The Bliss of Setting Boundaries

When you don't tune in, it's easy to burn out. The secret? Listen to your body and honor your natural limits.

Setting boundaries is a vital component to living a healthy and well-balanced life. Too often we can stretch ourselves thin mentally, energetically, and physically. When we allow our boundaries to be undermined or overturned too often, our being can suffer. It can result in stress, disconnection, and exhaustion. The opportunity to exercise the power of setting boundaries offers itself up everywhere in life: work, school, friends, family, strangers, and yes, on the yoga mat. 

Tune Into Your Body's Natural Boundary Systems: Our physical body has its own barrier systems that are essential to optimum health and can serve as a barometer for setting limits. Here are just a few . . .

The Autonomic Nervous System (ANS):

Controls respiration and heart rate. It constantly scans our inner and outer environments to decide what's safe and when to sound the alarm. When it's out of balance, we can become vulnerable to pushing ourselves too far. Thus leading to potential injury, over excursion, or exhaustion. 

The Immune System:

When this system is out of balance, we can become ill often or suffer from the feelings of being "burnt-out". The immune system requires "down time". If this system begins to work on over time due to a lack of rest, similar to a car engine overheating, this can lead to the susceptibility of becoming ill. Closing your eyes in seated meditation for 10 to 15 minutes a day can instantly recharge you and give you the much needed time to pause and rest. 

The Enteric Nervous System (ENS):

Often called our "second brain", this system controls our digestion and immune response. When we get "a gut feeling", that is your emotional body telling you whether something feels right or wrong. If there is even a minor inclining that something doesn't feel right, you should tune in and step back.

If you're feeling burnt out, or just out of whack, LISTEN to these three systems; they speak to you often. If you need child's pose or an early savasana in your yoga practice, honor that. If you need alone time from loved ones, communicate that. If your cup is full at work, respect your limits. This is your one body, one mind, one health.