It was only a phrase, but sometimes that’s all it takes.
Body intelligence she said. Oh boy, what a gem.
We (my husband & I) crawled out of bed at 5am and discovered a new place to do yoga, right near where we live. I mean RIGHT where we live, about 1 block away. We can almost see into our kitchen sink from the studio.
It’s brilliant to be at a space right on six! A new learning about ourselves – we LOVE to get up early, we love even more to get up early and do yoga. How I wish more people would also like that…….such a great self-love/exercise/healthy time of day.
Adelaide Flow Yoga is a new space. A simple, beachy kind of place. I feel happy there, stripped of complexity. The owners are from this city originally, but were in Melbourne I believe for some time – following their yoga passion. Adelaide should be glad they’re back.
This day, it was only a small class. Typically there I have been with a sweet 10 or so, a perfect number (in my mind) for intimate early morning classes.The lovely Sam moved over to be close to us, so it was virtually a private class. Lots more observations and reminders, etc. I love it when my teacher is actively engaged in teaching, is observant and diligent and offers adjustments right through the class. I have been in classes before where the teacher does 99% of their own practice out the front – and it feels like I am a spectator, like I can’t interrupt and ask a question, and I’m not really the main reason they’re there. She held the space for us well and with ease.
We worked through many, many poses and variations on classical hatha/vinyasa. Less emphasis on the vinyasa flow which I like. In talking about body intelligence – I find that over-emphasis on the vinyasa part makes me slack, I don’t use enough muscle energy whilst going through chaturanga pose and usually wind up feeling discomfort in the shoulder cuff.
The movements were solid enough to throw my beloved into a sweat, so that box was ticked for him. For me we played with enough intermediate>advanced postures and I was able to push to my edge a bit, so that was perfect. Went into a proper tripod from crow for the first time, is always blissful to find a new place for your body to be !!
So body intelligence, what was relevant about that this day?
Well, in this class we were very introspective – which is important as it allows the time to listen and observe what limbs, muscles, energy levels and mood your body is in. This is really important in a yoga class.
And it’s equally as important outside yoga too. When did you last simply sit and observe even for a minute what your body was up to?
We live in a very disembodied world, we tie up our beautiful body tool in awkward cubicles at unhealthy desks and squint and are largely all alone for hours on end. Our nerves, muscles, mind & heart were never designed to do this. We are adrenaline filled and sleep deprived. We feed our bodies as if they’re machines, “fuelling up”. I don’t have to spell out the consequences of what this does. We mistreat and ignore our bodies and they pay us back with fatigue, lack of focus and exhaustion.
We hold vast intelligence and wisdom from skin sensitivity right through to problem-solving in our bodies. Yoga and other modalities like meditation allow this to be opened up. Our stunningly complex systems are full of wisdom on how to heal ourselves, how to move without pain, how to relate to one another without conflict. It’s all possible, and it’s all in our bodies.
Here’s 5 basic ways to expand your body intelligence;
Set a timer, remind yourself when in a queue, find time each day to stop and observe your breath. It’s likely you’ll be breathing shallowly, or possibly holding your breath. Take a few very deep breaths.
Pull in your belly! Again when you go to sit or get into a car, or any kind of transition – draw in your core. This has the immediate effect of adjusting almost your entire spine. And the breath usually follows.
At times, scan your body. While at meals, in the shower or on the couch. How does your body feel? It is not simply just there to carry your brain around. Show it some respect. What hurts, what doesn’t ! Any tight spots, are you thirsty? Make this a daily practice.
4) Body language
What is your body telling you? Are your footsteps light or heavy? Are your shoulders slumped, expressing a need for joy? When did you last reach for something with the opposite arm? Observe all your body movements for a time and see what’s there. It’s fascinating.
No TV, no noise, no books. Just try it. Not in bed either. Find a place on the floor and simply lie down, and take 5, even just a single minute to see what’s going on with you. Set the timer if you have to. Lock the kids out of the toilet if needs be ! It can become a very powerful practice to bring in major boosts of energy in a very short time.
So thank you Adelaide Flow Yoga for the reminder about staying in the body. Must get my body back to your classes this week………
You can find them at
ADDRESS: LEVEL 1, 237-239 UNLEY ROAD, MALVERN, SOUTH AUSTRALIA