We are all born with fantastic intuition. As we grow older and more trained by the world, we become increasingly rational and logical. This transformation from soft, intuitive beings to solid, analytical ones is highly adaptive for the world in which we live. In order to achieve our society’s measure of success, there seems to be a collective agreement that we must deny some aspects of our natural, instinctive selves. Yet when we cultivate only the intellect and repeatedly deny or dishonour our deepest feelings, a sense of low level anxiety and dissatisfaction develops. Something within us knows we have taken a wrong turn.
Luckily, all is not lost. Just as we can strengthen a muscle that has atrophied, it is possible to dust off the cobwebs from our intuitive selves. The practice of yoga is tremendously helpful for reconnecting with the innate wisdom we all possess and also for realising our connection with the collective wisdom that is available just beyond the rational mind. Through the practice of yoga, we learn to go inside, to become sensitive to what our bodies are doing and along the way, we regain a sense of ourselves that is lost when we live largely in our heads. We begin to wake up and start living from a whole new paradigm.
Here’s a caveat though – we can’t “make” this happen. We can’t muscle our way into it, we can’t will it to happen, we can’t buy it. We can however, cultivate the conditions that allow our natural intuition to shine forth. The regular practice of yoga impacts our entire being – from the gross physical body, to our breath and our mind, all the way to the subtlest levels of intuition and spirit. By showing up for ourselves on the mat, by breathing and paying attention to our experience we start to clear the channels of debris that has clouded our ability to receive the messages being given to us by our intuition.
I am extremely fortunate. For the vast majority of my early life, having a finely tuned intuitive awareness was as adaptive for my life situation as having a sharp intellect is for most people. I lived in an environment where there was constant emotional upheaval. Because that was the case from the time I was very young, my innate intuition was still fully functional when I really needed it. Without realising I was doing anything unusual, I learned to read people and situations with exquisite precision in the blink of an eye, quite often with little concrete evidence as to why I knew what I knew. This skill meant I had advance warning for when I needed to find safety from the storm that was brewing…or to ready my defences if I had to.
Once I left home after University, I no longer needed to be as sensitive to my internal cues as I had been throughout my childhood. In addition, I joined the corporate world where sensitivity can be more detrimental than advantageous. Over time, I became indoctrinated into our culture more fully and my intuition took a backseat. As the years went by though, I felt increasingly disillusioned and disconnected. It took getting on a yoga mat to help me find my way back to my natural intuition and to begin to heal my relationship to it.
When I started practicing yoga, gradually, over time, I found I was able to soften and become receptive again. I re-developed the capacity to pick up on increasingly subtle cues from my intuition. As my intuition strengthened, I found it was important to trust it in order for my sensitivity to increase. By honouring my instincts I began to develop a self reliance that allows me to stay soft and receptive to the world, which in turns helps my instincts to remain sharp.
These days, I find when my practice is suffering, so too will my intuition. When I don’t take the time to allow the subtle channels of my being to be cleansed and refreshed on the mat, it becomes easier to dishonour my gut feelings. This disregard for my instincts has led me to make some remarkably bad choices. Ironically enough, the outcome of being deadened to my intuition creates situations where I feel the need to create a self-protective shell, which in turn makes it harder to be receptive to my intuition’s subtle whispers. So then I start over again, re-honouring myself by practicing and listening. Lo and behold, my innate abilities re-emerge, grateful for the opportunity to shine forth again.
Yoga helps us reconnect with our innate intuitive abilities by clearing us out energetically and by making us more receptive. In order to keep our intuition running strong though, we must honour it. The next time your intuition speaks softly to you, I encourage you to listen to it. Over time, you will begin to develop a trust in yourself and your intuition will no longer whisper – it will speak very clearly and often. And to keep that skill sharp, get on your mat at home or come to a class with me!
~article by Kelly Fisher