Loving My Body


Wow. I just watched this incredible video where 100 women were interviewed and asked to describe their bodies in one word. The answers are alarming. “Disgusting” was a common response. Wow. Why do so many of us still loathe ourselves? How did we come to be at such odds with our own bodies?

It’s as if collectively we’ve forgotten how amazing we all are, mistaking a priceless gift for it’s packaging. We’ve forgotten our connection to the One Big Love, our sameness, misinformed instead by a society and education system that loves to measure and differentiate.

So I’m asking myself, do I still do this? Do I still, even in subtle ways, still denigrate my body or wish it were otherwise?

Because as Yoga teachers it’s not so much about what we say but what we do. Like parents, we can talk all we like, but what really speaks are our actions.

Years ago I probably wished I were thinner, God forbid. But now, a decade or more on, I’d be really happy to get a few of those kilos back. I’ve never eaten more butter and cheese in my entire life but still I remain quite lean. Maybe it’s all the Yoga I’ve done, the travel… I don’t know. I’m certainly working on juicing up a bit but nothing much is happening.

Of more interest here than a kilo or two, is the insidious and persistent belief that so many of us still carry that if we could just be a little bit more like this, or a little bit more like that, then we’d be happier.

There’s a pretty good chance that if I do put on weight that it won’t go where I want it to go anyway!

My beloved friend Rose, now 67, showed me some photos of she and her boyfriend at about age 25 in Goa, all long hair, flowing cottons, and Rajasthani skirts. “Look how gorgeous we were, oh my God” she said, “if only I’d realised it then”.

Can you see how ridiculous this is? Can you see how we set ourselves up to never, ever be happy!?

[Editors note: in case you misunderstood, I’m not saying that Rose is ridiculous, far from it, Rose is smart and funny and wise enough to see the madness of her skewed perceptions.]

Please watch the video I posted because what it highlights SOOOO beautifully is the issue of non-acceptance, especially as women and especially about our bodies – our inability to just love and embrace ourselves AS WE ARE.

The pursuit of perfection is endless. Nobody ever gets there.

So can we all please just stop it?! Can we please support each other to relax and to heal? Because sometimes, of course, we meet our edges. We discover things that are really, really hard to accept and love.

But this is the journey. More than the times when everything’s going swimmingly and we’re feeling tippy-top. This is the real Yoga. To patiently, persistently, lovingly, and courageously seek and release all these old beliefs that suggest we need to be somebody else.

For me, today, this means loving my leanness. Loving the angles. It also means listening very closely, closer than usual, for the wisdom of my body to guide me towards what nourishes it.

And you know what, I think it’s asking me to go back to bed. Hang on… yep, yes, I’m pretty sure. There’s something quite exhausted in here, that’s really longing to rest. And no, not meditate, sleep. Aaah yes. Yes. I hear you. I feel you. It’s Saturday morning here, and in a radical act of self-loving, I’m going back to bed.

Om Namo Narayani

I love you xx