Healthy Mind, Happy Body

APRIL 12, 2016

As a culture, we’ve accepted that the quality of our food affects our health. We understand that we become what we eat. You know that the substances you ingest will become the fabric of your tissues. But do you ever consider that the quality of your thoughts have as much, or even more of an affect on your vitality?

Strong bodies begin with strong thoughts my four year olds taekwondo teacher recently said. This basic truth, deceiving in its simplicity, is one we often ignore on our path to wellbeing.  Are your thoughts the nutritious equivalent of kale and really good dark chocolate (nourishing and delicious), or are you feeding your interior leftovers and sour milk?

What we choose to ingest, whether physically or energetically, will either deplete or nourish us. We can make choices that generate more life force, or do things that suck it dry. We can liberate ourselves or perpetuate negative cycles. In any given moment, we can build and strengthen, or malnourish and destroy living parts of our selves. 

Yoga recognizes that the body and mind are not two separate entities that we must join (contrary to popular belief), but rather, they exist along a spectrum of vibration, a continuum of energy. The body is the densest aspect of our embodiment, the one we can most easily see with our human eye, which is designed to capture only a limited spectrum of light and relatively slow moving atoms and particles. It can be seen as an extension or expression of the mind. 

Just as the physical body is affected by what, when and how much we eat; the mind is always being affected by shifting variables in our environment.  Our breath, the food we eat, our quality of sleep, the conversations we engage in, the books we read, what we see on facebook, the stories we tell ourselves about what’s possible; all affect the quality of our mind-body radiance. 

Our mind is not separate from, but is part of our body. It may be invisible to the eye and therefor more subtle, yet it is just as real and even more powerful in its capacity the create change. ‘I change my mind’ or‘make up your mind’ denote a reorientation of body, a shift in direction. When the mind chooses a course, the whole body (and life) responds. The mind, as we know, is not only located in the brain, but is a function of our consciousness, and is present in every cell of our fleshy physical body. 

As vitally important as it is to eat wholesome food, the health benefits will stop short if you’re still feeding yourself negative thoughts, resentment, and limiting beliefs. 

Since the mind and body are one, a slight shift on one level with inevitably effect the whole.  The way you walk, the posture you take when sitting at your desk or driving your car, all will affect your clarity of mind, thus your mood, energy and health. Whatever you’re thinking about, your body responds accordingly.  

What would it feel like to feed your mind sacred super-thoughts? Thoughts that inspire, empower and liberate? 

This doesn’t mean controlling every thought (that’s not possible) or being happy twenty four seven. It’s a call to become discerning about what you choose to ingest on every level. What you take in and believe about yourself, where you choose to dwell internally, and what you give your power to. 

Ultimately, you are so much more than your thoughts and feelings and bodily sensations. You are a free and sovereign soul, here to be and bring forth what only you can bring. Your body is a temple. Your mind is part of that temple. Be intentional about your interior design. Is your mind-body space a hot mess, full of clutter and accumulated junk you’ve outgrown, or is it a beautiful sanctuary, full of presence and love, a clear center from which to consciously create?

Remember, you are the author of your life. You can choose your own adventure. Respect this gift of life you’ve been given enough to meet it with reverence. Feed yourself a regular diet of sacred, delicious super thoughts. Take loving care of your mind-body, nourish your natural soul, and savor all the flavors of experience along the way. 

Chantal Russell