• Grace Elliott

Are you spending enough time in your body?

I’ve had the opportunity of working with a couple of teens throughout my time as a yoga instructor. There’s one thing I’ve found in common with their experiences: inability to calm the mind. No matter the age, however, we’re pouring ourselves out to technology with little to no established boundaries and that’s pulling us out of our bodies. Lack of concentration and focus plagues all generations, and we -as a society- have become too distracted to tap into what our body is telling us. The real problem is, not only is it hurting us, but it’s shaping future generations.

Our attention is constantly targetted through the various forms of media we consume and with social media currently taking the lead on attention-hogging, we’ve got little left to spare. Now I’m not talking down upon the almighty internet, but with great power comes great responsibility.

While it’s exactly the way you got to this blog, it’s also why you’ll probably scroll for a couple of minutes after you’re done reading this. It’s meant to keep us here- engaged.

So what does this all have to do with being “out of my body”?!

While your mind is distracted with the consumption of media and life’s endless list of responsibilities, you’re pulling your energy (and attention) away from the sensations of the body. It’s so easy to get caught up in our daily routines tackling one task after another. But have you ever caught yourself not breathing? Let’s face it, through our day to day it’s easy to forget we’re breathing on autopilot. (Bet you just took a breath there.) Over time, that can lead to shallow breathing and even panic attacks.

When I begin sessions with my client, we take a minute or two to sit quietly before taking a couple of intentional breaths to ground the mind back into the body. I notice how difficult it is for my clients to stop moving, to feel comfortable, and relax. Their minds are spinning with thoughts, ideas, a need to move, reminders, etc. We take a deep breath into the belly, hold our breath at the top, and sigh it out. I see their eyes relax, the brow softens, and the jaw unclenches. That first round of breaths is great.

I like to move through a series of exercises that promote concentration by focusing all the attention on the body, mind, and spirit- in that order. These exercises allow the person to come back into their bodies, to draw awareness to physical sensations such as tension, observe their thoughts, and allow any emotions to surface.

This connection is important and holds the key to understanding yourself at a deeper level.

Rather than falling further into the cycle of numbness and disconnect, I challenge you to bring your awareness to where you are right now. What you feel, what you’re avoiding, and what you can do about it.

Bring your attention to the present moment. Live in the now. Go do something outside or just AWAY from any screen in general. I bid you break the patterns you’ve fallen privy to, and experience a couple of hours of pure presence.

In deep breaths and motion,

Grace Elliott


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