My Body, My Temple

These past few weeks I have been engaging more with the feelings and sensations of my own body through mindful movement. It is interesting moving mindfully. What usually can seem like a normal step during a walk suddenly becomes an entire experience, with an open awareness of how each muscle in the foot expands and contracts and how the bones move. In addition, how the body as a whole moves as we take a step to walk seems fascinating when you care to notice the details.

I love walking, and have practiced mindful walking for some years although I didn’t really label it in that manner. But I’ve also begun a morning routine of either yoga or qi gong. It has filled me with a sense of satisfaction and stability, whilst improving my mindset and being good for my physical health. Any form of mindful movement, whether it’s through exercise or walking to the local shop, can be an eye-opening and beneficial experience.

As an analytical person who is focused on mental health, I sometimes can neglect my physical health. For a long time I was frustrated with my body. It seemed like a restriction – being a small woman physically took away opportunities; I used to comment on how I’d like to be a builder, or some other hard grafter that requires some amount of strength. Or I’d have to ask for help lifting things, moving it from one place to another. And travel…I used to think how nice it would be to travel to more places without the fear of attack. I used to think, ‘If I were bigger, stronger…’.

I have increasingly pondered the term that ‘the body is a temple’. As I identify more with my personality and others personalities as who they are rather than their bodies, it seems to me that we carry ourselves around inside these bodies of ours. And as a spiritual person, I therefore view that as our spirit resides in this bodily home more than any other physical home, then truly the body is a temple.

It occurred to me that in the ‘body, mind, soul’ trio, I’ve forever been focused on the latter two. As I began to focus on my body – my temple – more too, I have gained a better sense of equilibrium. Mindful movement is an absolute joy to practice, and something I thoroughly recommend.

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