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By Hilary Illick

Wouldn’t it be cool if you had an internal navigational system always at your disposal? A system that would readily send you signals about how you are feeling, what you need, what works for you, and what doesn’t?


Well, you already do! In fact, you live in one! Your body – temple of your spiritual self, home to your intellect and emotions – is your very own complex, internal navigational system. Your body tells you when to rest, when to move, how to move, when to nourish yourself (as well as what to eat and drink, and what not to eat and drink), how you feel, and what your response is to a given situation or person. It tells you what you need to know when you need to know it. All you have to do is pay attention. This sounds simple, and it is, but simple does not always equal easy.

Paying attention to your body’s signals requires vigilance, but it is worth the effort.

Tuning into the body can be a practical mainstay as well as a source of wonder and awe. One reason yoga is so popular in our culture today is that by yoking (joining) the mind and the body (yoga, meaning to yoke), we develop a deeper relationship with our spiritual self. If you think about the Quadrinity, the emotional self and the intellect can be all over the place – regretting the past, fearing the future, getting each other all whipped up in different directions – while the body and the spiritual self live in present time – the here and now. Being present to what’s going on in our body provides a direct channel to our spiritual self. Body and spiritual self are both here, right now, breathing in unison.


What is your body telling you right now? Take a moment to tune in. Where are you feeling sensations in your body? What are the sensations? Where in your body are you aware of temperature? Warmth? Coolness? How is your breathing? Deep? Shallow? And now, having engaged in this simple act of tuning into your physical body, do you notice an increased sense of presence?

body internal navigation systemWhat happens if you close your eyes and ask your body what it needs: What do you need, body? Take whatever answer comes. Your body might need movement, or rest; nourishment, or touch. Trust what your body tells you, and make an arrangement to meet that need.


And while you’re checking in with your body, why not take a moment to thank this resourceful, precious, hard-working, always-present aspect of your Quadrinity. Get specific. What do you appreciate about your body? To what important places or situations has it brought you recently?

And what signals has it been sending? Whether you’ve been heeding these signals or not, take a moment to appreciate your body for sending them. Has your body been struggling? Does it need your loving acknowledgement of that struggle? Try speaking aloud your appreciation, your compassion. Your body has ears – notice how it responds to hearing acknowledgement coming from its very own vocal cords.

Tuning in to the words, sensations, and feelings of your Quadrinity will help you align and ground into your full self – and keep your body happy, alive, and vibrant.

  • Michelle Russell


    10/18/19 at 4:06 PM

    Such a gift. ❤️

  • Sharon True


    10/14/19 at 8:35 AM

    Hello Hilary. I so appreciate this post! Even though I am a teacher of Somatics, helping people to tune into the body as it is experienced from within, too often I let my Intellectual self run away with me. Again and again, I rediscover the wonder and awe that comes from listening to the body. I like your point that the Body and Spirit both live in the Present. Thank you. Hilary!

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