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Friday, February 14, 2014

A Love Letter to My Body

What if on this Valentines Day, in addition to loving the special people in your life, you also took the time to love yourself,  specifically Your Body?


Our bodies are magic; they grow, they heal, they create other human beings, they bend over backwards!  How come we continue to insult them and insist they need to change or improve somehow?  What would happen if we stopped all that?...if we chose to love our precious forms, not with longer legs or smaller hips, but exactly as they are.  Imagine the freedom in that!


  Over the years, I've insulted my body a lot, putting it down for not having slimmer thighs or a tighter belly.  I've obsessed over my food intake and guilt-tripped myself.  Today, I'm food obsessed in the sense that I love it;  healthy food excites me; I make it, I eat it, it nourishes me... simple as that.

Getting older is the new challenge.  I know, I know... I'm not old, but how I feel at 28 is very different than the way I did at 22.  If I don't get eight hours of sleep at night, it shows in my face the next day; I spend almost every night after work in a hot tub with epsom salt, and eye creams and SPF are big concerns for me now.  To love our bodies as they change with time requires acceptance and grace.  Yogis do not calculate age by the number of years a person has lived or by the wrinkles on his/her face; rather, age is determined by the flexibility and suppleness of one's spine.  If you can easily bend down and put on your socks,  you're still young.



This year, my body is my valentine, and I'm writing it a love letter!
Here it goes...

Dear Body,

It's hard to believe we've been together 28 years.  I know I don't say it enough, or ever, but I really do love you, and I think you're amazing.  I never got around to apologizing for the times I mistreated you, and there's no time like the present I guess.  I'm sorry that I smoked in high school, and I'm even more sorry for the time I took you into an airport smoking lounge.  That was so gross, and I'm sorry.  I'm sorry that I pierced your navel with a safety pin in the eighth grade.  That was a dick move, and I totally deserve that scar.   I'm also sorry for that year in college I made you do Atkins.  That was super uncool of me, and it'll never happen again.  I really appreciate everything you do for me; and since it's Valentines Day and all,  I thought I would share my heartfelt feelings about some of your uniquely special parts:

I love you right breast even though your counterpart is a little plumper.

I  love you tummy pooch.  I know I've gotten down on you before, but all said, I think you're freakin adorable.

I love you long skinny toes because I can pick pens and tissues up off the floor with you and because you look like E.T.'s fingers, and that's just plain cool.

I love you lower back.  Without your sensitivity, I wouldn't have gotten stronger in my abdominals or discovered the hot stone massage.

I love you tattoo removal scar, the remnants of a cherry blossom that I thought was cool for exactly one year. You make me happy everyday that I'm no longer eighteen.

I love you hips.  One day I will learn to dress you properly and together we will look like we just stepped off the set of Mad Men or The Kardashians.

I love you left hamstring.  Even though it's six months later, and you still have not completely healed, you've pushed me to practice with a new level of awareness, and I will be a better teacher for it.

I love you hair.  Even on days when I'm feeling meh, you never let me down.  (which leads me to thank You, Mr. Moroccan Oil)

I love you ample bottom. I think you helped me snag my husband.

Forever Grateful,

Jessica


Now it's your turn :)

Here are some Yogic Ideas to help you Feel Beautiful and Love Your Body:

1.) Smile!! As a teacher, I observe a lot of serious faces and furrowed brows in yoga class.  When you sit down on your mat, bring a lightness to your face, slightly turn up the corners of your mouth, and keep this soft hint of a smile as you move through your entire practice...including savasana! You will feel radiant and will enjoy your practice even more!  For those poses that are extra challenging for you, smile bigger!  Carry this glowing face with you into the rest of your day.

2.) Respect Your Limitations!  If your nursing an injury, are newer to yoga, or just feeling a bit tight that day, practice in a way that honors your body's current state.  No one feels beautiful when they are suffering through a pose and it surely isn't a way to show your body any love.  Grab a block, open your heart, and enjoy yourself!

3.) At the end of your practice, thank your body for everything it allowed you to do.  It really is a work of art.


Namaste.

2 comments :

  1. I love this, Jess!!! My we learn to love all of ourselves and the world around us!

    ReplyDelete
  2. So true and uplifting :) love it!

    ReplyDelete