In Lockdown

 

Did you know that the brain wave states active when you are feeling threatened are different than when you are at peace? And that in the fear-based survival mind you lock onto a “me versus you” orientation towards others, while a primitive territorial aggression around scarcity arises?

Imagine now that millions, maybe even billions of us, because we are in such longstanding states of chronic stress, are walking around feeling threatened by others. As well as fiercely territorial over our capacity to get our own most basic needs for safety and security met. When you add it all up, do you know what you get?

Hell.

Here’s the real kicker. We can be making it all up in our own minds. We can literally be preparing for battle based on the thoughts we are keeping; with no imminent danger actually before us. And because the body believes everything that the mind says, it kicks into action, preparing to defend itself, by tightening up and getting ready for war.

The truth is, no one will ever do worse to us than what we do to ourselves in our own minds. If you are with me thus far, it only becomes the next logical step to see that the real make or break place when it comes to how it feels to be alive, is within our own minds. For the reality is, every moment of every day, we have a choice. Will we choose heaven? Or will we choose hell?

I see this being played out as my body continues to unwind from an injury, so does my mind. I am watching how long standing patterns of gripping and tensing, a kind of hanging on for dear life in my muscle patterns, are an expression of a survival mind. One so old that I had not noticed it at this level before. So old that the tension has become familiar to me. “Normal.” Expected. A way to structure myself. This is concerning, for to structure oneself around stress is to suffer.

And it is to cause suffering.

And yet, if there is anything that the time of Covid lockdowns and restrictions has taught me, it is that I have a choice. No matter what. No matter what the outer circumstances; whether that be mandates or a spasming back-my mind and the state of my nervous system is my own to decide. It is literally the one thing in my humanity that no one else can have. Or dictate.

I read something recently where an Indian sage is quoted as saying, “The will of God is not for weak people.” No kidding. This plays out for me as I see all of the ways that my mind can make up a threat in the world of restrictions, or in an unwelcome pain. But I will tell you something that I know deep inside my bones. When I can see that there is Something Greater at play in all of this, I know that to a person, we are all being given an opportunity to make a choice. Different than we have ever made before. And it is not for the weak, or the faint of heart.

I see it as being the chance to break with all of the hells we have created in our own minds, whatever that is for each of us, in order to open to what we all most yearn for. A kind of literal Heaven on Earth. For me, that looks and feels like a world where Life is honored. In all of its forms and expressions. And where violations against Life itself, are the things in lockdown.

If this feels resonant to you, then by extension, we must be willing to ask some very deep and penetrating questions of ourselves like, “Where in my daily routines have I made it “normal” to violate Life? Mine or another’s?”

The Future of Health

 

Not long ago, I saw a commercial which seems to sum up where we are, and where we are headed when it comes to health. Unless, that is, enough of us decide for something else. Something more True. More Real. More Life-affirming. More, well, human.

The commercial opens with the following tagline: “The future of health is on your wrist.” We are then shown a woman operating at warp speed in her life, while being continuously reminded by the device on her arm to “Relax.” Then it tells her to “Run.” Then “Swim.” Then do “Tae Kwon Do.” Then “Dance.” I watch in horror as she manically leaps from one instruction to the next; all directed by a tiny machine she is wearing on her arm.

If this weren’t so alarming, it would be funny. Saturday Night Live parody funny.

But it’s not funny. Not when we consider how many of us take health advice from people trying to sell us something, and whose mixed agenda includes delivering messages of “health and well-being” while bolstering their the bottom line by keeping us ever insecure and doubtful about our own ability to go it without them. It becomes even less funny when we break down the messages that are being taken up by viewers regarding what it means to be healthy. Images that are telling us that instructions from a piece of technology are what we need to be listening to. That somehow we will not know what we need, or what to do, and that it is best to outsource that knowing to something non-human.

