Updated: Jul 13, 2021
As a teacher and singer I am trained to take notice of my body, sometimes I'm better at noticing than other times.
At the end of 2020, when I was standing in line at the grocer I realized that I was slumping. Not in a great relaxing way but instead in a way that was detrimental to my health and confidence. I was experiencing so many extras: extra weight, extra stress, extra tension, and extra all of the things! At that moment I needed to become reacquainted with my body. I started a very gentle stretch sequence and began to remember. Fast forward through the long but necessary time of getting back in touch with my body!
Reflecting back there was one other time that I really had to listen to my body differently because I had started to ignore it. My body began fighting with my kidney. I still do not know what the issue was that catapulted me into (what was thought of as) a random virus that caused (what I call now) mild kidney damage but I honestly think it was my bodies call for help. My body was speaking to me - the girl who loved to ignore it - saying, "I need to be loved, nourished and honored." This was the start of a better relationship with my body, mind and in turn food. That was 2005, many roommates, 1 graduation, 1 marriage and 3 babies ago; and, I had forgotten.
I forgot that my body is a great communicator. I began to listen again. I heard it saying, "move more", "sleep more", "paint my toe nails", "feed me nutritious and meaningful foods" and most recently "love me"! I always have felt confident in my bodies ability to do the things, but did I unconditional love my body. Having children is one of those times my body showed me a new strength and ability. But it also shows how much pride and what superficial things our love for our body requires.
Listening to my body brought me into many uncomfortable places. I felt my breath panic on a large incline and allowed myself to move through the discomfort in order to breakdown the panic. I felt my body twitch and quake and strengthen as I did yoga. I felt my body and mind becoming in sync. This is the goal. This is the practice. This will never be complete and I will continue to make effort to notice. I hope I am not the only one that needs reminders to sync my Body and Mind. I suspect I am not.
A couple of weekends ago I had two guests, Barbara Gonzalez-Palmer and Mark Moliterno, come to OCM and work with my singers. They presented a concert, VocalVinyasa, interactive workshop and a master class. These two lovely humans helped us as singers become re-acquainted with noticing and our bodies ability to communicate! Mark is the cofounder of YogaVoice - Find them here! I will share just one amazing thing from that day that speaks about our body as a whole and the need to move. There were 30 students and teachers spread around a grassy and shaded area outside the conservatory. Mark had a microphone and was guiding us through the VocalVinyasa. We could hear cars whizzing by, birds chirping, bees buzzing and the wind rustle through the tree. He warned us that the Breath of Joy sequence will move through us and as we continue the movements an inner sense of giggle will emerge. Well it did and we all collectively felt calmer and brighter. All in all the guests were well received and each of my students had at least one take away.
My biggest take away from the event was discussing the various Chakras and how they align with our voices. I noticed in the past 6 months of practicing yoga how my body (specifically my lower back and hips) and voice healed.
I hope this post will serve as a reminder to you to listen to your body and honor what it needs in this moment.