1. Your relationship with your body
There are very few of us who can, without a shadow of hesitation, say: ‘I love my body and wouldn’t change anything about it. It’s perfect as it is.’ Being able to say something like that would be so freeing! No more diets, no more scrambling to find the right outfit because nothing looks good, no more restrictions on where and what we eat, no more poking and prodding ourselves to look and feel better. How much energy do you expend on a daily basis, just trying to do things to yourself and your lifestyle to help you feel better about how you look?
Women spend (over an average lifespan of 67 years) 355 days counting calories and worrying about appearance – that is 21 minutes out of every day dedicated to thinking of diets alone. Those 21 minutes is not including the amount of time spent worrying about what to wear to hide less desirable areas on your body, feeling inferior looking at neighbours, colleagues, or worse yet, models in magazines!
Looking at the amount of time and energy expended one begins to wonder. Is this an obsession? Is this obsession the ‘illness’ of our generation? Do our poor body images border on self-hatred? What is this self-hatred, poor relationship and poor body image based on? Where do these ideas come from? Fair enough the media and ideal body image hype out there would influence most people, but what are the exact messages you have internalised? Do we even know what exactly those beliefs and messages that drive us to the measures we take to try to feel just a tiny little bit better in our bodies every day.
During your yoga practice you begin to become aware of your body in a whole different way. Seeing your body as something other than ‘weight’ and ‘shape’ is probably the biggest breakthrough you will ever make. Becoming aware of the miracle that your body is, how it functions and shows up for you every day, how it heals you/itself, allows you to do all the things you like to do, (despite the things you do to it or the negative feedback it constantly gets) and how it IS YOU – there from the beginning- there till the end – that really is when you unpack what your relationship with your body really is about. Your practice will highlight to you what comes up when you’re invited to connect with how your body is feeling. What goes through your mind when you’re encouraged to ‘listen to your body’ and respond to what your body needs. Do you even know how your body is feeling on any given day in any given moment? Do you know how to be kind to your body?
Yoga will show you up and put you on a different path where it’s no longer about being skinny, but about being healthy…no longer about being beautiful, but about being you.
Think of it this way….once you become free of the obsessions with weight and appearance you free up 355 days of your life to do things that you love.