Your Inner Wisdom: what is your body trying to tell you?
The first time someone ever told me that I didn’t need a Guru, that everything I needed was inside me was in a Tigress Yoga class. It was one of those defining moments you don’t forget about, and I know it has had a big impact on me and the way I work with women.
Inner wisdom is a theme I integrate into my work because I think that without this self-reflection it is difficult for a woman to find healing and a sense of peace within her own body. Your body tries to tell you things all the time. For example think about the way your body responds to stress; you might get diarrhea or constipation, skin irritations, or your hair may start falling out. What about when you have a deadline to meet and you work like crazy, only to get a bad cold once it’s all done? That’s your body’s way of making sure you get the rest you need.
One of the ways I describe Wild Woman Workout is that it is about getting out of your head and into your body. So many people have lost touch with the innate wisdom of their bodies, due to spending most of their day thinking, processing and problem solving.
This is how you can start to tune in to your body and I can promise you, following your body’s desires will pay huge rewards.
1. Move to feel good
When I worked in the gym there was a member who would come in four to five times a week. We got along really well. But every time she arrived she looked as though the gym was the last place she wanted to be. She’d roll her eyes and say “Kayla again” in other words “I’m doing the Kayla Itsines program again and I hate it but I have to do it.”
You shouldn’t feel this way about exercise. If your motivation is that low, then you need to find something that you actually enjoy. Or find someone to do it with you so you can motivate each other.
I had my own “Kayla again” moment last year when I was driving to the gym to do my strength training program. It was a predetermined program set up by my trainer or high sets and low reps. It was a very masculine approach to fitness that was 100% focused on changing my body composition, to get lean and build muscle. It was a beautiful day outside (and I love the outdoors) and I had a real WTF moment. I’ve since realised that the more I focus on changing my body, the more dissatisfied I become with it, regardless of my results.
I have an old friend who is an International Pro Body Builder and has comepeted in My Olympia. That’s the best of the best in terms of body building. I recently watched a short documentary on him, which was amazing and he said something like “I know I’ve still got a long way to go. There’s a lot about my body I’d like to improve.” Are you kidding mate? You’re almost the most perfect human being on the planet?
Perfection is an illusion. No one can ever reach it. And those that seem the closest probably feel further away than anyone ever did.
2. What message does your body have for you?
Where most women go wrong is that they listen to their fears, beliefs, criticisms and judgments instead of listening to their body. Or even worse they listen to companies who are trying to sell them products to make them “thinner or more beautiful”.
What’s an area of your body that has copped a lot of criticism for you?
Go ahead and name one.
Now take a minute to slow down, take a few deep breaths, close your eyes and put your hands on this part of your body. This is the important bit – If that body part could speak, what would it have to say to you?
I was really surprised when I did this exercise on myself (around the same time as my WTF moment on my way to the gym) and my belly said “Stop putting me under so much tension. Stop lifting such heavy weights. I’m trying to heal. I don’t need your love. I don’t need your attention. Just leave me alone!” So I followed that advice and whoa, my abs came back together after a two year separation (from pregnancy).
I do this exercise in much more depth in the Wild Woman Workout during a post exercise meditation because it can be pretty tricky to facilitate on your own. It’s really effective and provides some pretty incredible insights that can be a real game changer to self love and body image.
3. In order to hear the wisdom of your body you have to be able to quieten the mind
Inner wisdom is not going to pop up in the middle of a normal working day. Often your inner wisdom is the quietest voice. So it requires you to stop, to slow down and give yourself some space.
For some people Yoga or meditation can be a really great space for this. Or even a relaxing bath. Journaling can be great too. Just start with “right now I am feeling” and see what flows from that. And remember you are a human being, not a human doing. Even after the caveman ran from the lion (high stress) he would rest and recover. We seem to have forgotten how to do that.
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