Thursday, May 14, 2009

To Be or Not To Be Connected?

The mind-body connection is very powerful and often overlooked in our society. We get caught up in our heads: thinking and planning, running from one activity to the next, figuring out what we want and solving problems that arise.

It is easy to forget about our body or not to listen to our body. When we push it beyond its limits, we get injured. This injury can be instantaneous or it can insidiously develop over an extended period of time without our knowledge until one day the pain is all too obvious.

The neck physically connects our head to our body. Isn't it interesting that so many people have chronic neck tension and pain? This pain is a result of a mind-body disconnect. We ignore our physical discomforts until we gradually do not even notice them. We ignore the signals our bodies are sending. We learn to live with our pain. We are not willing to take the time to feel the mind-body connection. Changing habits takes intention and awareness.

Typically the physical cause of neck pain is that our head is not in proper alignment with our body. When the head is extended forward of the spine, there is tension created from overuse of the muscles to hold the head in place. Even the natural curve of the neck can become distorted. This misalignment happens from how we sit, stand and walk and even how we think.

What causes us to lead with our head and forget our heart connection? When we live in our heads, we live in the past or the future. To be fully involved in the present, to be fully aware, requires us to align our minds and body. When our head is extended forward we are literally leading with our head. When the head is in line with the spine, our head and heart are in physical alignment. This helps bring us into the present moment.

Yoga literally means union. Yoga connects the mind, body and spirit. Moving with the breath, bringing the body back into alignment and relaxing the mind creates an environment where healing can occur. Balancing a connection to the core with expansion and freedom relieves stress and tension in the body. When your body and mind are connected, life just gets easier. When your body is out of alignment it will become tense to protect itself. When the body is in alignment, it will relax and become more fluid.

Take at least a few moments each day to be grateful for this gift of life. Close your eyes and inhale deeply feeling the power of the breath create an inner fullness. Listen to the song of the birds, feel the sunshine on your face or the freshness of a gentle rain. Aligning with nature and believing in the power of each individual moment, brings softness and fluidity into our lives. Feel your mind and body in balance. Choose to be connected.

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