The body is a reflection of your inner thoughts and beliefs. Your body’s always talking to you.
Do you take the time to listen to it?
It’s important that you always listen to your body. Every cell within your body responds to every thought you think, and every word you speak. The words you speak and think produce behaviors and postures.
For example, an angry face you are making comes from angry thoughts. Do you really want to burn your body with your anger?
Another example is that when you no longer want to listen to anybody, you fold your arms around your body. When you make this posture, not only do you close your body, you close your mind because you’ve effectively told yourself to not be open to new ideas.
The way you think and speak may very well produce illness or dis-ease in your body. Change your thought patterns to new ones that are used to create healthy results in your body.
Mental patterns, developed over time, subject your body to the same emotions and experiences. Feelings of shame, fear, and guilt cause suffering and pain in your body.
My students ask me: What do I think about when I do Tai Chi? What do I tell myself while I practice Tai Chi?
Talk To Your Body For Healing
First, I want to ensure a stillness of mind. I want to direct my thoughts inwards to look into my inner self. Sometimes, I do Tai Chi with my eyes closed to help me look within and be calm.
Next, I want to make sure that I don’t fall into the same old mental pattern of thinking too much. I listen to my breath and if I have trouble listening because of my rising thoughts, then I count my breath to control my thinking process. A breath contains both exhalation and inhalation.
I count it like so: Inhale one, exhale, inhale two, exhale, inhale three, exhale. Another way to count your breath is to count the number of seconds for each exhalation and inhalation. It goes like this: Exhale, 1, 2, 3. Inhale 1, 2, 3. Exhale 1, 2, 3. Inhale 1, 2, 3. Exhale, 1, 2, 3, and so on.
Then I concentrate on my lower belly and I bring my mind gradually down my body until it reaches my lower belly. This is done through breathwork. If I can concentrate on the lower belly well enough, then my chest will be empty and relaxed. The pit of my stomach has been lowered and the region below my chest is hollow while the belly becomes full.
In class, I tell my students to empty their solar plexus 5%. To tell your body to do this, bring your finger to your solar plexus, located at the bottom of your chest, below your sternum in the stomach area. Follow my video if you have trouble locating this. Using your finger, gently press the “button” of your solar plexus. When you press the button, your body responds by emptying out. While this is happening, you are gathering your energy down into your belly. Feel the energy go down the front and center channel into your belly.
When Your Body Speaks
The solar plexus is where you receive strong impressions. It is where you are influenced by emotions and experiences. Sometimes for good and sometimes for bad.
You don’t experience joy, love or fear in the head. Rather, you feel emotions get stirred in the stomach area.
When we get excited, we say that there is a “tingling in our stomach.”
When we have fear, we say that we are “tying the stomach in knots.”
When we lack courage, we have “no guts.”
When we feel nervous, we have “butterflies in our stomachs.”
When you trust your intuition, you have a “gut feeling” that something doesn’t quite make sense.
The solar plexus is your proverbial sixth sense. There are certain feelings you follow without sound reason. This is where your body speaks to your mind.
After you’ve released your solar plexus 5%, you want to make sure you enter into a state of emptiness. Free yourself from your thoughts while you do Tai Chi and strive to preserve this state. The best way to achieve this is to turn your attention to the source of your thoughts. Realize they come from nowhere and no place. Then it is possible to attain a state of thoughtlessness.
As you progress further into your practice, you can then concentrate on the soles of your feet in the process of emptying out your thoughts. This is the process of sinking your energy down into your feet. Slowly and consciously bear your weight on your feet.
Mentally, let go and allow your feet to really support your entire being.
- Exhale, relax. Bear down into your foot. Then energize right back up.
- Exhale, forget. Then energize.
- Relax back down. Energize and make your shape.
Control Your Thoughts
Remember, the method of turning inwards does not mean you stop having thoughts.
Look to see how your thoughts come and go and how they lead to other thoughts. Then isolate them. Cut off their links and connections. When your thought cannot connect to a second thought, then you can clear your thought patterns.
Start clearing your thoughts by concentrating on the movements of your hands and fingers in Tai Chi. You’re always moving and changing directions with your fingers. Now and then, make them the object of your thoughts.
- Exhale, forget. Inhale, energize.
- Exhale, forget and disconnect. Then energize, make new connections.
- Exhale, let go.
- Energize, make your shape.
- Exhale, relax, disconnect.
- Then energize and have a new thought in your mind.
Practicing Tai Chi helps you to avoid clinging to your thoughts.
If you look at your thoughts as being what they really are, something unreal, then you realize they’re not worth your attachment to them. Therefore, you’ll be able to let go and quiet your mind when you do that. You free your body of negative thoughts and you focus on what’s real – your body.
It’s the most tangible thing you have. Make sure you send positive thoughts to your body and speak to it every once in a while in a better light.
What if you can concentrate on a part of your body, which is in pain? Let’s say you have a stomach ulcer. What can you do for your stomach to make it feel better?
Stay tuned and follow my videos on Facebook to continue to learn ways to heal your body and your mind.