By Renee Redding-Jones
This is not a post on a particular modality, but rather a sharing on the importance of recognizing what your body needs. Your body is your first house, your home, your vessel, your temple, and coming into the awareness that when you are tuned in (as head of household) to those needs, you are capable of making good supportive choices.
In terms of a physical practice there is so much to choose from. The bottom line is, you want a practice that gives you the greatest access to your instrument, the body, the mind, the spirit, and all of who you are. Your physical practice can also “feed” your mind and spirit.
If you are dragging yourself to any workout, run the other way! Find things that excite you and your body as a whole. I look forward to going to Pilates, last night it was Zumba, tomorrow it will be kickboxing. Mix it up. Variation feeds the soul. While there are things that you may need to consider, (i.e. injuries, etc.) the WHAT doesn’t matter if the practice increases your capacity for living your life and doing your best work.
LISTEN to your body. It will tell you what it needs. Your body is always “talking” to you. That’s you speaking to you. You have the information because you have been living your life in and through your body. Your answer may be way down in the basement, but it is there. We forget that there is an internal life that is actively communicating with us daily, moment to moment. Get quite and LISTEN.
Tune in to how you FEEL. Listen for the feeling and do what makes you FEEL good. You are capable. Capable for me means freedom in my spine, balance, strength, endurance, and range of motion. More important than all of that is, no practice can impede on the ability to FEEL the full voluminous presence and power of breath.
Your breath brings you home, to the core of your being. It can shift emotions, focus you, and calm the mind. It taps into the guidance system of your emotions (energy moving). If you can’t breathe, you can’t feel. If you can’t feel, you don’t have FULL access to the wave of energy that moves and connects us to our work. As an actor, as a living being on the planet, it is important that you FEEL. You deserve to FEEL GOOD.
Define what is good for you, all that you are. Take time to get connected to your breath and listen to your body. Ok, ok! I hear you, “I just want to look good. How am I going to get those tight abs?” Pause. Take a moment. Put your right hand on your heart and you left hand on your belly. Breathe in and say to yourself, “I arrive in my body.” On the exhale say, “I am home.” Repeat at least twice more. If your question remains, I say, when you FEEL good, you look good. Namaste.