In our infatuation with, and now indoctrination into, all things technological in order to stay healthy, we are losing the main and central ingredient to health and well-being. That being, it is built in and is predicated on a personal knowing born of experience and attention.The “knowing” of which I speak is inborn, and yet it requires both cultivation and protection. It does not take its cues from a commercial. Nor does it require a machine in order to stay well. In fact, the abdication of this personal knowing is what is at the heart of a deep and dangerous disconnect from the natural and healing wisdom of our bodies.

The future of health would do well to consider not only what is presently happening in health care, but to take a good, hard look at how it is that we have arrived in a place where so many of us are so sick and so disconnected from the most basic principles of how to care for a human body. For before we can talk about the future, we must weed out what is currently not working. What is outdated. Misleading. Harmful even.

Do you want to know what the real future of health is? IT IS YOU. It is your inner and personal knowing restored, trusted, and acted upon. And it is so, so basic. As basic as paying closer attention to yourself. For instance, how often do you see something advertised that is claiming to be able to improve your health, and that you jump at because you think either this will be easy, or because “they” must know better. Watch the impulse to outsource your health and well-being while getting into the habit of checking in with yourself, asking, “Is that really what a human being needs to be well, or am I being sold something?”

 

Self-Care 101

 

Look around, we have never had more information about taking care of ourselves. Eat healthier. Exercise. Get more sleep. Be grateful. Take time for yourself. Breathe. On and on it goes. And yet…we have never been sicker. Less happy. Less fulfilled. Less ourselves. Dare I say, less human.

What’s going on?

Mostly, when I talk to people, they will sheepishly admit, yes they know they need to do something. And they’ve tried. God, have they tried. And it will even seem like what they are doing is working, at least for a bit. But at some point, without fail, after some period of time, they find themselves back to where they started. In other words, back to ignoring themselves and denying what it is that they really need to do in order to take good care of themselves.

Sure, the world is distracting. And we are too busy. Yes, the corporations have now created a multi-billion dollar industry to keep us tied to them to feel like we are taking care of ourselves. Because without them, we wouldn’t know what we needed or what to do. But what if the real reason why we never get there is because we are running right past the obvious? Right past what we have all begun to forget. Or know how to access.

That being, that at its most basic and authentic, self-care is built in. Innate. Hardwired into the nervous system. Into every cell, organ and tissue layer. Think about it. What then? For if it is built in, that means we all already know how to do it. It means that even if we have strayed, even if we never got it through our upbringing and environment, it can never be lost to us. It also means that we, and no other, are the ultimate authority in terms of caring for ourselves, and that all practitioners, medical suggestions, edicts, trends, research and fads are never the real source of what it is that we need to be well. Can these things serve as potential support? Sure. The final word? Never.

How could it be any other way? Without the ability to care for ourselves, and with it the built in knowledge of “how-to,” there would be no human species. For without care, there is no Life. Sadly, if you look closely enough, “no Life” is just where we are hurtling towards as a species when you witness the rates of cancer, heart disease, debilitating depression and more. This is not bad luck, bad genes or just the way it is now. This is a result of an entire species turning its back on what is most natural to who we are; the ability to care for ourselves and others.

Maybe, we are at this point to finally remind us all that our health and well-being resides within, and that what we are seeing is the end point of hundreds of years of being pulled into a kind of inner blindness. Blinded to the absolute biological Truth that the Urge for Life to continue and to care for itself lives within. And can only be extinguished at death.

Red, White & Blue

 

How we frame anything matters. How we talk about the issues that face us, and the questions we pose that result from that framing, matters. A lot. Why? Because it sets us in a particular direction; telling us what is important and valid, and what is not. It directs us as to what to pay attention to; what to ignore and what to include. What to make important, and what it is that doesn’t matter at all. In essence, how we frame anything, along with the particular words we use, sets the stage for how we will understand and interact with, what is before us.

In a world of unknowns, where there is much that a human mind cannot comprehend, know or control, we turn towards our particular frameworks to explain the world to us. But how well, or not, we frame anything determines how close, or not, we will land to the Truth. Why does this matter? Because the closer we get to the full and complete reality of what stands before us, the more accurate and true our solutions become; taking us to greater levels of understanding and meaning.

