Lets have a look a little closer at the long looking words in the title of this blog.
Proprioception is the ability to sense the orientation of your body in your environment. It is being aware that your body is in a certain position. For example if you lift your arm above your head you know it even if you close your eyes. This ability helps us to navigate our way safely and efficiently through everyday tasks. All physical activities, sport and exercises are great for developing proprioception.
Interoception is the ability to be aware of what is happening within your body. The brain receives constant messages from the body - breath, heart beat, muscle tension, temperature etc. A lot of the interoceptive activity happens bellow the level of consciousness. But we can tune in and train our interoceptive skills as latest research suggest that it is beneficial to be aware of what's happening within our bodies. People with more developed interoception are healthier, more resilient and can regulate themselves better meaning they response to stressful events more efficiently and afterwards can return back to a balance state faster. In this particular study they measured interoceptive skills by the ability to being aware of the heartbeat. How would you go?
The good news is that interoception is a skill which can be improved.
Yoga in its essence is purely about developing and deepening interoception gradually going deeper and deeper. The eight limbs of yoga is a perfect map to follow if we want to develop these skills. In my yoga classes I condensed these eight steps into four - ethics, postures, breath, mediation.
Regular massage is also a great way to bring your awareness closer to your body.
It is a big step from busy mind to quiet body awareness. It is best to be walked slowly, kindly with the principles of non-judgment, non-harming and patience.
How wide is your window of tolerance?
Window of tolerance is a term used in psychology and was first described by Dr Siegel.
Basically the window is our comfortable zone in which we function at the most efficient level. We are alert, engaged, with optimal problem solving skills and accessing both emotions and reasoning. When we move towards the top of our window we may cross into the state of hyper - arousal or a fight or flight response. We experience anger, rage, anxiety, chaotic responses, addictive behaviour etc. On the other side of our window of tolerance is a hypo - aroused state or a freeze response. We feel disconnected, not present, flat, experience feeling of separation from ourselves and our emotions.
The good news is that a slow mindful yoga practise is able to widen the window of tolerance. In short to medium term the results may be only temporary but in a long term these changes become permanent.
Through mindful movement, breath and meditation we are able to widen our window of tolerance and keep it wide open!
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.