turn on all of your senses.
*Worship Your Tastebuds with a Mindful Meal
Who doesn’t love to eat, am I right? But how many times a week do you eat mindfully with no distractions? Cook a beautiful meal, turn off netflix, and tune into your whole 5 senses, to experience every step of your meal. Smell, touch, and slowly devour each mouthful. Making sure your taste is turned on full throttle.
***ADD Some Extra Sauce - Put a blindfold on and take your experience to the next level.
*Eat Local and Organic
It’s not only the fact that no chemicals or toxins has been used in the making of, or that your local community brought you yummy produce, but organic also tastes and looks way better. When your mind knows you are eating LOVELY produce, your body knows too.
*Go Meat Free For A Week
A few years ago, meat free Monday became the ultimate craze. And although the movement was an amazing step in a positive, more sustainable direction, we want to go one step further and encourage you to dedicate one week a month to being vegetarian. Not only will you be practicing a more sustainable way of living, being vegetarian is also a great way to be creative and find new and exciting recipes to dazzle your guests at the next dinner party.
So Remember …...
YOU have an exquisitely beautiful body.
Love it, worship it, and above all - listen to it.