Take a moment, sit down and relax. Take one or two deep breaths, feel the air entering your nostrils and your lungs expanding, then contracting. Put one of your hands on the chest and sense your heart beat.
Do you realise that these are just two of the numerous functions that your body does on its own. Pretty amazing, isn’t it? Without the need to give instructions, your body knows exactly when it heart needs to beat, when it needs to inhale and moreover when it needs to heal. It seems like your body is run by some higher intelligence, which is leaving your mind an open space for rational or logical thinking and planning.
On this occasion, I need to ask you a question. A very important question: “How are you treating your body? What kind of relationship do you have with your body?”
Well, from my own experience that comes from observing people, I can easily say that most people nowadays have dreadful relationships with their bodies. People take their bodies for granted. They abuse them with excessive thinking and worries; poison them with processed food and sugary drinks, excessive amounts of alcohol and drugs, lack of sleep, hard core exercising and all sorts of crazy diets that appear on the market.
I could talk, speak and write on this topic for ages, but let me focus in this article on two major topics – exercise and diet.
I am a regular member of the gym as well as I am running my own programs in which I am changing people’s attitudes to their bodies. Just like in yoga, I advise my students to pay close attention to what is happening with their bodies when they exercise and at the same time I urge them one thing – they are not allowed to push their bodies over their limits. When they sense that the pain is getting unpleasant, they need to stop immediately. I know, you will say, but if you don’t push yourself, you will never get anywhere… You know what, I couldn’t agree more. Yes, it’s good to push yourself, but you can push yourself sensibly, millimetre by millimetre and with persistence you will probably get much further that you would if you pushed yourself too hard in the first place.
We already mentioned that your body is an intelligent entity and as such, it has a memory. It knows exactly what caused it to feel good and what caused it to feel bad in the past. Therefore, when it is faced with a situation that in the past resulted in pain, it will automatically start avoiding it. And it has very clever ways to do so. Believe me, coaching clients through all sorts of issues, I have now come to realise that often minor annoying and lasting health problems are actually just your body’s natural attempt to stop you from overusing it.
Imagine how much stress is released into your blood stream each single time when you or your trainer pushes your body over your limit. I have seen it so many times and it makes me sad that so many trainers out there have no idea about how these subtle organisms work and how much damage they cause to people in a long run if they push them too hard.
Pushing your body over its limits not only results in different kinds of injuries, it also makes the exercising unpleasant due to an excess of stress released hormones in the blood stream.
And then on the other hand, there is diet. Hundreds of people are giving advice on what to eat based on their expertise or just on their experience. Juicing diets, carb free diets, paleo diets… Just to mention a few. Sadly, many of those diets are contradictory and leave people confused and not able to decide which one to follow.
When somebody asks me what to eat, my answer is very simple – whatever is suitable for your body. Listen to your body. It is intelligent. It knows what suits it. When some food makes you feel weak and sluggish, avoid it. When some food is giving you energy, then eat it. I have no right to promote propaganda on a mostly meat free diet – because that is reality for me. My body has been rejecting most types of meat from an early age, but for your body meat might be the main source of energy.
There are some general guidelines which are advised to be followed, like drink as much water as possible, avoid processed food and refined sugar, consider if white flour is beneficial for your body, choose organic foods and add as much fruit and vegetables to your diet as possible, but for the rest of it, let your body be your guide. I would advise you to stop reading all sorts of advice out there and just like with the exercising, start living a life more attuned with your body.
The world is changing, we are changing and I think it’s time that we change the relationship with our bodies as well. Buddha once said “Take care of your body; it’s the only place you have to live in.” Taking your body for granted, neglecting it and expecting it to work properly is a great misconception and as such it needs to change.
Everybody desires to be happy, satisfied and fulfilled in life, but very few actually realise that all of these states originate inside your body. Tune back with it, feel it, nourish it and you will be surprised as to how different you will feel on a day to day basis. A ground-breaking brand new diet is simple and easy – listen to your body!