Becoming aware of your body quietens your mind and reawakens your senses. As you learn how to stand and move in a more grounded way, with a strong sense of centre, your self-assurance grows. You cannot be easily thrown out of balance or disorientated. With your mind and body acting as equal partners, you experience a new sense of wholeness. You feel more positive and alive, for your energy flows free through your body.
The body is intelligent – we can only learn to understand its language. We can use what it tells us to stay relaxed and in tune with ourselves. For many of us it is only when we are in pain, when illness or injury affects a part of the body, that we are forced to pay attention, to reconnect with the respect of ourselves that until now it has been beyond our awareness. Lack of contact with our bodies and our feelings lies behind many illnesses.
If we re not in harmony with ourselves, if we are deaf to the messages our body transmits, we run the risk of allowing the stress in our lives to develop beyond a level we can tolerate.
Illness is often the only way we have to force ourselves to relax and slow down. Equally if we endlessly suppress emotions such as anger or grief – or are unaware of even having them – the stress this causes will eventually affect us at a physical level manifesting in all kind of illnesses both major and minor.
With greater awareness of your body you can learn to take more responsibility for you own well-being. You can begin to listen when your body speak, to open up a dialogue and heed its warnings, honour its needs.
Never before has there been so much interest in health and fitness – in stress management, exercise, nutrition and so on. But many types of exercise do little to enhance body awareness – some might even serve to widen the gap between body and mind. In any competitive sport that focuses on winning for instance, there is an element of tension, diminishing its value as means of feeling the body. In an exercise done to look good more than to feel good, the feeling life of the body is largely ignored.
Tai Chi Chuan is particularly good at allowing you to sense your own body. Unlike most other physical disciplines, it involves and integrates mind, body and spirit. Practiced regularly, it can help you to make deeper contact with yourself, to dissolve stress and tension and enhance your capacity for feeling.
No-one can give you “body awareness”. The process of reconnecting with your feelings and allowing yourself to be more sensitive is one that each one of us must ultimately do for ourselves and at our own pace and in our own time. But experiencing how different life feels when you get back in touch with parts of yourself that have lain dormant, you can gradually work toward enjoying this feeling of vibrancy and sense of unity more of the time, extending what you have learned into your everyday life.
- Rediscover your body with a flow of gentle movements
- Enjoy the calm atmosphere of a small group
- Experience Tai Chi Chuan Classes