Because I only keep a tiny portion of my attention on mainstream media, and because I identify with neither the Democratic nor Republican party, I can miss some driving forces in how it is that our culture is framing certain issues. With that said, it has taken me months to catch up to a deeply concerning way that we are framing a virus that has changed our world.

Unfortunately, and erroneously, our culture has been framing how to address a virus as a political issue. In the process, we have set ourselves against one another at a time when we most need to be coming together. Compounding that, we have exacerbated, by omission, a longstanding epidemic decline in health and vitality in our country by ignoring the complications and death rates brought on by a preponderance of underlying chronic conditions that have left so many of us susceptible to a virus.

Because we have been framing this as a political issue, we have lost track that what is before us is neither a red state nor a blue state issue. It always has been, and always will be, a health issue. This is not about who is right or wrong, better or worse, harmful or helpful. This is not about “this side” cares, and “that side” does not. That framing of the issue is a sad and destructive distraction that has taken us away from creating an accurate and healthy frame. Dare I say, that frame being: What is health? What undermines it? What supports it? Specifically, what is it that will boost the immunity of a population that transcends agendas, special interests and conflicts of interest?

I know this may seem overly simplified. Or too contrary to the current narrative. But think about it. When it comes to having a healthy immune system to fight off a virus, what else could the frame be if not precisely that? Something simple and body based. But to see this would require dropping the political agendas and weaponry. It would take asking some difficult questions around how health care is framed and delivered in a world that values and is controlled by what makes the most money and who has the strongest political lobby. Most of all, it would require opening up the existing framework to healthy debate; with input from many, many different disciplines brought in to help reshape the framework.

If this makes any sense to you, you must start with yourself. So instead of aligning with a system outside of you to tell you what it means to be healthy-what if you started learning how to recognize and honor the truest needs of your body as the one and only foundational framework of health? A frame based in Biological Truth that transcends politics, censoring, mandates, and “hero likes” on social media.

Start now. Get in the habit of pausing at least once a day. Take a breath, and then, ask yourself “What am I feeling right now, and what is this feeling telling me I need?” From this one simple practice you begin to build a framework based on real human health. And from there, everything is possible. For all of us.

Walls

 

I recently read an article by a bodyworker who was talking about how we build false walls and false floors in our fascia and muscles to compensate for postural imbalances. Basically, all of the ways that we get ourselves positioned incorrectly, and then come to lean into those false constructions to free up the dominant side of the body so that it is available for action. I so know this process in my own body. And I so know how this way of holding myself both reflects and entrenches old, unhealthy states of mind.

In other words, how the walls in my body represent the ones I have built up inside of my own mind to keep me feeling safe. Balanced. Prepared and ready for action. Walls that have been created to give me a sense of security. Whether or not that is actually so having nothing to do with the maintenance of them in my life. Even going to great lengths to hold onto what does not work. What hurts. What is faulty.

Which is why coming to recognize that there has never been a single hurt that I have ever experienced as an adult that wasn’t connected to the past, has changed my Life.

For if you can come to see that how you view what is happening to you now as being somehow connected to long ago, you will have taken a most important step to freeing yourself up from the false constructions that set the stage for why you suffer now. This is not a rationale for staying stuck in the past. Instead, it is a reminder that what happens in the mind happens in the body, and that what happens in the body happens in the mind.

That we can go in through either doorway to change all of us.

Try it. Find one thing that bothers you now. Something you feel slightly hurt or disappointed by. Come up with a headline. For instance: “Feeling Unsupported.” Then, follow the bread crumbs back. Where in the past have you felt like this before? Drop all the names, the places, and the circumstances. What feels familiar to you from then to now? Name what it was for you, and then move. Dance it. Shake it. Wiggle and writhe it. Move your body in random and unusual ways until you feel like something has completed itself.

Then, watch yourself throughout the rest of your day. Is how what you lean into, or what is dominant, different somehow?

