What is the mind-body connection? It's the concept that our thoughts, emotions and physical health are all related. Our body responds to our thoughts and feelings - for instance, elevated blood pressure that develops in response to stress, butterflies in our stomach as we board a roller coaster, or our mouth watering in anticipation of a meal. On the other hand, physical activity can affect our mood as well - the rush of endorphins after a run or the release of stress after receiving a massage.
Promoting a strong mind-body connection is a foundational aspect of yoga. Each time we practice, we deliberately notice our bodies and our thoughts and their interrelation. We take time in our busy days to check-in with ourselves and bring awareness to our current physical and mental states.
By practicing better awareness of how we are feeling - mentally and physically, through yoga, we can stay more in control of this interconnectedness. For instance, if we notice high stress levels, we can deliberately practice self-care and mitigate the harmful effects of stress on the body. If we recognize our mood has become negative because we haven't exercised or taken time for ourselves recently, we can respond with action. Or, if we are feeling especially joyful and remember that we took time to do yoga in the morning, we can make our practice more of a priority going forward.
So take some time to notice where you are and what you need, and embrace the power of the mind-body connection to live more healthfully. See you at the studio!