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20 Reasons To Be In Your Body

20 Reasons To Be In Your Body

For years, people have been accusing me of not being in my body (read about it here). I used to have no idea what that meant. I mean, of course Iím in my body, right? I have a body – and Iím alive. So by every medical and spiritual definition I could imagine, Iím in my body.

Yet, my mentors kept telling me Iím not – not just Tricia Barrett, my dear friend and spiritual counselor, but†Debbie Rosas, the founder of Nia dance.† When Debbie and I were talking awhile back, she said, ďLissa, I know youíve done a lot of personal growth in the past few years, but I feel like embodiment is the missing piece.Ē And she invited me to come train with her at her†Nia White Belt Intensive in Portland. Since Debbie is the most grounded, solid, rooted, sensual woman I know, I decided that I wanted some of what she was having – so I said yes. And WHOA, NELLY! Debbie was right. I havenít been in my body.

What Do I Mean By “Be In Your Body?”

Iím pretty much a walking cerebrum. I identify primarily with my mind, so much so that when I showed up for my Nia training, I couldnít feel a body part in space unless it was hurting. Like when Debbie asked me how my arm felt, I was speechless. If I touched it – or if it touched the floor, for example, I could feel it. But a body part floating in space? I was completely numb.

After only three days into the training, I couldn’t believe how much sensation was awakened in me. Like WOW! I could feel my nose. I could feel my hips. I could feel my belly button. I could feel my pinkie finger – and none of those body parts were in pain. When I woke up in the morning, instead of noticing the racing thoughts in my mind first thing, I actually noticed the slippery, soft, sensual sensation of the sheets on my bare skin.

Holy sheet! This is revolutionary for me. I donít think Iíve ever really felt my sheets before.

So what does this mean? What do you get if you make the journey out of your mind and into your body? Hereís a list Nia founder Debbie Rosas and I wrote together.

20 Reasons To Be In Your Body

Being in your body:

  • Increases pleasure. If your body is numb – and you donít reside within it, you canít enjoy pleasure. How intense can an orgasm be if I barely feel it? How much pleasure can I receive from the soft touch of someone who loves me on my arm, if Iím not even aware of my arm?
  • Ramps up your vitality. When you feel more sensation, you feel more alive. Yes, you notice the little aches and pains of the body more, but this also translates into feeling loads of intense joy.
  • Helps you tweak whatís not working. When youíre living in your body, you notice the subtle messages your body sends you. When you hear them – even as soft whispers, you can tweak your body movement – or even something bigger in your life – like ending a relationship that isnít working or saying no to a job you donít want to do.
  • Keeps your body safe. When youíre not in your body, you might overdo it. You might ignore the first warning signs of disease. Pain is meant to protect you from danger. Feeling pain is good because it can keep you safe if you listen to the signals and ďtweakĒ your movement, posture, or life circumstances in reaction to the pain.
  • Is the first step to self-healing. The body is the first thing to get knocked out of balance if your whole health (which includes your relationships, your work/life purpose, how you express yourself creatively, your sexuality, your environment, your financial situation, your spirituality, and your mental health) is out of whack. If youíre not aware of the sensations of your body, you canít self-correct and begin the process of healing yourself.
  • Cultivates a deeper emotional connection. This allows emotions to be experienced, embodied, and quickly released, increasing emotional agility and fostering the ability to quickly let go of negative emotions and fully enjoy positive emotions.
  • Helps you make conscious choices. When you feel undecided, get in your body. The body will tell you what to do.
  • Keeps you more grounded. You wonít feel chaotic, spinny, buzzy, or floaty the way you might when youíre in your head.
  • Helps you sleep. When you tap into body sensation, you can help turn off the mind.
  • ROCKS your sex life. Itís much more fun to get it on when youíre actually in your body.
  • Helps you be in relationship with yourself and others. When your body is in relationship with someone elseís body, youíre communicating on a whole different level.
  • Guides you in being able to read other peopleís bodies. Thereís a conversation going on without words. Youíll get a better sense of who that person really is, how theyíre feeling, and what you need to know about that person.
  • Helps you feel the sensuality of the world. When youíre in your body, youíll feel things deeper, smell things more vibrantly, taste things more fully, hear things on a whole new level, and touch with more sensitivity.
  • Helps you dance through life. When you feel more sensation, you tap into the joy of even subtle movements of the body. Every aspect of your life can become a dance.
  • Helps you lose weight. When youíre paying attention to sensation, your food is more enjoyable, youíll notice when your belly feels full, youíll appreciate the yumminess of your body, and youíll probably eat less and lose weight.
  • Helps you see life as art. When you enliven sensation, you see the world with fresh eyes that can turn even the most mundane thing into art.
  • Improves confidence and sex appeal. When you live in your skin, you canít help but shake your hips, throw back your shoulders, and step into your sexy greatness.
  • Awakens intuition. When you feel your body, youíre more able to tap into gut sensations and other somatic feelings that will help guide your path.
  • Helps you reclaim your personal power. Youíll feel the visceral sensation of your power right in your belly, and you can use that feeling to stop giving your power away and bring it back into your body.
  • Helps you create stronger boundaries. Youíll learn to be able to recognize the difference between your body and someone elseís body so you can erect personal boundaries that increase your capacity for love and empathy, while also protecting you from energy vampires who long to suck you dry.

Do you want some of that, love? Stay tuned for Part 2 of How To Be In Your Body, wherein I’ll give you some tips for actually being there!

Somatically yours,


Lissa Rankin, MD: Founder of†,†Pink Medicine Revolutionary,†motivational speaker, and author of†Whatís Up Down There? Questions Youíd Only Ask Your Gynecologist If She Was Your Best Friend and Encaustic Art: The Complete Guide To Creating Fine Art With Wax.

Learn more about†Lissa Rankin here.

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Lissa Rankin

Lissa Rankin, MD is a mind-body medicine physician, founder of the†Whole Health Medicine Institute training program for physicians and other health care providers, and the New York Times bestselling author of†Mind Over Medicine: Scientific Proof That You Can Heal Yourself.† She is on a grassroots mission to heal health care, while empowering you to heal yourself.† Lissa blogs at† and also created two online communities -† and† She is also the author of two other books, a professional artist, an amateur ski bum, and an avid hiker. Lissa lives in the San Francisco Bay area with her husband and daughter.


+ add your own
12:30AM PDT on Jul 20, 2012

I have to say, it's not the best advice for people with health anxiety, who are already hyper-aware of everything going on in their body, and turning it off is the right (and difficult) thing to do.

5:37AM PDT on Jul 18, 2012

Wow, great article! Thank you. I can't wait for part 2...! :)

1:26PM PDT on Jun 1, 2012


2:12PM PDT on Apr 18, 2012

Wow, I love this article.

2:48PM PDT on Apr 11, 2012

I enjoyed your article, Lissa, and look forward to reading part 2. Thanks!

11:52AM PDT on Apr 8, 2012


1:30PM PDT on Apr 7, 2012

I am fine with this - what I have been waiting (for years and years) is part 2.
Please hurry with it.

6:06PM PDT on Apr 6, 2012

great article, thanks.

4:28AM PDT on Apr 6, 2012

Sounds simple, but wow...thanks for the article.

12:16AM PDT on Apr 6, 2012

Thank you.......I'm lucky I guess-
I know & feel my body well! :)

add your comment

Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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