Feeling fully in our bodies is difficult for most of us. The demands of family, work and modern life generally make it so that we spend most of our time living in our heads. Plus, many of us are sedentary at work, as well as under chronic stress.
As such, it's rare that we prioritize tuning into our bodies. Some of us even hold tensions and traumas from the past that make it even more difficult for us to be vulnerable, open and available to the full experience of guiltless pleasure in our bodies.
But here's the thing: we are all naturally sensual. Have you ever noticed how a baby puts everything in his mouth and how much joy those oral experiences bring? As we grow up, we become more self-conscious and tend to turn off our sensual side because we become too wrapped up in our thoughts and beliefs or what other people think of us.
The more we feel with non-judgmental awareness, the more we're open to the experience of our innate sensual pleasures … feelings that emerge from our five different senses, and are uplifting and energizing.
I know that I used to be much more of a cerebral person — especially after completing my physical therapy training. Well, thank God that I discovered mind-body-spirit practices such as yoga, massage, meditation, vocal toning and belly dance, as they have taught me how to “turn myself on," and fee pleasure in my body as my true nature. These practices have also given me a heightened sense perception of self-love and self-acceptance.
Try these 10 tips throughout the day to raise your vibration, connect and uplift your soul and open you up to feeling more fully alive! These practices bring us a sense of calm, pleasure and joy because they stimulate our feel-good hormones. We attract what we are, so try noticing what kinds of experiences, feelings, thoughts, and people you attract after practicing these exercises.
1. Align your posture so you can feel erect and expansive throughout the day.
Make sure your spine is erect but not tense, and that you create a sense of expansiveness in your body throughout the day. This posture will both empower you and relax you. Embody the god/goddess that you are!
2. Breathe in to the fullest at each moment throughout the day.
Learn to breathe with your diaphragm, as it is a much fuller and more complete breath. Think of each breath as an opportunity to get more out of each lived moment. Given that the breath is the essence of being a living being, this mindfulness practice will definitely help you feel more embodied.
3. Be the witness of your thoughts, feelings and emotions.
Know that you are not your thoughts, but rather the witness of your thoughts. You are in control of what you think and focus on in each moment. Do you focus on uplifting thoughts or do you weigh yourself down most of the time?
4. Close your eyes and touch your heart as a daily ritual.
As you get in touch with your emotional center, ask yourself How do I feel? Tune into your gut and whatever other parts of your body are calling your attention, (they usually call us in the form of pain tension and stress. Create a very cozy relationship with your heart and gut. They often know what's best for you.
5. Create your sounds to express how you feel.
You know how yoga teachers often encourage you to give a sigh of relief during class? Well, try this in your everyday life! Let out an easy, Ahhhhh when you want to let go and surrender to your essence. Allow yourself to be fully who you are. Radical self-acceptance and self-forgiveness are not selfish exercises. They are healing ones.
6. Dance around (totally unapologetically) to music.
Put on a song that you love and allow your body to dance without holding back. Feel free to express yourself through your body, doing what it wants to do, not what your mind thinks you should do! Create your own dance!
7. Massage your body daily.
Whether you're in the shower or elsewhere in your home sanctuary, create a ritual with beautiful and comforting elements like candlelight and music that you feel is pleasurable. Honor and feel grateful for who you are, and your body temple.
8. Ask yourself, “What brings me passion?" as many times a day as you need.
Get real with yourself. Think about what activities, thoughts, people and so on give you that strong feeling of desire and joy? What do you feel enthusiastic about?
By identifying these things with a sense of deliberateness and clarity, you can bring more of them into your life. Make this a first step.
9. Hug yourself!
Being kind to yourself is a necessity for self-care, not a luxury.
So have a practice of self-kindness, and be explicit about it — with hugs! Make a ritual, such as deciding that every time you go to the bathroom, you will hug yourself and also let yourself know how grateful you are for you and our Source.
10. Practice mindfulness by really tuning into your five major senses.
Notice everything fully and deliberately. Pay attention to the sounds you hear, tastes, smells, visual experiences, temperatures and so on. If doing this as a general ritual seems too daunting or abstract, make it a priority to find five minute windows throughout the day when you choose to notice your five sense and reawaken your sensual side. Most of all, give yourself permission to feel pleasure, which is what undoubtedly will arise from feeling more deeply and fully.
Let me know how these tips benefit your everyday life! The more we feel the more we get to experience the richness of being fully alive!