Thursday evening I taught a yoga class and 45 minutes in I noticed I had said the word integrate about 20 times.
"Integrate the feet into the floor."
"Integrate your core and then rise up."
"Integrate one breath into the next, watching shapes within the body shift."
Integrate this, integrate that.
I wanted to stop saying it but each time I heard it I thought, "You really do want them to integrate though."
So I kept with the word and after dictionary searching I am glad I did.
So often we move through our lives as talking heads. Intellectual beings using our brain power to dominate equations, conversations and outcomes we worked hard for. We sit in therapy chairs with friends, family, therapists (if we can afford it) and share buckets worth of conversation populated by the mind and its ability to produce thoughts.
What we usually forget about is our human body. Often the very animal part of us isn't considered until severe enough health issues arise giving us no other option but to pay attention. The way the world is set up works for us to work this way. We create content, we share content, we disagree about content, and so on.
But our bodies, the language they speak is much more subtle. The movements we make, the space we take up, how we get from one place to another, silent communication of the body all its own. A language that cannot be captured or put down on paper in hopes of memorization.
Your body is your place of feelings. How do you feel today? Have you numbed all feeling? Have you learned to numb the pain? Maybe become so used to it that you look to create it?
One of my yoga mentors says this in class often, "Breathe into where you can feel. Now, breathe into all the places you cannot feel. Look for those places."
Talk about a life-changing one liner.
Look for what you cannot feel.
When we move quickly, rapidly, without any concern for rest, we pass over much of our feeling tones. We notice the larger, gross pains or hurts but much else of the body is clumped together as just being there, often taken for granted.
In December, at the Yoga & Leadership intensive I attended, Seane Corn, a powerful trail blazer in the yoga world, newly 50 and deeply saturated in a life long practice, shared how she stays diligent in spending time with her body, how it moves and what it communicates to her. A poster sits on her wall saying, "Get on the mat today and practice."
Days pick up, schedules get longer and life IS messy. The first thing to go is often time spent with our body, moving it, paying attention to it, breathing consciously with it.
During our time here we are meant to be much more than talking heads. We are meant to integrate our mind with our body and our heart.
We are whole beings and we are meant to live as such.