Returning to the body… and to practice

“Go within.  Use the inner body as a starting point for going deeper and taking your attention away from where it is usually lodged, in the thinking mind.”              Eckhart Tolle

The Body

How do we re-learn to be fully inside our body… to be embodied?

Our bodies help to bring us back into the present moment.  As you become aware of your body and how it feels on the inside (body sensations) and remember to keep returning to your body again and again, it anchors you into the here and now.

The body is the outermost aspect of our personality.   The gross form of the mind is the body and the subtle form of the body is the mind.  So the body tells the story of our habitual thinking and emotional reactions which in turn creates different shapes and knots in the body.  Every mental tension has a corresponding physical and muscular tension and vice versa.

All our experiences and reactions to these experiences, are registered in the body at a cellular level – body is constantly clenching, bracing, releasing, opening, softening and closing as you react to your experience in each moment – notice now how your shoulders, jaws, belly, solar plexus and heart feel – these sites accumulate chronic tension as a result of resisting feeling things that are difficult.

When attention is primarily in our head (holding onto the past or worrying about a future event that may never happen), we are unaware of how our body is registering the story of our life in this moment.

An emotion is how the body experiences a thought.  Each emotion that we experience has its own body sensation.  The habitual pattern of the conditioned mind is to suppress or to avoid something that feels uncomfortable, so most of the time we don’t allow ourselves to feel the body sensation.

Remembering to return attention back into the body, we learn how to feel these raw body sensations… in that moment of returning, we become embodied beings.  We are then able to feel life in this moment.  This helps us to respond to a situation in a fresh way that feels awake and alive; which is imbued with discernment and wisdom.

By returning attention into the body, we are learning ‘to be with’ whatever is there.  This also helps to release mental tensions at the physical level.

When we are fully aware of how our body feels, mind and body become synchronised … there is a feeling of connection and wholeness.


When life gets busy, we let those activities that benefit and support us through the busy-ness, slip.  As we approach the end of the year with its extra commitments and pressures, I invite you to make a dedicated commitment to yourself to come along each week to either of my two Hatha Yoga classes to breathe, stretch and re-connect with your body, inner self and the stillness of the present moment.

7:45 – 9am at Ishta School of Yoga & Health, 121 Atholl Road, Atholl, Sandton

9:30 – 11am at Nan Hua Buddhist Meditation Centre, 107 11th Street, cnr Lillian Avenue, Parkmore

Or return to whatever practice you know and prefer to support a returning into the body where you can feel life in this moment!

Practice of Sacred Mindfulness
“Begin your practice from the heart, doing it because of Oneness –
raising your consciousness raises all Consciousness,
pouring healing out into the Cosmos.
Our inner eye knows that we do not need anything so we do not need to grasp at the practice –
it is simply a way of being who we really are.
The practice has life force when it is offered to all beings as a gift.
Close your practice by dedicating it to peace and harmony in the world.”

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