I have become a floating head.
And so have you, in all likelihood.
As have most of the people around us.
Our world has become more bountiful with information, images, and ideas than we could have ever imagined. Every waking moment promises a maelstrom of concepts to engage with. We lead frantically busy lives. “Busy” has become a valued commodity in our interactions with others: something we complain about and yet secretly relish. It’s a way of life most of us don’t know who we are without.
And so: the floating head. We are so consumed by what’s going on between our ears that we have little concept of our own bodies.
The athletes, massage therapists, and yogis that I know tell me that they are shocked when they meet people who simply cannot access the feelings and signals their bodies are offering up.
There are a great many of us who experience pain or discomfort or nausea or anxiety on a regular basis, but who are so cut off from our own bodies that we don’t actually feel those feelings until they have disappeared somehow.
Our bodies are so miraculous: they hold all of our wisdom, and they put up with all of our shit. Gut feelings, tummy flutters, heart flip flops, chest constrictions, and toe curls are universally recognized signals from our bodies about whatever we are being confronted with in our lives. And there are places in our bodies that bear the brunt of our day-to-day trials and tribulations: the hips hold massive amounts of emotion, for example, and the shoulders and chest tell a tale about love and confidence.
But then there’s yoga class. Yoga – breath and movement intertwined – is the way in, the access point, for many of us, to the messages our body is desperately trying to send.
Anyone who has ever hit the floor in child’s pose and started to cry, or felt almost queasy with vulnerability in camel post knows what I’m talking about.
Yoga offers up a state of presence within our physical being – or, as Martha Beck so lovingly refers to our bodies in her brilliant new book, Diana, Herself, our “meat-selves” – that most of us simply don’t access on a regular basis. And so, perhaps more so than the fancy leggings, yoga is so alluring because it is a medicine for the mind-body connection; an access point for you to actually feel all the feels.
And though it can feel vulnerable or challenging and bring up resistance at times, yoga allows you to stretch deeply into alignment – into a state of deeper knowing that is informed by the wisest Source available to you: your legging-clad meat-self.