Here’s a question for you:
Why, without you thinking about it consciously, does the body spontaneously stretch itself after sitting behind the computer screen for a while or after a long ride in the car?
Or why does the body stretch itself in the mornings?; after a good night’s sleep?
Why do you yawn when you are slightly nervous?
I could make this a long list of examples, but I’ll switch to the surprisingly simple answer.
The body spontaneously stretches, yawns or does anything else automatically for that matter, because the body knows!
In fact your body knows more than you think you do. The body is designed to listen and answer to your needs.
The body’s energy systems know what it takes to get the energies flowing. Just as it knows how to breath properly, adapted to every circumstance you find yourself in, without you having to think about it.
Unfortunately, in modern day society we have learned ‘how to behave’.
Basically our bodies, in the so called civilized world, have been taught to suppress their natural needs; while all they want to do is regenerate their self regulating energy systems.
We have learned to stifle a yawn as it is seen as a sign of boredom or inattentiveness.
While in airplanes, it is seen as relatively normal to stretch during an intercontinental flight, most of would not attempt this during a board meeting or marketing master class, for fear of being judged lazy or uninterested.
Meanwhile the paradox is, that the body is only trying to do you a favor. It is trying to allow you to gather more flow, more energy to invest into what you are doing.
Animals are not bothered by human conventions. They stretch automatically after every sleep or nap. Just think of the yoga stretches ‘downward facing dog’ and ‘upward facing dog’ and you get the picture.
Even though it is not mentioned in our history books or in oral history, I bet you more than a dollar that in older times humankind was much more in touch with its body and as a result spontaneously stretched and yawned a lot more often.
In that sense civilization has caused us to loose some very healthy natural habits, merely aimed at making us feel better, creating space for new fresh energy.
Western society has taught us us to ignore or ‘overcome’ certain signals the body is emitting. More often than not we do not take the time to listen to our body language or take a pill to suppress its symptoms. We would do ourselves – and therewith the whole of society a great favor- if we would be more in touch with our natural ability for self care.
True. But then you do not need to immediately take the big leap and start stretching yourself during a job interview or while addressing a huge audience. Like with everything else in life becoming aware of a possibility is a first step towards improvement. Acknowledging the benefits of listening to your body is the first step towards creating more space for yourself. Just give it some thought, and be surprised by what the body will tell you in return.
Ingrid Schippers, May 22, 2017
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This blog is featured as spoken end note of the Dutchbuzz edition of May 30 2017 and broadcasted on The Hague FM from 10.00 tot 11.00 pm every Tuesday or can be heard as a closing note at the end of the Dutchbuzz podcast of May 30 2017