Photo by Monica Felix @

The shortest distance to the heart is through the body

Photo by Monica Felix @

Photo by Monica Felix @

Clients ask me all the time, how do you know which projects to focus on? How do you decide where to invest your time and energy?

My answer is simple: Listen to what wants to be written.

Just start something, and in those first few minutes of action, scan yourself to see which muscles and bones and systems feel tight, energized or relaxed. Notice your posture and your breathing and your pulse and your toes. Listen to what your body is telling you, and you’ll have no doubt whether or not to proceed with a particular course of action or project.

I know, for example, that my anxiety typically manifests in my abdomen. In fact, yesterday I started working a new project that I thought I was excited about, but within two minutes I felt pangs in my stomach. And so, I calmly switched gears and moved on to a different project, one that created relaxation in my body instead of tension.

This useful practice is something my yoga instructor calls a physical diagnostic. It’s check in with your body to see where you’re at, at this very moment.

Half moon pose, for example, is a diagnostic posture. It comes early on in the yoga series, allowing students and teachers to feel out anatomical inconsistencies and gauge where their practice is at, for today. Because every day the body is different.

And so, whether you’re sinking your toes into the yoga mat, or sinking your teeth into a new project, always listen for what wants to be written.

The shortest distance to the heart is through the body. Learn to achieve focus as a function of physicality.

What are your bones trying to tell you right now?

Scott Ginsberg is a writer, daily practitioner and workstudy volunteer at Bikram Yoga Park Slope.