spirit and movement

We are a part of the world around us. Our physical bodies ground us and ensure our place in our own ecosystem. But with so many distractions, conveniences and demands on our time and attention, it’s too easy to fall into ignoring our bodies — one of my bad habits has been vegging out on the couch with the television on when I’m feeling tired, instead of reaching for a book or just going to bed.

Moving my body — through play and exercise — is the best way for me to reconnect with my physical self. After that, paying attention to nutritional needs and rest comes naturally.

Spirituality and physical movement have long gone hand-in-hand: Yoga, sufi dancing, moving through postures during prayer, mudras, zaars and guedras.

A few rounds of sun salutations or a run through the neighborhood can be a great way to greet the sun first thing in the morning. For me, going for a hike in the late afternoon or early evening or doing some belly dancing helps me to disengage from the heavily mental work of the day and get back in touch with my body.

Whenever I’m feeling spiritually disconnected or ungrounded, I can usually get back into gear by engaging my body in my practice — like the meditation rocks I blogged about earlier. Sitting outside for meditation, with the grass beneath me, the sun on my face and a gentle breeze on my skin is an excellent remedy for feeling out of sorts. Even a short walk around the neighborhood or sitting on a bench watching the ducks and geese on the water can go a long way toward restoring serenity and balance.

Yesterday, I reconnected by hiking through Forest Park with my husky. Breathing in the clean air and enjoying the tall pines, sequoias and other greenery while pushing my body — and getting pulled up and down hills by my sled dog — had a big smile on my face within minutes.

What are the activities that help you reconnect and tune in?

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