Gratitude and why your body is your best teacher

In the second week of our RYT 200 Hour course, we were training with high intensity, making sure our core muscles were strong enough to help support us into the asanas to be performed in the course.
On a day of back bending, we were walking our hands down the wall, seeing how far we could stretch.  Then we went onto Ustrasana and finally Urdhva Danurasana.  And I suddenly realized that I couldn’t carry on.  I’ve always had low blood pressure and I felt the kind of dizziness that makes your jaw feel that it’s been offset.  I came down to Balasana and pretty much sat out the rest of the session.  Unfortunately when practice finished I ended up having to lie down with my legs up against the wall, while my teacher hummed with concern at my pulse, and set about filling up my water bottle with electrolytes.
Being lucky enough to have a fellow student as a qualified Reiki teacher, I eagerly agreed to her kind offer of some Reiki before heading off to have a shower and lunch.  Except neither lunch or a shower materialized, because 30 seconds later I was curled up, sobbing uncontrollably and, not having a clue why.
But my body knew why.  Because all the time that I was focusing on developing my upper body strength, increasing my flexibility of the spine and toning my glutes by holding Wheel pose a bit longer, my body knew that practicing all these backbends would counteract my natural defensive posture of curling in and protecting my heart – something I do a lot.  It knew that I was allowing my body to open up to the world, opening my heart chakra and exposing my vulnerability. And in the process, hurling a number of emotions into the outside world.  I couldn’t put my finger on which emotions they were but I do know that they wanted to come out, and quickly.
So instead of doing what I would normally do and trying to analyze the emotions, I instead decided to thank my body.  I have complete respect for it as it has such a depth of inner wisdom about me that I just don’t acknowledge on a daily basis.  I love the fact that I feel so good after I’ve worked it well on a particular session, I love the fact that I can reward my body with an energy boost by taking 5 more minutes in Savasana. And now with my practice every day, I can offer it nothing but respect for tapping into these emotions, which, as I continue practicing more back bends I’ll eventually clear and acknowledge.
So my Five Step Morning Routine now has a new addition.  When it comes to sending gratitude, I thank my body for being one of my most influential teachers.  In this way I get the opportunity to be grateful for the fact that I have an amazing vessel, always working with me, always revealing myself to me, bit by bit.  In turn I want to look after it in the best way that I can – by listening.

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