In Whose Hands?

 

I have been thinking about health for more than thirty years. Reflecting on questions like, What is health? What supports it? What undermines it? In whose hands does it belong? It has been a wondrous journey. A frustrating one. An illuminating, maddening, and empowering one. One that even on my worst days I would not trade for it has brought me health, and it has brought me into contact with that which still needs healing. Both personally and collectively.

But more than anything else it has brought me to me. Creating and shoring up a kind of sovereignty that I did not even know existed. Or needed. One that emanates from the inside out, and transcends the lobbying, the marketing, the hidden agendas, the outdated and narrow-minded science, and most of all, the fears and conditioning of my past.

But it has been arduous. Requiring that I come up against the places where I have abdicated my responsibility to another person. Or system. Or limiting belief. Mine or others. Or…fill in the blank. For to explore and claim total responsibility for your own health and well-being is an intensely deep, nuanced, and all-encompassing endeavor. As in, no stone left unturned.

So, let’s turn over one of the heaviest and most difficult of all stones to turn over. Playing the victim card. This is the part of you that says someone else is to blame, and therefore is ultimately responsible for, what happens to me. This is the voice that says I have no power here. I cannot possibly stand up for myself, fight back, or choose another way. Most especially, whenever I feel threatened and am up against that which I perceive to be bigger and more powerful than me, because I am too weak to hold the line and keep myself from being violated, accepting what does not feel right to me, I hand my power over to another.

Caroline Myss writes, “The core issue of the victim is whether it’s worth giving up your sense of empowerment to avoid taking responsibility for your independence.” Health is a central and guiding aspect of your independence. Where are you abdicating your power in this regard?  This one won’t be easy to get to as we live in a world that embraces, encourages, and justifies victim mentality. Meaning that, because so many around us have given over their power, we have come to believe that this is normal. The way it is. We even go so far as to bond with others around how we are being F’d with.

So if you want something else, you will need to look more deeply. Much more deeply.

 

Sacred Contracts: Awakening Your Divine Potential by Caroline Myss

Engineering The Nature Out Of Humanity

As the technologies continue to make their way into more and more aspects of our lives, our biggest challenge becomes, how do we continue to recognize and honor real human needs? How do we stay human? Such a strange thing to say, or even think about. Of course we’re human. What else could we be? Well we could, we actually are, becoming lesser and lesser versions of who and what a human being can be. Sadly, the examples continue to mount.

Our basic needs for sleep, downtime, sharing a meal, time spent in nature and more have all been hijacked by the endless parade of shows, Youtube videos, social media, and gaming.

Our children’s truest developmental needs for face to face contact, exploration of the environment, movement, and creative time have been commandeered by the digital babysitters.

We exist physically in the same house with our loved ones while we spend increasing amounts of time separate from one another; preferring to hunch over our screen companions instead.

And our Western physicians are losing their diagnostic skills; choosing to use the technologies as the modern day diagnostician rather than to observe, listen to, and collaborate with the person who sits before them as a way to come to an educated medical opinion. Believing machines superior over human-to-human contact and healing.

Basic human needs, the ones that keep us alive and keep us healthy, the very ones that define the human experience, are being engineered out of us at great cost. Many of us no longer have any idea what those needs are, or how to satisfy them. No longer connecting to what feels good, right, natural in our own bodies, leaves us opting instead for what distorts, undermines, and confuses. And then, at a great loss for what to do, we look outside of ourselves.

With all of the technological insertions into our lives, how will we know not only who and what we are, but as importantly, what we need? This is such an enormous question to even ask. Maybe that is why so many of us don’t. Maybe that is why it feels easier to hand ourselves over to the technologies. God knows the screens will never demand an answer to that question. Nor will they provide us with a healthy answer. Despite what we have been conditioned to believe, the technologies are not the great white savior.

