This is last part of a three-part article on tuning your body for peak performance. If you have not read part one or part two, please do so now before continuing here. Enjoy and please share your thoughts and experiences in the comments below.
Last time we ere discussing begin aware of your body, so let’s pick up where we left off with….
Posture #4: Anterior Pelvic Tilt
Cause: Extended periods of sitting without stretching which tightens the hip flexors (muscles that allow you to move your thighs up towards your abdomen).
Pain: Lower back (this tilt causes your stomach to protrude outwards even though you may not have any belly fat).
Problem: Hip flexors tighten, and glutes (muscles of the buttock) become weak.
Solution: Stretch to relax hip flexors: Kneel on one knee and tighten your gluteal muscles on the kneeling leg. Stretch the front of your hip. Raise your arm on the kneeling side and stretch toward the opposite direction. Hold your position for 30 seconds, relax, and repeat 4 times.
Strengthen the gluteal muscles: Lie on your back and bend your knees to 90-degrees. Squeeze your gluteal muscles together and push your hip upwards until your body forms a straight line from knees to shoulders. Hold this position for 5 seconds, relax, and repeat three times. Do this 10 times daily.
Posture #5: Forward Head
Cause: Sitting hunched over in an office chair for long hours, staring at a computer.
Problem: Tight muscles of the back of the neck, along with the muscles of the upper back (levator and upper trapezius).
Solution: Loosen tight muscles in the back of the neck: Perform daily head nods. Drop your chin downwards and in toward your neck. This posture stretches the back of the neck. Hold the position for 5 seconds and repeat ten times.
Strengthen the weak muscles in the front of the neck. Lie on the floor, face-up, and lift your head up from the floor. Keep your head up for five seconds and repeat ten times.
What your posture reveals about you
Your posture is just a way of communication about your personality and mood.
For example, an upright position demonstrates attentiveness and confidence, while a downward position is a sign of fatigue, boredom, or little confidence.
At this point, work with what you have to become what you want to be.
When you remove awareness, disruptions occur. Feedback loops operate no longer as they should. The flow of energy and nourishment needed by every cell begins to diminish.
How to enhance your body awareness
Deepak Chopra wrote, “You may have heard the saying, ‘the issues are in the tissues.’”
“This means, issues – anger, depression, hostility, anxiety – are not just psychological. They have a correlate in the brain.”
“The brain makes every cell in your body aware you have an issue through the central nervous system.”
You can enhance your awareness considerably when you listen carefully to your body. Take its messages seriously. Your body never lies.
Step 3: Listen to Your Body
Once you are aware of your physical signals, you’ll be one step nearer to your body.
Erika Nikole Finn, lifestyle expert and coach, wrote, “Once you become aware of the physical signals, you can dig deeper to determine what your body is telling you.”
“If your eyes tear up, there may be an underlying emotion to address. If your heart races ask what is making you excited or nervous. If you feel stressed out and tired, recognize that you may be demanding too much of yourself.”
“Your mind may want to respond, try and connect with your body and see if there’s a different answer.”
Why should you listen to your body?
How often have you injured yourself, after saying that you could see it coming?
I know I’ve lost count.
Kathryn Slater, yoga practitioner, wrote in Elephant Journal, “Your brain wants to ignore that twinge in your knee and keep training because you have to adhere to the scheduled 5K run.”
“Your brain also wants you to ignore the weird pain in the arch of your left foot, the numbness in your right hand, the ache near your shoulder blade that you just can’t shake.”
“Your body trusts you to a point. But if you ignore the signals that something doesn’t feel good, the trust erodes and your body revolts.”
“Pressing your boundaries and exploring what is possible is both healthy and vital. Consistently pushing your body to the point of pain is counter-productive.”
Taking time to listen sincerely to your body can lead to greater overall wellness – without expensive diets or exercise programs!
Here’s what happened to my friend Mary.
Mary decided one day to do a three-day juice body cleansing. Why not, her friends did it and felt great afterward. They even lost a few pounds in the process.
Alas, she started feeling awful … sluggish, tired and moody. But, her pledge to her friends and her sense of commitment made her stay on course.
I wondered if it was smart to listen to the mind and ignore what her body was telling her.
On day two, she couldn’t continue. She ended up breaking the cleansing after she felt physically and mentally drained.
Mary was trying to fit in and to please the others around her. She lived from her head, forgetting, in the process that her body has a mind of its own.
When it concerns your health, just ignore your mind and follow your body’s messages and clues.
Learn to listen to your body
Deepak Chopra wrote, “Your body’s signals aren’t esoteric messages. Every cell follows each signal correctly; it has to in order to survive.”
Here are ‘yes’ and ‘no’ signals your body is sending to you:
- Yes to balance … no to imbalance
- Yes to moderation … no to excess
- Yes to regular rhythms in activity … no to erratic schedules
- Yes to deep rest at regular intervals … no to lack of sleep
- Yes to being in your comfort zone … no to constant stress
“So when you stop paying attention to these signals, you are working against the flow of nature, which is the flow of life.”
How to listen to your body
Your body is a well-engineered machine and when things are not quite right alarm bells may start ringing.
The question is when they do go off do you hear them? Often your body feels these signals as physical symptoms.
You must learn how to react on your body’s signals. In that fashion, you can perfect this task when it becomes a habit.
Habits build excellence through gradual improvement. So, just form a habit!
Slavok Desik, Lifetime & Sports, wrote, “Here are three practical steps to translate your body signals into practice:”
- Meditation is an effective way to connect with your mind and body. Learn a meditation technique, commit daily to a few minutes and focus on your breathing.
- Yoga keeps your body in shape while you keep in touch with your mind and spirit. This practice has the power to give you extra awareness about your body you have never had access to before.
- An exercise routine, even a light one, can work wonders for your body. Getting and staying in shape, you’ll be able to push yourself harder when necessary.
Remember, you don’t have to over think things, your body will tell you what you need.
Maggie Lyon, a writer on wellness and style consultant, wrote, “The answer to living in peace with our bodies is through befriending and making every effort to inhabit them truly.”
It will be inspiring if you share your experience here. It could help other people to gain confidence and share theirs as well.
There you have it, 3 simple steps that will transform your health using just your mind and body. Have you found these exercises helpful? Please share your experiences below.
Until next time, stay in great health
 Muscles in the buttocks.