Pernille Skall: The connection between body and mind

Meet body therapist, speaker and teacher Pernille Skall. Pernille works to create balance and understanding of the connection between body and mind. Read on to learn more about how you can practise self-love and let go of the past.

How would you define being in balance and how do you create it in your life?

For me, balance is about being able to let go of the fear of not being good enough, no matter what. It’s about freeing yourself, daring to set boundaries, daring to be rejected, daring to meet life with love, compassion and trust.

As a body therapist, I view the body and mind as an integrated whole that responds to both internal and external circumstances. What we think and feel has an immediate effect on our physical health, just as what is experienced in the body can also affect our mental state. For me, balance is about two main things: confirming life and being ready to believe in yourself 100 per cent.

Step 1 – Confirm life

The first step is to accept our childhood, both good and bad. In order to be in the moment, we must learn to let go of control of how things once were.

We can use our childhood to understand ourselves better, but to achieve balance in the present, we also have to let it go. Use love and gratitude to release yourself as a victim of the past. You have the ability to create the relationships you want in your life, and this in itself can be a huge step to realise. Such self-insight means that you must take responsibility for your own life.

Being in balance is not about achieving a specific goal, but rather to tune in with yourself on an ongoing basis and dare to act on your instinct. Am I doing the right thing? Am I holding myself back from doing what I dream about? Do I surround myself with people who give me good energy?

Step 2 – Believe in yourself

Before you can be something for others, you must create a strong bond with yourself. Become good at caring for yourself, both physically and mentally. It all starts with honesty! Living life as honestly as possible means living in accordance with who you are. We all have different dreams and personalities, so what is right for others is not necessarily right for you. Remember that.

I practise a lot in being grateful for myself, completely unconditionally. I do this by knowing that I have myself, that I support myself and that I am there for myself. Without judgement. What can stress many of us is when reality does not match our expectations. That's why I think we have to practise seeing life as it is. Life is simple. It is what it is.

Despite good intentions, we sometimes get caught up in the hustle and bustle of everyday life. How do you keep feeling peaceful and what do you do when you become unbalanced? 

Even though the hamster wheel continues to roll in my everyday life, I always prioritise my routines. My work is very much about giving, which is why it is extra important to find the balance between giving and receiving. I use yoga, breathing and meditation as tools to turn loving energy inwards. Yoga has the wonderful ability to create a feeling of presence with myself. This presence with my body makes it easier to sense how I am feeling and to give space to myself. Prioritising my needs is essential for creating inner peace.

Having said that, I’m still just a person who gets out of balance once in a while. Instead of complaining about being unbalanced, I accept the situation as it is and ask myself: What should I change and what do I need right now? Self-awareness is very important to me, and I find the answers in peace and quiet.

Self-love can be important in order to balance the relationship to oneself and others. But even if you have this awareness, it can still be difficult to practise this self-love.

How do you practice self-love?

To me, self-love is loving yourself unconditionally. Even though it may sound banal, through my work as a body therapist I find that there is a turning point when people feel they are worth loving. In self-esteem lies a self-respect that makes us think we are worth doing something for. We start to nourish ourselves with good food, move around and think more positively.

We have to live with ourselves throughout our lives, and in this way self-love becomes the essence. Only when we dare to embrace our own vulnerability can we love ourselves and find the key to a balanced life.

I practise self-love by taking time for myself. Without me-time, I would lose contact with my body and myself. I can easily find ways to indulge self-love on an outside level; get a massage, go to the spa, go for a run or spend time with people I love. I see these things as something that gives me well-being and 'spice' in my life, but the most important form of self-love for me exists on an inner level. Something as simple as taking a moment during the day when I focus on my breathing is one of the best ways to practise self-love if you ask me!

Breathing is available 24 hours a day, so try to focus your attention on it. Feel your breath deep inside. It may take a few breaths before the air can start flowing completely calmly. But when it does, it feels free, and precisely here in your own presence, you can feel in balance.

Do you have a self-love ritual you would like to share with us?

Every morning I sit down and create a space for myself. It takes about 15 minutes and I hope that you, dear reader, will try it for yourself.

  1. Light a candle. Sit or lie down comfortably.
  2. Place your hand on your heart and imagine breathing through your heart.
  3. Tell yourself: I love myself. You can even say it out loud. Feel the words land in you. Believe in them.
  4. Tune in to yourself: What emotions can I feel and what do I need today?
  5. Finish with gratitude. Try to find the very small things. I promise you that there is much more to be grateful for than you might think. Experience how something as simple as gratitude can be one of the most rewarding feelings that the rest of your day can build on.

Find more about Pernille Skall and her work with body therapy here: