I had a new student that I was teaching yoga too last week. She was sitting crossed legged as we meditated. I always suggest to find a way that feels comfortable to sit and that you don’t have to remain still. I noticed her face and she looked at me after a bit and said “My leg is going numb”. Still she didn’t move. Interesting I thought. “What do you need to do about that?” I said. I could see she felt confused about the question so I offered to her, “How about you listen to that and move or change how you are sitting?”
Now we can laugh or even think that is silly but we all are guilty of this. We may hear our body but we don’t really listen. We push past discomfort or somehow think it will get better if we just hold it longer. But remember the body isn’t trying to be a nag. Instead the body is communicating something to us and if we learn to listen to it early on we may be able to avoid so many injuries later.
Yet many witness things but then advocate what they know about themselves to look for someone else to tell them what to do. Even a teacher, doctor, lawyer or specialist is just a guide. I often tell those I teach: “Your body is like a plane. You are the pilot, always in charge. I am just the tower suggesting that you could approach your landing”. But you still need to be the one to consider “Yes”, “No”, or “Maybe”.
It is something to think about as this awareness of yourself branches out into your life. How often do we just turn the auto-pilot on and go? We do this driving, eating and sometimes working. We do it walking the kids or dogs. We we do this in Yoga. It will happen but when you become aware you are doing this, that is the moment where you touch back to right now. That is the mindfulness at work. That is the practice that will change your habit. Mindful of what you really need to be focused on for yourself and then to others.
May you always be your own advocate for the rest of your life.