“I hate my body.”
It came out of their mouth with such an ease you could tell it was more than just words. It was an inner mantra that ran through each cell of their being and it froze me to the spot I was standing in and at the same time struck my heart with such an aching sadness that I instantly wanted to wrap them in a huge hug. The scene was all of one minute long and yet it held the weight of a lifetime of the words, “Not good enough.”
“Well, let’s get in the hot room and try and turn that around for you,” I replied with a smile.
I hear these words all of the time. It’s part of the job description when you take on the role of Yoga Teacher. “I hate my body,” comes out as a flippant admission that qualifies our body’s looks to those around us and at the same time is closer to the truth than the person speaking them would like to admit.
I know I am sensitive to these words because I lived and breathed them for most of my life – that is, until I found yoga. When I heard these words this week fall out of a student’s mouth in its jumble of truth and sadness I realized how far I had come in my own journey. I couldn’t in a chummy way say, “Ah, we all feel that way,” or “Who doesn’t?” with a wink and smile.
There are days of doubt. There are days I wish I looked better in my side string shorts than I do. But I know that these are just moments or echoes of my earlier life. I notice these thoughts and decide to create something better for myself by thinking something more positive – about my body, about my practice, about my life.
Most of us have no reason to hate our body. It is fully functioning and for the most part, healthy. Everything is in working order, but for some reason we’ve latched on to the idea that our body is less than the miracle it was when we were a baby. How often have you looked at a newborn baby and sighed, “What a little miracle!” Can I ask you – why are you less than miracle now?
Your body is the greatest gift you will ever get. And even if you hate it, it’s still going to take care of you – your heart will still beat, your lungs will still breathe. That in itself is pretty amazing.
We all dislike parts of our Self. It might be our body. It might be our choices. It might be our relationships. But we also have the power to flip the script on the things we dislike. And the best way to flip the script is to truly take the time to get to know your Self.
Yoga can be the vehicle that will get you there. Meditation also helps. A great coach or therapist are super cool, too. There are many paths up the mountain, just pick a path. Let it be a path that lights you up. A path that has you looking back at your Self in the mirror and saying, “Looking good,” or “Hey, gorgeous!” Your body will thank you for the compliment with a health, wellness, and peace that most never get a chance to experience. You’ve tried the other way of living. It’s time for something else. It’s time to embrace You and the miracle you are and always have been.
Originally posted to viewsfromthepodium.com on February 13, 2019