It’s me again. Part 1 of this issue was a call to welcome spring; an invitation to notice sprouts in different parts of your life. What sprouts have you noticed in your life since? I’d like to share a few more of my observations with you in part 2 of this issue.
Sprouting of a relationship with my body
Many of us may take this for granted: showing up at a gym, a yoga/pilates studio, or a Zumba class in tight-fitting activewear. Everyone ready to bounce under the instructor’s guidance.
With the opportunity to deepen my 1 to 1 body-based offering this year, I have come to realise that our bodies may not always feel safe in new environments, especially when we are expected to show up in a certain way. For some of us, the act of showing up with our bodies is a highly vulnerable one.
Have you ever attempted to hide at the back of any fitness class when you attended for the first time? I certainly have. This may be an innocuous example, but it takes time for any body to take cues from the environment that it is free to just be. We enter into this world longing to be free with and in our body. If you observe any baby, toddler, or child, you’d see that insatiable need to explore their world with their bodies freely. That is our natural state.
Along the way, many of us were told ‘no’ numerous times. We learned to say ‘no’ to our body, suppressing our needs. I learned to force my body to be, even when it’s highly uncomfortable. Our bodies were taught to mechanically follow life like clockwork. Then I learned to ignore when my body says ‘no’.
We subconsciously pressure our bodies into performance across all aspects of our lives: pushing and moulding ourselves unnecessarily into shapes, movements and relational expectations. This experience does not bring freedom and joy to the body. Instead, it induces tightness, constriction, and suffocation. Over time, we complain of injuries, fatigue, and chronic pain — not realising that our physical, emotional, and relational habits may have all along been stressing our bodies.
It takes time for our bodies to learn that it is safe to push ourselves out of our comfort zone in any learning container. For some of us who lived a traumatic past (or present) that was/is rooted in chaotic circumstances or relationships, this time needed can be much longer.
Feeling safe is not a coddle to remain in our comfort zone; it is the key to wearing our courage proudly on our sleeves. Our bodies are constantly negotiating for safety with a series of questions such as:
‘Do I want to approach in this environment?’
‘If I choose to approach, can I express myself in ways that are true to me?’
‘If I choose to approach, can I continue to stay as I am?’
‘Can I choose to say ‘no’ and withdraw/end/leave at any moment?’
What does a ‘no’ feel like in your body? That’s an exercise I’d invite you to try and notice. Watch for signs: a churn in your gut, the slightest clenching of your jaw, a recoil in your stomach, or widening of your eyes.
How ‘yes’ feels like in your body is an equally important practice to undertake.Whenever any of the questions above receives a ‘yes’, our bodies free up a little to be who they want to be. We begin to take risks. It may sound paradoxical, but a fearlessleap into the unknown requires safety to first resonate in our bodies.
This spring, I’m feeling an invitation to redefine my relationship with my body. I’m learning to attune to the cues of safety that my body has been sending me.
Sprouting of a relationship between bodies
How often do we look at our relationships — with ourselves or with others — from the perspective of our bodies? Learning to pick up bodily nuances in relationship building was one key learning I took away from my recent yoga teacher training with Svastha Yoga and the Trauma Center Trauma-Sensitive Yoga. I’ll be unpacking more of what I’ve learned in future issues, but as I emerge fresh from these two training in March, I remain fascinated with the significance of power and synchronicity in trauma healing. If trauma is the lived experience of powerlessness and fragmentation, then healing rides on the vibrational waves of empowermentand synchronicity.
Sprouting of power and agency
There is a reclamation of power whenever there is a presence of choice in our relationships. Our bodies get to return to asking, ‘Do I want to approach? If I choose to, can I express myself in ways that are true to me?’ Every time that my clients choose to move on their terms is a micro-expression of agency that rewrites their previous experiences.
Sprouting of synchronicity
Our heart is the primary generator of our internal interactions. Our heart’s rhythm communicates how we are doing from the inside, from a sense of safety and peace to absolute fear and terror. A coherent heart rhythm, one marked by a smooth and consistent wave-like pattern, greets stability. The more coherent our heart rhythm is, the deeper we experience internal harmony.
Finding synchronised patterns or waves of energy between bodies in movement, breath, or stillness reflects balance, coherence, and stability in that relationship. Whenever my clients choose to synchronise their movement and/or breath with me, that resonance represents an intimate shared experience akin to a coherent heart rhythm. This resonance nurtures self-compassion and empathy. My clients shared that they began to feel safe in their bodies again, even just for a few moments. They found relief when they found their breath; they could touch calm after what felt a like a lifetime of internal chaos. They choose to fill their bodies with gentleness and patience as they redefine their relationship with their bodies.
When we notice and recognise moments of synchronicity in our relationships, we learn to reconnect with our bodies, to be free with, and in, our bodies once more.