Last week we shared 5 of our favourite ways to reconnect with your body, and this week we’re back with 5 more rapid-fire resets that will instantly reignite your mind + body connection.
If you’re catching up, find Part 1 here and be sure to check out the Mind + Body Connection: Why We Disconnect vlog (we talked about why we humans are so quick to disconnect from our bodies, why habitual disconnection is a slippery slope and how staying connected to your body is the key to all the good things.)
Dr Christiane Northrup, board-certified OB/GYN physician, visionary pioneer and orgasm aficionado knows a thing or two about the wisdom of women’s bodies. Northrup reminds us that, “to experience an orgasm you must surrender to pleasure and approval. You can’t experience an orgasm by willing it with your intellect. You must get out of your head and into your body.” Um, we can almost hear the collective “amen sister!” from the other side of the screen. Have you ever been able to actually have an orgasm when you’ve been thinking of other things (your to-do list, what to have for dinner, what you should write in that email to your colleague…)? Nope. You can’t experience orgasm itself without activating pure presence. It’s involuntary. And in that way, orgasm becomes a path back to your animal nature – primal, fierce, wild and feminine.
As if that’s not reason enough to get your O face on, check this out. According to Northrup, if we’re wanting to tap into pleasure states on the daily, our brains need a constant supply of beta-endorphin, (a morphine-like neurohormone) which is made possible by nitric oxide. So the question then is, how do we get more nitric oxide? By pursuing a “pleasure-enhancing lifestyle” says Northrup. That includes exercise, meditation and wait for it…regular orgasm. “Every time you feel pleasure in your clitoral area you are flooding your body with life-giving nitric oxide.” she says. Further to that, “if you don’t get pleasure deliberately and healthfully, your body will get its beta endorphin through drugs, alcohol, or sugar.” BAM! Truthbomb wrapped in an orgasm. Yes please. We’ll substitute orgasm for unhelpful habits any day. How ’bout you?
7. DANCE LIKE NO ONE’S WATCHING
Our brains are constantly looking for patterns. So systemised, habitual movements and repetition make the brain a happy chappy. Plus, our bodies tend to move in rigid ways – habits, patterns and postures that we’ve become accustomed to over the course of our life. The antidote to mind-numbing movement (that fizzles the mind + body connection, btw) is to dance like no one’s watching. It’s a liberating, transformative experience that brings us right back into our bodies…but in brand new ways. Organic, unpredictable, intuitive movement (à la frog-in-a-sock style booty poppin’) gets you out of the control towers of your mind and into your body, quick smart. Moving freely restores our trust in our body and dissolves energetic blockages. It pushes us to break through habitual ways of moving which can in turn, facilitate the release of stored emotions. Plus it’s a creative act that requires you to be fully present in your body, and sets a stage for feeling energised, free, and even euphoric. So put on your favourite rump shaker playlist, let go of any need to look or move a certain way and Get. Your. Groove. On.
8. BREATH OF FRESH AIR
Taking three, deep, full-belly breaths. Easy right? The breath is a portal into presence, it hijacks the fight or flight response (your sympathetic nervous system) and puts you in rest and digest mode (the parasympathetic nervous system). This reduces stress and sends a signal to your body that all is well. Remembering is the only hard part. So set a few reminders in your phone over the course of the day. It’ll help you build a habit. We spoke of breath and its benefits on our Food + Mindfulness vlog. If you missed it tune in here.
9. TUB TIME
Ever notice how, when you’re in a hot bath your pulse feels super strong? Adding heat to the body is like hitting hyper-enhance on your heart beat. A hot bath drops your blood pressure, which in turn increases your pulse. Your blood vessels dilate, pulling blood towards the skin surface. This adds up to an enhanced awareness of the blood coursing through your veins, a tangible expression of life force that explicitly connects you with your body. Plus, you’re naked. And in water. Refer to point number 1 in last week’s post. Double bonus points.
10. (RADICAL) PERMISSION SLIP
Consider this. If we can re-train ourselves to get comfortable with feeling uncomfortable, we can interrupt the evolutionary reflex to dissociate and leave our bodies when the going gets tough. We don’t have to suppress our feelings, but we also don’t have to identify with them. Shinzen Young writes, “Between suppression on one side and identification on the other lies a third possibility, the balanced state of non-self-interference…equanimity.” He continues “when you apply equanimity to unpleasant sensations, they flow more readily and as a result cause less suffering. When you apply equanimity to pleasant sensations, they also flow more readily and as a result deliver deeper fulfillment. The same skill positively affects both sides of the sensation picture.” By practicing equanimity and accepting but not identifying or interfering with feelings or sensations, we are able to reconnect our minds and bodies. Young continues, “when feelings are experienced with equanimity, they assure their proper function as motivators and directors of behavior as opposed to driving and distorting behavior. Thus equanimity plays a critical role in changing negative behaviors such as substance and alcohol abuse, compulsive eating, anger, violence, and so forth.” Makes a boatload of sense to us. And we’re here to say it works like a charm.
You can practice equanimity on the mat by creating challenging conditions and then noticing your inner dialogue. Give this a shot: Find a squat hold and as the physical intensity builds, watch what happens. Consent to the sensations, acknowledge and accept them fully. Then let them pass. Give yourself radical permission to feel and eventually, you’ll become less reactive. Off the mat, pay attention to sensations and emotions, feeling it all, and then let it move through you without trying to stop the tears, escape the sensation, suppress the sorrows…hold them all in your heart. Give yourself permission to feel, and then sense as the feeling naturally spreads thin and eventually dissipates. On the flipside, when you’re experiencing pleasure (say, a sweet savasana, a favourite food or a magic sunset vista) swan dive into presence. Notice how much more fulfilled you feel just by giving yourself permission to enjoy, without denying, fixating or grasping.
There you have it! Our go-to practices to reignite the mind + body connection. By integrating these practices, we bet you’ll begin to move through life with greater presence, balance and harmony. You’ll feel tuned into to the natural rhythms of your body and you’ll notice a sense of flow as you make choices that are in line with your highest good…with ease. Try any or all of our suggestions and report back. And if you have other rapid-fire resets that you use, drop knowledge on us!