“Our body is our most proximate, intimate, and useful tool – and yet we graduate from school knowing more about the principal exports of Chile than we do about our own selves south of the neck.” ~ Tom Myers
As a culture, we have become disenfranchised from our body and the subtle somatic cues that guide us through life and living, says renowned author and somatic visionary Tom Myers.
We have lost touch with the common ’sense’ that comes from the body, and have become a society of ‘kinesthetically illiterate’ citizens.
Once his vital connection is lost, we lose the ability to stay tuned to the essential bodily sensations needed to guide ‘intuitive’ behaviour. We plunk ourselves in chairs and stimulate our eyes and ears so much that we are losing a precious resource – our contact with our sense of self.
As a result, we live in a culture with an obesity epidemic, where people are unable to feel the simple bodily signals of satiety, and are unable to tell when they are hungry or not. We have become divorced from bodily sensations like hunches and intuitive guidance essential to navigate through life.
Photo by Kyle Thompson
And, we have lost touch with how to sense and handle the physical aspects of our emotions, leaving us more vulnerable to emotional overwhelm, stress and adrenal overload, leading to feelings of anxiety and depression.
Through yoga lessons and Rolfing sessions I take a deeper look at the importance of kinesthetic awareness –the feeling sense of the body—and the role of yoga and movement therapy in keeping the rich feed of information from the body to the brain.
Photo by Kyle Thompson
The kinesthetic sense of the body, argues Tom, is not only a sense, but a form of intelligence, like mathematic or linguistic intelligence. The lack of attention to the kinesthetic sense has produced an epidemic of ‘kinesthetic dystonia,’ in which the body is constantly misused.
The current epidemic of unnecessary muscle tension, structural pain, and early degeneration due to dis-, mis-, or ab-use of our bodies, reflects our reliance on what can be seen and heard over what can be felt. We are strangers to our bodies, and we pay a high price for this lack of movement.
Yoga, when practiced in a way that fosters enhanced body awareness, is a direct answer to this ‘dis-ease’ – and your results will be better if you work from that understanding.