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5 ways busy women can connect to their body

Have you ever felt about your body like this:

"I hate my physical appearance and my body; I have no body confidence and am unhappy in my own skin. Every time I look in the mirror I feel hate and disgust and criticise myself."

"I feel uncomfortable in my clothes. I hate clothes shopping and avoid it altogether or hate and criticise what I see in the changing room mirror."

"My body can’t do all the things it used to be able to; I feel worried about what that might mean for my long term health."

"I don’t feel like I can trust my body."

Then this is for you.

It is NOT a coincidence that when I work with women, as 1:1 clients, in my free Summer Shake Up series, and in my new group programme HOME, that there can be some release when we first start to connect to our body.

Sometimes, this looks like tears at the end of yoga practice.

It feels like relief when we realise we've been able to release stress we didn't even know we were holding onto.

It can also feel like grief or anger as we actually connect to our body for the first time in a compassionate way and we realise everything we've missed out on, or ways it's hurt before.

The truth is, almost from the get go, we're TAUGHT to dissociate, block or numb out from our bodies.

We are TAUGHT not to listen to them: in school, in the workplace, in the way that society and our culture teaches us to handle emotions (or not), in diet culture, and in the way we were parented.

We are TAUGHT to keep ourselves busy and exhausted and trapped in cycles of productivity and burn out so that we don't and can't feel.

So it is NO WONDER we struggle with this.

When our bodies first receive an experience of compassion, like in yoga, in meditation and breathing practices, and in my coaching programmes, it is no surprise this is felt as an amazing relief and/or release. It's a new way of living. It's the way we were always supposed to feel. And it can be surprising just how different, and good, that is.

Here are 5 simple ways you can start to connect to your body right now:

1. Pause.

Yes really, truly, honestly, 10 seconds of this makes a huge difference. Pause, take a breath, be still. Let the cynical part take a pause too ('will this really make a difference, scoff scoff'), and try it out as an experiment.

In a pause there is a tiny bit of space that opens up. Notice that space. In that space you might notice a racing mind, a heavy stomach, a pressure in your head, a tension in your neck, an exhaustion, like a dead weight in your limbs. If so, you just connected with everything your body and mind might be holding onto. See if you can let it be ok that whatever is there is there.

2. Shake

Shaking is an amazing release for the body; it can let it know that it's safe and invite it to let go of some of the stress it might be holding. Think: the limb-wobbling kind of shaking, where you let everything bounce and jiggle.

3. Dance

Tap you foot. Wiggle your bum. Shake your chest. Let your arms go loopy. Shake out your hands. Bounce up and down. Flick your hair. Get silly. Look uncool. Be a bit much.

4. Stretch

Yawn and stretch - you know like you see a cat do in the sun, or when you first wake up in the morning and you take that long luxurious stretch out? Add in a fake yawn. This is pandiculation.

5. Take a pat down

Using your fingers and your hands, pat down from the top of your head, across your face, down each limb, across your chest (especially around the collar bone/breast bone), reach around to your back if you can, down both legs and all the parts of your feet.

Want to experience this for yourself? Catch the replay of my FREE Body workshop, and get a little taster of these practices and how to connect to your body, or you could dive in deeper for way more and join Home - and spend 16 weeks in a small group of woman really coming home to yourself, and your relationship with your body, mind and food. The deep-dive long-lasting, life-changing stuff. Doors close 3rd September.

And whether you start this in a tiny way right now with the ideas above, or dive in deeper with me - then I celebrate you. You're connecting to your body. I want that for every woman. Welcome home.


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