Ruminating On Rumi

As you start to walk out on the way, the way appears.

~ M. Rumi

Friday, March 15, 2013

Befriending Your Body

Here we are.  Living in our physical home, the body.  Some of us, few, believe it is a temple.  Many of us, think prison. So we escape it by disassociation or by finding fault in our physical abode. 

Why is this so?   Perhaps because we believe in some false measurement of Big Fashion, Big Media and a culture that tells us beauty is on the outside. Created as a tool for objectifying the body, the arbitrary standards for physical beauty blind to true inner beauty. When we measure ourselves to these standards we cannot help but feel bad.  For those who may measure up, the struggle to maintain and the natural process of aging may also deny inner beauty. In 1991, in “The Beauty Myth”, Naomi Wolf wrote  “While we cannot directly affect the images [in media], we can drain them of their power. We can turn away from them and look directly at one another. We can lift ourselves and other women out of the myth.”

Also from “The Beauty Myth” “Is the beauty myth good to men? It hurts them by teaching them how to avoid loving women. It prevents men from actually seeing women. It does not, contrary to its own professed ideology, stimulate and gratify sexual longing. In suggesting a vision in place of a woman, it has a numbing effect, reducing all senses but the visual, and impairing even that.” 

We have been taught that this body is an enemy through conditionings, bad manners and poor behaviour.  Sadly, we believe it to be true.  Perhaps our body is uncomfortable to live in because of physical, emotional or mental trauma. We suffer from our experiences. Maybe our relationship with body has been severed because of sexualized violence. We cannot unthink the happenings that led us to this point. We can however change our perception of our body and its workings. 

Mindfulness practices such as meditation and yoga can help us reconnect with this body in this moment. As we befriend the body, we start to become curious about the mind/body/spirit connection. This curiousity is where healing begins.

As Kahlil Gibran wrote, “Beauty is not in the face; beauty is a light in the heart.”

Looking out of a body that we are connected to, on all levels, perhaps we can again gaze at the world with child-like wonder. Each moment wonder-filled, each moment an expression of the amazing and awesome privilege of having a body to awaken in. 

“To have a meaningful life, you have to use your body- you can’t experience anything without one- and so your body should be meaningful, too.” ~ Deepak Chopra 

~Wednesday, 1:30-2:30, join me at Ajna Yoga, 2185 Theatre Lane, in the Oak Bay Village for “Befriending The Body.” This yoga class will help to awaken your body/mind connection with mindful movement and breath work, while establishing a loving relationship with your body. Using the principles of Trauma-Sensitive Yoga, this class welcomes people living with anxiety, depression, grief, or those healing from trauma. 

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