A few years ago, I heard a fascinating remark: “There is no such thing as a completely sick person, or a completely healthy person, either. There are only those who move more and those who move less.”
If movement means life, lack of movement means lack of life. Realistically, if you put yourself in a chair for eight hours curled over a keyboard, and you do this day after day, your body will probably have the makings of a structural disaster. If you don't move it, you'll lose it. This goes for your mind and your emotions as well. Staying mentally and emotionally wound up makes for its own kind of disaster.
You need to move. You are a body in motion — dynamic — not static like a piece of sculpture. Your body has a living pulse inside, a fluid flow of energy and intelligence. The more you move, the more intelligence you feel. The more intelligence you feel, the more physically, mentally, and emotionally alive you are.
What Moves You?
So, when you move, what moves you? Is it your emotions, your intelligence, or your muscles? Did you ever think of muscles as being intelligent? As a matter of fact, the intelligence of your muscles is extraordinary.
Muscles have been given a bad rap. They are thought of in terms of brute force — something to pump up. But muscles are not the opposite of brains; muscles are not dumb. They have a remarkable intelligence-gathering capacity. Once you learn how to apply this intelligence to your life, you will gain both sensitivity and power.
This you can learn through the movements of yoga.
Yoga is movement. In yoga, there is a big difference between movement and exercise. Movement in your body is a neuromuscular event as well as an emotional one, resulting from the integrated activity of your entire nervous system. Your nervous system initiates, controls, and monitors all movement within your body and mind, and connects all the parts with its intelligence. If you move your body, you move your emotions as well as your mind. This is body intelligence. Whenever you move with body intelligence, you transform things.
Body intelligence is your capacity to consciously explore the natural functioning of your body and at the same time, feel your mental and emotional responses. When your body is alive and your breathing is free, your biological energy is flowing and your mind is profoundly alert. You become awake and aware of your moods and emotions. You connect your body with your mind with your emotional self. You build a physical platform for responding to your physical and emotional needs.
This is what body intelligence is about: bringing consciousness to your motion. This doesn't take much effort, and there is no absolute method — only attention, observation, feeling.
Here's a practice I love for circulating your awareness in the body. It's a powerful, yet simple technique to generate body intelligence.
Learn to consciously link your awareness to the rhythms of life — try “Consciousness in Motion“.