The Body-Emotion Connection

A raw, un-edited email I sent to my students, I was going to edit it for this blog, but the feeling is much better this way! Enjoy!

Hi Everyone,

Well, this couldn't have happened at a better time, than in preparation for this weekend's Emotive Movement workshop - I want to share with you an experience that I had/am having today with the body-emotion connection.

This morning, I was feeling very worried, tense and tired, even having slept like a baby for a good 7 hours...During Tai Chi this morning I felt energised - forgetting temporarily of the emotional turmoil that has been with me for the few days. But immediately as I stepped outside, reconnected with my emotions, the lethargy was back.  At Nia this morning, again that energised, positive awesomeness returned... and after... well...

So to give you a clearer picture this is the situation.  I have known for a while of a person close to me who was on a losing battle of bowel cancer and over the weekend after talking to her, we both knew it was getting worse.   Since Saturday, I have felt this body-emotion connection profoundly.  Having done nothing different with diet, exercise, sleep etc... I have felt mentally drained and foggy and physically, heavy-limbed and tired.

Today before class I found out that she was in her last hours, I was hustling to get to her in time this morning, booking the next flight available to get to her, but as it happens she passed away as I taught class in Raglan (fitting really, since she said to me that she wanted everyone to have a party when she died :))...

Now where is this going? This is not me trying to get some sympathy from you all - but an opportunity to share my own body-emotion experience. As I've gone through the day, I have let emotion sweep over me, at first, with no awareness.  Just pure clouded over grief. I ate chocolate - a lot!  And I delved into mindless watching of ted talks for a few hours!  But as the day has gone on, I decided to become aware.  The next few times, I felt my emotions rise I let them come and didn't try to block them with chocolate/youtube band-aids. I felt the bogging down, I sensed the weighted shoulders, the bowed head, the tight chest, shortness of breath and the narrowing in on myself. I felt the lethargy in my limbs, the instability on my feet and a sensation of having my head in the clouds (in not a good way!). After letting my emotions take their course, I took myself, from this place of awareness with a mission to play with this body-emotion connection.  Getting off the couch, I stood tall, feeling the ground beneath my feet, breathing deep, relaxing my body, rolling my neck, raising my eyes to look out not down... And although there is still sadness on the surface, I eventually started to ignite and feel the inner joy that is ever present and abundant.

Our emotions have a strong effect on our body feels and how we treat our body, and it is usually only those really intense emotions that make us aware. But even those emotions that aren't on the surface are held in our body.  Tension, tightness, chronic pain, fatigue, feelings of being de-motivated, restless... they are all symptomatic of negatively held emotions.  When we become aware of our body, or our emotion, or both, we can play with one or the other to bring a more balanced, loving and joyful self back into existence.  This is the body-emotion connection.

So if you would like to get a stronger sense of this connection and come to a more aware and joyful existence in and with your body, come and join us this Sunday in Raglan.  Details are here at   I think that I'm going to have a lot to share with you :)

Blessings and peace.