I remember in my twenties how badly I wanted to be thin. It didn’t matter how I got there, just that I was a size 2 or less. My mind had been indoctrinated in thinking that “thin was beautiful.” Taming my body was a constant struggle. I hated and resisted my body.
It became about dieting, over-exercising, or feeling worried about what I was eating. Not to mention, I had always felt a little uncomfortable in my physical body. During that time I had bad back pain so I started yoga. That felt like such an awkward practice for me, but I kept with it.
But even during yoga, I pushed my body beyond it’s limits. Applying too much exertion, I ended up hurting myself with a spinal injury during a hot yoga class. Even in meditation, I forced my body to sit for long periods of time no matter how painful it was. It only added to the aggravation and compression in my spine!
In spiritual practices, we’re taught to control, deny, and even transcend the body and its desires. It’s as though our body is an obstacle to the path. “You are more than your body,” we’re told.
We’re taught not to trust our body’s impulses or desires. We learn to suppress what we feel. This only separates us from our body and it’s true potential.
What if your body was part of THE PATH to enlightenment?
It wasn’t until I left all forms of yoga and meditation, did I finally wake-up and start appreciating my body as it is. Learning the simple practice of relaxation helped me to get in deeper connection with my physical body. I began to realize how much wisdom my body contained and how it could heal on it’s own – if I let it.
When I stopped pushing against my body, it started to relax. It gave me more information. I could hear the messages that flowed through my body. That’s when I felt more comfortable inside my skin and understood the importance of embodiment. More than just an intellectual understanding of spiritual concepts, we need to embody them and live them in our everyday life.
My body came into balance by itself. I stopped striving and dieting. It was effortless to maintain a healthy body weight. By paying to my body, I became much more self-aware and connected.
Our bodies are beautiful divine instruments. They reflect our consciousness. They are the vehicle through which we create. When we take time to actively listen and love our body and accept it the way it is, it receives nourishment and energy. Our body can serve us, especially if we listen.
If you want to go further in any aspect of your life, it’s important to have compassion and love for your own body. Do you have body hate or shame? Perhaps you’re not comfortable in your body and that’s OK.
I invite you to listen to this talk on youtube about why the body is important in developing yourself and your meditation practice.
If anything, I hope this message inspires you to love, cherish and honor your body. It will decay, it will die, but for now, it’s yours.