Like most of us, I need to move around more. It seems like most of my friends are in some phase of the, “eat healthier, move more,” gig these days. As an anorexia survivor, my journey to the body is more cognitive than most of my friends’. In fact, I was looking for a funny yoga picture to serve a frontispiece of my post today, but I came across the one above and it seemed so fitting as to be a message from the Universe, so I picked it instead.
I’ve been doing yoga off and one for over a decade, a fact which I don’t talk about all that often because I don’t feel like I know what I’m doing yet, despite the time on the mat. I suppose that’s the journey of yoga, in the sense that it mimics Zen Buddhism – where the objective is to approach everything as a beginner, in the moment, and live each day in terms of what that day offers and not the past baggage that we bring with us.
Wow, deep thoughts for a Sunday, huh?
But I really do have a point, and it’s this: weight loss, healthy weight, or whatever one labels it is a journey, not a destination. I’ve been at goal weight several times, I’ve been a body builder, and I’m an anorexic. My relationship with my body is complex, not always healthy, and sometimes adversarial. But here’s what I’ve learned from yoga:
- It’s okay to just observe my body and my breath without trying to change or control it.
- Time spent on the mat is good, no matter if I’m “successful” at doing a pose or not.
- If I push too hard from some ego-driven desire to be better than the person on the next mat, or to show off for the teacher, I get injured.
- I must go at my own pace. I have tried to go at others’ pace and it’s either too slow or too fast, neither of which bring me peace.
- 05:00 is fricken’ early to get up and go to the gym. But on the days I do, I feel better during the rest of the day. I’m sure there’s some kind of lesson in that.
Am I talking about yoga, or life?
– E.E. Cummings
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