Forget Hate, Instead Appreciate

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Uggh, why is it our natural instinct as humans (and especially women) to be so constantly deprecating in the way we describe and think about our bodies? In the months leading up to this training, I was overwhelmed with anxiety about being fit enough, strong enough, and thin enough to hold my own in this group of yogis. I spent a lot of mental energy that, quite frankly I couldn’t afford, into worrying about this. And did it help me get thinner?? Absolutely not. But I was getting stronger. After a zillion arm balances and push-ups at my yoga studio, I finally had actual biceps. However, the scale was not moving. I was practicing yoga nearly every day, running 3-4 miles a few times a week and feeling really quite healthy, but I still wasn’t satisfied. Sometimes I think back to my 20s and I wonder how many hours I have actually spent worrying about this nonsense. It’s absurd. I could have written ten books in the time I’ve spent obsessing about my tummy.

Fast forward to my first day of training here in Santorini. As our instructors took us through our first day of the Ashtanga primary series, I looked around in utter amazement. The things these women could do with their bodies! Women of all different shapes with varying levels of yoga experience and all of them just so amazingly beautiful in their movement. At mealtime we would sit around complimenting each other on our mastery of different postures – a tableful of conversations involving, “Oh, I wish I had your core strength,” or “Your headstand is so good!,” or “I wish I could get into that arm balance.” Always followed by some self-deprecating remark about our own abilities.

Then the other day my roommates and I decided enough is enough. How absurd is it that this group of 23 beautiful, strong women are constantly putting ourselves down? What is there to criticize really? Our bodies are truly remarkable. They have carried us through 14 days of demanding, day-long yoga practices. They have allowed us to balance upside down, carry the weight of our bodies on a single arm, and sustain countless chaturangas. Who are we to complain about these bodies and their petty imperfections?

I’ve seen the human body perform some pretty incredible acts. I watched my husband’s body transform from a comatose state, to semi-paralysis, to walking with a cane, to carrying our son a mile to school in the cold winter. The healing  and the strength  our bodies are capable of are absolute miracles. And yet we send them so much negativity.

So, I have made a commitment to bring more awareness to my inner dialogue as well as to the comments I make aloud about myself. This body has done so much for me in the past nearly 32 years, it’s time to start showing it some gratitude. Our bodies are awesome creations. And our health is the most valuable gift we have. We should enjoy it while we have it, give thanks for our strength and infinite potential, and make sure we allow ourselves necessary healing. Gratitude to self is just as important as gratitude to others.


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Parsva bakasana (side crow) on a mountain. Yoga fun at 7AM!

5 thoughts on “Forget Hate, Instead Appreciate

  1. I really believe the only way to stay healthy is to eat properly, get your rest and exercise. If you don’t exercise and do the other two, I still don’t think it’s going to help you that much.

    Like

  2. I discovered this is a insightful and gratifying post also often. Great info. Lucky me I just found your site by chance .

    Like

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