Have you ever struggled with a decision?
Last year around this time I was trying to decide if I should continue on with my Master’s degree. I thought about it a lot, made lists, analyzed the pros and cons. I had invested time and money, and was worried about disappointing the people who had helped me along the way. I was torn.
I was working with a life coach who told me that deep down I knew the answer. I just needed to listen and let go of the intellectual analysis. She helped to access the answers in a more intuitive way. It was all about becoming quiet. About visualizing and listening to my heart and body.
What is intuition?
You were born with an intuitive sense. Equipped with the ability to understand and know things without consciously thinking about them. But somewhere along the way, you may have stopped trusting your intuition. It’s worth getting that trust back!
Your subconscious is powerful and can teach you a lot. Think about how your body talks to you – the sweaty palms, increased heart rate, muscle tension, butterflies. Your body often sends you signals before your mind has even caught on.
Have you ever gotten the feeling that a situation or a person just wasn’t right for you? Maybe you weren’t sure why, but you knew that something was off. Perhaps you felt a churning in your stomach during a job interview or an anxious feeling in your chest as you thought of going somewhere. Some signs are subtle, others loud and glaring.
Did you listen to these signals or brush them off? I would guess many of us have ignored them. The good news is you can learn (or re-learn) to tune in. You can teach yourself to trust your gut.
Yoga is a great tool for honing intuition.
Yoga helps you tune in. Your practice makes you more sensitive to body sensations and open to the story that they have to tell you. You become more present and aware of your surroundings. More confident in your judgments. This can all help you develop a deeper connection to intuition.
The physical practice of yoga poses helps you develop body awareness. For example, balance poses (such as Tree and Dancer) help you develop focus. Forward folds (like Child’s pose and Butterfly) turn your focus inwards.
Posture practice helps you get in touch with your body and makes you more aware of the constant ebb and flow of sensations. You notice things and become more likely to listen to what your body is telling you. Body wisdom.
Yoga teaches you to sense actual needs. What does your body need right now? Do that. Not what you did yesterday or what your mind is saying your should do. It may mean going deeper into a pose or it may mean backing out.
Try this self salutation intended to honour and show gratitude for who you truly are.
A yoga practice stretches, strengthens and relaxes your body making it easier to sit in meditation. Meditation develops the ability to step back. To become quiet. To give yourself the space to feel. To observe and to let things pass by.
This lends perspective.
Meditation helps you to tap into that place where intuition comes from – a deep inner stillness. It takes you beyond your conscious mind.
Enhancing the Movement of Energy
Energetically, intuition is related to the sixth chakra: Ajna. Also called the third-eye, this chakra is all about wisdom and the ability to look inward to make choices. To enhance this ability, you need to balance the other chakras. Nadi Shodhana (Alternate Nostril breathing) is a balancing breath that can help. It’s one of my favourite yoga breath practices!
A friend of mine said, “Random is wisdom untethered.” Something is random when it happens without conscious decision. I love this idea. It suggests intuition is inner wisdom that is flowing freely, ready to serve you.
I got quiet, stopped grasping, listened. And I decided to put off my Master’s degree. After I made the decision, I was immediately relieved. A year later I still believe it was the right decision. My intuition whispered and I listened to her wisdom.
As you move into this New Year, set your inner wisdom free. Tap into your intuition to help define your intentions and goals. It could just make for a great ride.
Let me know what’s on your mind. I always love hearing. Just leave a comment below!
By the way, Karen is the life coach I mentioned. Check out her website here. She is hosting a webinar in January on making 2015 your best year ever. I know it will be awesome!
Photo courtesy of Angela Marie Henriette