yogi: let your body be your teacher

the other day, i woke up to find that my left upper back was nearly frozen with muscle pain.  (nothing like waking up with an injury, right?)  i wracked my brain for what i could have done to cause it -- but nothing came to mind.  so, instead of trying to figure out why this bothersome pain had arrived in my life, i decided to sit with it, address it as best i could, and listen to the innate wisdom of my body -- which was obviously telling me it needed something! i did some self-massage, soothed the muscle with a heating pad, and rolled it out with some acupressure balls.  i modified my yoga practice, and did some gentle stretches that just felt plain good.  the pain forced me to treat myself to some much needed tlc.  and, in the end, the pain wasn't such a pain after all...

as a yoga teacher, you, too, have likely be taught to listen to your body.  to respect it, treat it well, and honor it.  sure, you've been told that...but do you practice it regularly?...

when it comes to your yoga practice, and your life off-the-mat for that matter, your body is one of the wisest teachers you'll ever have.  there's a reason people say, "trust your intuition" or "listen to your gut".  those insights, thoughts, and feelings aren't just hunches, they come from the deep-seated wisdom, awareness, and compassion that dwells in all of us, and connects us to everyone and everything else.

if you tend to push through injury, ignore hunger pangs, or power through your to-dos even when you need a rest; stepping back, and checking in with what your body is communicating it needs can be immensely telling.

does it need a break?  a nap?  a few sun salutations?  a glass of water?  a moment of pause?  a massage?  to get outside?  a deep breath?  the answer may be subtle, but it's there.  cultivate your ability to hear and listen to it.

if these words are resulting in some self-realization on your part, give your body something it needs right now!  close your eyes, tune in to your breath, and see what is present for you.  notice what your body is asking for -- and offer it to yourself.