Why are our senses so important?

They inform our actions! Our sensory-motor cortex in the brain is responsible for our physical action. We take in information with our senses, consciously and unconsciously, then we “motor” and move! Our muscular skeletal system operates mostly under our voluntary control. However, if we are constantly triggered into a state of threat (physical or mental-emotional), our system can create habitual muscular tension. We are always surveying whether we are ‘safe at play’ or in harm’s way. Our senses are the visceral gateway to living and thriving!

Most of us are familiar with the five primary senses, but how about these…

Exteroception – Using senses to become aware of what is outside of us

Proprioception – Using touch or contact to know where we are in space

Interoception – Using senses to become aware of what is inside of us

Nociception – detection of painful stimuli, where pain refers to the subjective experience of actual or impending harm

Neuroception – describes how neural circuits distinguish whether situations or people are safe, dangerous, or life threatening

Dysregulation of these -ceptions can occur when there is injury, illness, chronic pain, or habitual misuse of the senses. And here’s where Yoga practice can help! Self-regulation at its core is taking time to learn and understand your system, so that you can favor it being ‘in sync’ and regulated with the present moment. Neuroception, the way your mind is wired, can be changed. Hence the term, Neuroplasticity, the ability of the brain to form and reorganize synaptic connections, especially in response to learning or experience or following injury. Slowing down in a safe environment and being intentional with mind-body practices can positively increase proprioception and interoception, so that nociception decreases!

Building a coherent mind-body connection, and developing your skill of interoception helps you take care of yourself well from the inside out. Incorporate a consistent practice that ‘checks in’ with your system. This could be several minutes of mindfulness, breath-focus, meditation, yoga, and other body-based practices. When we do these practices without force, we can see ourselves more truthfully and can do the next right action in tune with our goals.

Invite in a personal practice that leverages the innate wisdom of your body and senses, and harnesses the positive affirming power of your mind. It can really transform your senses!

Join me for deeper dive into this practice.

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Alison Zuba
Experienced Registered Yoga Teacher (E-RYT)
Certified Yoga Therapist (C-IAYT)
*be the light that lives deep inside you* 

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