This is nowhere more evident than with our very own bodies. The very thing that makes us human. The only way we can be here, be in relationship, and know how to care for not only ourselves and others, but for the very body of the earth Herself. It is the ground out of which we exist. The only place we can inhabit to discern what is real and true, and what is not. Without an authentic and present connection to the body based on basic, directly experienced biological Truths and needs of the body, we are lost.

To be in a body is to experience Life. It is to know our wholeness. And our brokenness. It is a doorway into Self-discovery. A portal that takes us from the mundane to the lofty. To be in a body is to know yourself intimately. It is to be confused and scared, gain clarity, and do it all over again. It is to endure and to remain committed. It is to be sovereign and to surrender to Something More in a world mesmerized with the material accomplishments of man.

It is to walk a unique path that Graces you with compassion, patience, wisdom, and tolerance. And it is to find your courage while claiming personal responsibility for your own health. This is the gesture we need from you right now. An agreement with yourself to do some growing up. To know that you cannot outsource your health to another. Nor to the technology du jour. And it is to know that no one, or no thing, can lay claim to your sovereignty in this regard.

This is a big task. And a necessary one. Every single issue we face in the world has its origins in each one of us and how it is that we are showing up. Every single way we are hurting as a species can be found within the fears, imbalances, and abdications of personal responsibility living within each of us. This is the good news. This is the fix for all that you see around you. This is where you can weigh in and help change what must be changed.

So, begin within. Begin with one simple question and observation: “Beyond anything outside of me, what am I feeling in this moment?” This is not a thought. It is not based on outer expectations. It is you, being in you, while feeling and sensing what is there. It is a lifetime practice, and it is your way into the direct experience of the Truth of being alive. Something that can only happen by being in your body while claiming full and total responsibility for what you do with it.

The Brilliance of a Body Supported

 

Last night, after teaching a class, I awoke to a “small” miracle. The tension and pain that had been in my neck for months and months, was gone! “All” I had led the night before was attention in the body, breathing, and some simple movements focused on the neck and head. Can you imagine if this kind of an approach was the messaging we got around health and the body? I can.

But it takes an enormous shift of perspective. As big as going from the earth is flat to the earth is round.

It is not a movement of the mind as much as it is a return to embodiment.

It does not come from the outside-in, but the inside-out.

It is not in the hands of another, but found within the deeply lived experience of being in a body.

It is not dogma, but instead a kind of original faith and knowing in what the body is capable of.

It is not determined by the times nor the technologies available, but by an enduring and timeless understanding.

In essence, it is a return to the Natural Truths of our fully inhabited biologic sovereignty. Wow! What does that even mean? Beyond anything I have ever done, one of the greatest sources of personal freedom and empowerment has been to cultivate an honest, loving and respectful relationship with my own body.

Not based on a number.

Not based on a reflection in the mirror.

Not based on perfection or another’s expectation of me.

Not based on an expert opinion.

Not based on any system that would deny any part of me.

In the beginning, it was a lot of unravelling from what it “was not” in order to get to “what it is.”

The unmasking effort though is so worth it, for there is a profound solace, safety and sacredness waiting for each and every one of us to claim this inherent experience and healing potential. Is it hard? It is. In the beginning it was perhaps the most terrifying and difficult thing I have ever done; for both my own body and for the bodies of my children. There have been confusing times, painful times, and ugly times. But every single time that I could stand in the fear or the discomfort, something real and true grew inside of me. A kind of intimacy and courage that has gone on to serve as the ground on which I stand.

One that cannot be duped. Or coerced. Or bargained with.

Beyond even that, is the knowing that this body serves as a doorway to the Truth of who and what I am. Given that, why would I ever put that in the hands of another? And therein lies perhaps the most difficult of all paradigm shifts to be made. That being, personal responsibility. The arduous journey of shifting out of the mindset of the child who says, “Tell me what to do. Fix this. Make this go away,” to the exquisite status of a fully realized human being.

