With yoga you frequently hear mantras like "tune in" or "find your center" or "find your balance." These sayings are splashed on websites and business cards, and sometimes they're even pasted on studio walls in fancy cut decals. And while they can come across as spiritual kitsch, there is a kernel of truth to their sentiments.
It's hard to describe the exact feeling of "tuning in," but it's a simple metaphor: the idea of tuning into a radio station using an old radio dial. You may not even remember those contraptions. Analog radio receivers with a dial are a vague memory of my childhood, but you start with static and spin the dial until you come into range of a radio station at a certain frequency (well, frequency for FM; amplitude for AM if you're nerdy and precise about your science like I am). Once you're in range of the channel, you fine tune it to find the cleanest, crispest audio. Some days you're better at finding the channel, and some days you battle interference from external things - buildings or other obstacles - and you just can't get the clear signal you're used to. It's simply a matter of the conditions. Our bodies are a lot like this. Some days we just can't get our minds off a looming deadline, while other days we easily slip into ourselves and our awareness.
Nowadays we just press a button and our radios automatically find the signal, or we don't bother with AM or FM radio at all and we just stream noise through our computers or phones. It's a wonderful convenience, but unfortunately our bodies aren't like that. We require time and patience. We can improve the "tuning in" process by practicing. The more frequently we tune in, the more we know what it takes to find that sweet center and we can find it faster. And when we find that sweet center, we can really become aware of ourselves and our needs. We can't expect instant gratification with this, but we can eventually find a deep gratification. So let's slow down a little, tune in, and see what we find.