By: Danielle Wilson
I’ve tuned into a telling trend that’s been present in my practice, as of late. Once in a while, instructors will prompt us to choose an intention for the time spent on our mats. As a believer in the universe and its woo-woo nature, it’s no coincidence to me that this invitation has been extended in almost every class I’ve taken this month. It’s as if I was being meticulously nudged towards answers or solutions I didn’t even know to seek.
When the suggestion to bring a specific intention to my practice came about earlier today, my response arrived at the surface of my awareness with ease: “I just want to be in my body.” The thought felt light, simple, but convicted in a way that was grounded and familiar. The likeness of this wish sparked my attention, and I later realized this intention had served as a theme in my life, subconsciously, for some time now.
“I just want to be in my body”—what a near effortless request. Yet, escaping from our bodies and their experience seems to be the state of being most of us defer to. The distractions we face in the life of 2020 are endless: to-do’s, technology, goals, family, friends, politics, social media, success—you KNOW the list could just trail on forever. Our society offers an out of *touch with your* body experience on a silver platter, and man do we get weak in the knees for those cravings!
At the kick off of the new year, I threw myself into my goals and intentions with near unstoppable force. Now here we are a few weeks in and I’ve been running around, binging off that pretty little platter of happy and hindering distractions, alike. It’s almost comical to me, how quickly I can slip into my overzealous, busy-bee nature. These days, my time is spent on everything I love and enjoy, but it’s still spent—I’m spent—nonetheless. I’ve faced bouts of exhaustion from overworking myself in the past, but I realize there’s been one simple thought keeping me calm and collected this time around—”I just want to be in my body.”
We grow from the inside out. Like a baby bird emerging from its egg, or a flower blooming from a tiny seed, growth only ever starts small and slowly, until it manifests into something we can see and acknowledge with our bare eyes. I think I’ve known, on some intuitive level, in order to thrive amongst the many demands and responsibilities in my life, I must always come back to the simplicity of my body. This shell is my one-way ticket into this world and the numerous experiences to be had while living here, so why continue to remain in disconnect with the sole tool allowing me to interact with such an awe-inspiring life?
Seasoned yogis will attest to their mat serving as a mirror, always reflecting the way we live our lives—whether we like it or not! I’d say, my eagerness to just be in my body as I practice was born out of the necessity for such a mindset in other areas of my life. What I’ve learned from committing to just being in my body throughout my practice is this: it’s easy. No, I don’t necessarily mean physical ease, but a simplicity of the mind and soul. “I just want to be in my body.” This phrase has empowered me to let go of the many expectations and narratives I’ve set around my practice. There’s no longer a need to try for that state of bliss because being in my body opens that threshold on its own. Forget becoming competitive with myself or the people around me, when I’m dedicated to being in my body everything I do just feels good, and honestly, that’s all I need!
So, if the legends are true, and the time spent on my mat is a genuine reflection of where I’m at or where I’m going, then the solution to letting go and feeling good, as I dedicate myself to working tirelessly at the opportunities coming my way, is simple: “I just want to be in my body.”
If we stay there, if we trust it, it will bring us the peace and comfort we seek. Our bodies are both havens and wonderlands–a home allowing us to feel safe and held, but also a jungle to explore and feel utterly alive in! Treasure it. Be with it. Better yet, be in it. The body IS our sole companion on this journey, and to treat it as such is to be still in the arms of a loved one as the world revolves endlessly around us.