But it takes time, and your effort. It takes beginning where you are. So, where are you when it comes to your body? What might it be like to begin to ask questions like, “Into whose hands have I placed the Intelligence of my own body?” “What fears drive my choices?” Let the answers, as uncomfortable as they might be, guide you into your own unravelling process.

For a little support, check out: Reclaiming Your Body by Suzanne Scurlock-Durana or Heal Your Body by Louise Hay.

 

Bioindividuality

 

We live increasingly in a world that loves the one-size-fits-all medicine. Depressed? Take this pill. Heart troubles? Have this operation. The wrong thing out of control in your body? Here’s the chemo. Can’t sleep, digest your food, settle down, have the energy you need? Have we got something for you. Don’t worry about the side effects. We’ll play some nice music and pair it with uplifting images so you don’t have to notice what’s actually happening to you.

But it’s not working. The observable evidence is everywhere. You do not even need to wait for the research to know this. Instead, look to your own life. Look to the left and to the right of those standing next to you. Look forward to those ahead of you, to the older generations. Worse yet, look behind you to the children. What’s going on? Why is there so much dis-ease? With all of our pills, procedures and technologies, why has it become so common, so “normal” now for so many of us to be so sick? Talk about a devastating new normal.

Many years ago, during a Holistic Health Counseling training, I was introduced to a concept called bio-individuality. A perspective that says, while yes there are universalities to our biology and experiences as human beings, we are all also, individuals. For us to be truly healthy and well, on all levels, inside and out, all of us must be taken into account. Hearing this was like being in the desert for decades, my parched needs unmet, only to discover there was an oasis of understanding and inclusion that deeply resonated with what I most needed. A perspective available that included all of who I am. One that could go to the depths and breadths of the truth of my experience. One that did not deny, exclude or override my truest needs.

This flies in the face of our conventional western model of medicine which has its roots in splitting the body from the mind, while completely ignoring the soul. A paradigm that says the mind is too unwieldy to include; and therefore not applicable. One that sees emotions as too hysterical to be part of the equation; except as they can be medicated away. A model that sees environmental factors as irrelevant. Social connection fine, but not health worthy. A perspective that does all that it can do to exclude the energetics and soul of a human being; with any mention of it being viewed suspiciously. One that separates us from the very fabric of the natural world and our ancestral lineages; believing they have no basis in real medicine.

That’s a whole lot of us left out. Not to mention the interactions and the interplay between all these aspects of a life that would need to be included to offer a full picture of what was going on for someone. But from the conventional model of medicine, all of these things are too messy. Too uncontrollable. Too unknown. Too beyond the scope of doctors, hospitals, and insurance companies. Too much care to manage.

What’s left? The view of body as machine with parts that can be replaced. Where physiological mechanisms, pathways, and our genetics can be altered and fiddled with, without consequence. Body as machine requires its mechanics. It requires technologies that are superior to Nature. And it runs on a level of money, expertise and influence we do not possess. Nor ever will. So, of course, we must follow their mandates. What else is there?

But the Truth with a capital “T” is that our health is not separate from our thoughts, how we feel, what we eat, how we move, where we work, the environments we find ourselves in, and the company we keep. It is not separate from our past, from the times we are living in, from the media messages we receive, from the fear we hold and the disappointments we harbor. It is not separate from how many hugs we get, whether or not we feel safe and whether or not we are engaged in Life in a meaningful and satisfying way. It is not separate from how we breathe or whether or not we sleep well. It is not separate from a personal sense of sovereignty when it comes to the agency we experience over our own health and well-being.

There is not a single thing we experience that is not part of the equation of a healthy, or sick, human being. This is not acceptable in a system that puts the expert at the center of the equation. It is not welcome news in a system that promotes the quick fix, the 7-minute office visit, the inputting of date into a machine, the proper codes for what insurance companies will pay for and what they will not. None of this fully considered in a system where the experts themselves are so uniformly un-cared for, that they themselves have no basis for what real health is. Basically cogs in a machine that must go on. No matter the cost. No matter the level of pathology.

