Sunday, December 12, 2010

Integration - body, mind, spirit, and beyond

Today’s Reverb10 Prompt is another that hit close to home and hit on a topic I have considered a lot this year. It is: “Body Integration This year, when did you feel the most integrated with your body? Did you have a moment where there wasn’t mind and body, but simply a cohesive YOU, alive and present?”

Being a yoga teacher means that I have studied the body a lot. During teacher training, I found myself fascinated by the body, the physical body through anatomy and also the energetic body, for which I never had the words to describe. Then I learned about the koshas and finally, my fascination with the body was given words and expression. But today’s prompt is about something slightly different - when I felt the most integrated with the body. Interestingly, it will come back to the koshas, but from a different angle.

My lawyer background makes me want to determine the definition of integration. The prompt defines it as pure cohesion between body and mind. I would add spirit to the definition. This is the point where we are as close to balance as we can ever be, where our inner perfection begins to shine through to our outer lives.

This integration happens for me in two arenas, and they perfectly embody the reason for this blog - one is in yoga, and the other is professionally. Integration often begins on the yoga mat. Certainly, it does not happen every time, but it is through the body that I have begun to understand my mental/psychological world so much more. The body is the gateway to so much more, and as I have begun to believe this, the world has opened up for me. I have written about body awareness and its effect on me, several times, such as here and here, so I will not go anymore into it in this post.

Instead, the second arena is more pertinent to professionals. There is perfect body mind integration when I am doing work that I absolutely love to do. For example, at the AFCC conference in Denver earlier this year, where I was inspired over and over again, I remember barely feeling my body, yet being absolutely in tune with everything it told me. It allowed me to do exactly what the conference offered even though I was giving it little rest and poor nutrition. 

This professional integration is the moment when you are in flow, when time goes by, and you do not even notice that it has moved. For me, this happens when I am doing legal work that involves children, reading about children’s issues around the world. It inspires me in ways I cannot put into words, which is how I know that it is pure integration. It is the reason I am heading to New Zealand to study their family law system, in order to help make ours better. When studying these issues, the world is opportunity, and imagination is the only limit.

Everyone has their own moment of such flow. Everyone has times when their body speaks to them, sometimes we enjoy those moments more than others. But the point is that you learn to utilize these moments because it is in these moments of body-mind integration that we hit our peak state. It is where we are capable of changing not only our own lives, but the world. It is in these moments that anything is truly possible.

I recently took a class on achieving business success, but we focused on so much more than just business success. The class began by asking “why do you do what you do?” The class ended asking us, “what makes you tick?” When we know the answers to these questions, our integration is in the most perfect balance it will ever achieve, and in that state, anything is possible.

Thus, my answer to today’s prompt goes right back to the koshas - the different koshas interact until they come into their optimum state. From there, we eventually reach bliss/divinity. Those moments can begin at any point, but the important piece is that we recognize them.

When are you most integrated between your body and mind?

Namaste and Blessings!

© 2010 Rebecca Stahl, all rights reserved

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