I ask students to “check in” with themselves when entering a practice space but, what does that mean exactly? Here are five easy tips for checking in with yourself that can be used any time of day or night…
- Physical Body. Pay attention to your physical being. What feels awesome, what doesn’t? Are you feeling like you need to stretch or strengthen? Does your body want something slower or faster? Tune into how the air feels on your skin, the way your clothes lie against your body, and where you are making contact with the chair or floor. Our physical bodies can tell us a lot about what will serve us best in any given moment.
- Mental Body. What’s going on inside that head of yours? Are your thoughts racing or are they calm? Are you thinking ten steps ahead or behind? Can you focus easily or are you finding that to be a challenge? By simply cultivating awareness of where our thoughts are, we can develop our ability to weed out those thoughts that aren’t serving us or are distracting us from the task at hand. While some of us may think we rock at multi-tasking, when it comes to checking in, allow yourself the freedom to step into the present moment.
- Emotional Body. Simply ask yourself, “How am I feeling?” We don’t have to have an explanation for our emotions, nor do we need to root around and find a solution. Allow yourself to feel just what it is you are experiencing – joy, anger, sadness, indifference. All emotions are valid and when we step back from judging our emotions, we give ourselves the gift of validation.
- Energetic Body. Part of this can be seen as “What is my energy level today?” but it is more about that subtler, energetic side of your being. Are you tuning into other people’s energy? Are you able to ground yourself? Are you feeling connected to the earth or are you flying high in the clouds? By feeling into our energetic state, we are tapping into a deeper level of experience that goes beyond the physical, mental, and emotional. Not sure where to start? Just allow yourself to sit or lie in a comfortable position and begin to breathe slow, deep breaths. Is that hard or easy? Are you able to sense the undercurrent that is riding just below your emotional self? Is your energy agitated or calm? Is it aggressive or passive? There is no wrong or right (and no judgement!), it is just about sensing where you are in the moment.
- Spiritual Body. Are you feeling connected to the greater whole? We are not alone in this world and when we expand our consciousness to the recognition that we are one part of many, it can lift us up! For some, included in this is their connection to a higher power or energy. When we have this feeling of connection, it can bring about a sense of calm as we begin to realize that everything we do has a ripple effect on others and on our planet. This recognition can be incredibly empowering as we strive to ensure a more positive and loving outlook in all we think, do, and voice.
So, the next time you step onto to your mat, or wake up, or are heading to bed (or anytime, really!), I encourage you to take a few moments to check in. Just completing these five steps can make a world of difference!
Love, light, and peace to you all!