It could feel daunting to consider breaking away from such a system. Or you could feel excited by the possibility of what it might mean for you to be part of something where all of you was considered. Where all of us were considered. Can you imagine it? Health care that was actually based on health, and not pathology, what’s covered, or conflicts of interest? One that recognized and honored the exquisite interconnections that make you who you are? One that said I see you. All of you. And I will surround you with the support you really need as you make your way into your remembrance of wholeness.

Could you open to that? Could you step beyond the force-fed, shame-inducing model that says “Do this or else?” Could you as the person whose body and life this is begin to insist upon health care that invites you further into yourself while aligning with real biological, psychological, social, emotional and spiritual truths around what it is that a body, mind and soul actually need to be well? One that had no hidden costs or agendas?

This would take some re-imagining. But here’s the thing. You’re worth it. We are all worth it. Our children are worth it. We deserve better.

Try this. Take out a piece of paper and in the center draw a little stick figure. That’s you. All around you put the names of the things you do and need each and every day to be alive. Put the things you must have to feel supported. Write down all the encounters you have. The places you go. How you feel. What you think. Put down your hopes, your dreams, your fears. Include your ancestors and your past. Write down the things you worry about, and the things you feel inspired by. Jot down how you move, eat, sleep, breathe and relate. Include it all.

Look at how much impacts you. How could a drug ever begin to do justice to all of you?

Use this exercise to begin to create your own personal model of health. What are your must-have’s? What would you get rid of? What would it be like to create something that honors the totality and the preciousness of who you are and what you need? What would it be like to claim your basic sovereign right over your own health?

You do deserve better.

Biological Truths

 

These are curious, confusing, and even dangerous times to be living in when it comes to the truth. In a world that is being described as a post-truth era, it is time we chose for something else. It is time to say we have had enough. Enough of political agendas, for-profit motives, fear-driven mandates, and control by the few, that have got absolutely nothing to do with the health and well-being of a life.

But where can we go? What truths can we tap into that truly are in the best interests of Life itself? And are there some Universal Truths that transcend the times, fads, opinions and agendas? Yes. It’s called your body and your breath.

Swami Kripalu, the Master Yogi who inspired the yoga lineage of which I am a teacher, practiced something called Sanatana Dharma. The Way of Eternal Truth. Where the practitioner, through practices focused on body and breath, comes into direct experience of Reality. As it really is. No filters. No preferences. No hidden agendas. Bias suspended. This becomes, as they say, guide, guru and god when it comes to the Truth of being alive.

This is the opposite of what we typically encounter where many of us are looking to sources outside of ourselves to tell us what to feel, what to put on and in our body, and now through “social currency,” how to behave.This only works because of how many of us are so disconnected from our very own bodies. This is dangerous not only in terms of health outcomes, for we do not care for what we do not value, there are also major sovereignty issues at play here. As in, if you are not inhabiting your own body, there are plenty of agendas and mandates that will.

But the Truth is, your body is your proving ground. It is the home of your soul and psyche. It is the only place where you can experience the world from. If you are not fully connected and fully embodied, the transmissions and signals of your inner world, along with information from the outer world, will be lost to you. Therefore, you will be lost to yourself. Victim to things that have got nothing to do with the real needs of a human life.

Like your very own breath. Like how without a continuous supply, your cells will go into survival mode. Can we still be alive on reduced breath to the body? We can. But not without consequence in both the short and long term. Have you felt it in yourself? The shortness of breath? The dizziness? The mental agitation? The headaches? The lack of clarity? The laboring? The sleep troubles? This does not even include the more “invisible” effects on the immune system, nervous system, cardiovascular and respiratory systems.

When does the cure become more deadly than the disease?

Learn to inhabit your body. Make your breath your companion throughout the day. Pay attention when something hurts. Don’t tell yourself a story about why it is okay to keep doing what you are doing. Feel closely into what changes when the breath is free, and when it is obstructed. Learn to take your cues from the inside. No matter what the outside insists upon. Be your own personal experiment into Biological Truth.