The phrase “my body is my temple” is often said in a rather tongue in cheek way to make light of the fact that you are looking after yourself.
I recently read a short article on the importance of looking after your body because it is where your spirit lives.
It started me thinking about the relationship between the body and the spirit and the importance of being mindful of your spiritual health as well as your physical health.
For some people all that matters is being fit and healthy physically and they do not think about their spiritual health. For others they concentrate mainly on their spiritual health without thinking too much about their physical wellbeing.
A human being is a spirit and a physical body and it is very important to concentrate on both and give both the attention they need.
Your spiritual needs are just as important as your physical needs and your physical needs are just as important as your spiritual needs. You need to tend to both to be in optimal health.
In ancient times mystics would take to the hills to live alone and spending days fasting and practicing prayer and meditation. They were considered to be highly spiritual beings having to remove themselves to gain a better understanding of life.
They were healing their physical bodies through fasting and eating a simple diet which they would have gathered locally. They were also healing their spirit through silence, prayer and meditation.
Living in the modern world silence, prayer and meditation is often difficult to achieve and may not be something you feel inclined to do.
On the physical side, some people try to do the recommended 10,000 steps or the 5 hours in the gym but even this is done with a sense of duty or under pressure so that the benefit to the body is often offset by the stress it can cause.
What is needed is a balanced way of attending to the physical and spiritual that is enjoyable and beneficial.
A human being can survive for a few days without food or water but only a matter of minutes without breath. Breathing exercises are used in Yoga as a way to connect to the life force.
Taking notice of your breathing is a very easy way to connect with your spirituality. Five minutes in the day spent sitting quietly noticing your breath entering and leaving your body is a spiritual practice that can make a huge difference to your wellbeing. And if you can manage fifteen minutes, that would be even better.
Finding a diet and exercise regime that works for you is also a spiritual practice. Exercising, eating mindfully and taking into account what works for you is important.
It is all about you. Your body is your temple because it is where your spirit lives. Looking after the temple can be combined with looking after the spirit.
By Cressida Landless
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