301: Loving the Skin you are In

I’m keeping the whole yoga practice up while in Brunei but it’s taken on a different flavour. Being overseas and still doing yoga is a commitment. Today I did yoga in my cobbled together outfit in a tight space.

Somehow it wasn’t as beautiful.

Without the reassuring tightness of the latest yoga apparel things just started to become apparent. The thighs got me first.

In plough pose I couldn’t concentrate. What the hell were the tops of my thighs doing? They had left the bone and were coming right at me. Hold on a minute, I didn’t order that. My body was suddenly a landscape of erosion and ravines, my slow time-lapse of a life had suddenly sped up and condensed my shell into soft mutinous tissue.

Those of you that know me will say, oh you are in good shape, you have nothing to worry about. But it happens to us all, on our own scale of self-depreciation. We spend a lot of our life wanting people to love us on the outside, while we are disparaging on the inside. We find the bumps and knots, the bits that clunk and don’t work so well. We seek out the fat, the lines, the age and magnify it all until we suddenly feel unworthy of our own bodies. We compare and prod, jump on scales and running machines and if all else fails we jump on the Botox train to self improvement. Somewhere long the line we just fell off the rails of loving the skin we are in.

Your body is definitely a temple and please give it the respect it deserves. Feed and water it well and get some exercise. However wasting too much time on your shell is futile.

I love the words of Kabir a sufi mystic poet.

kabir das

He says,

within this clay jug ( your body)

there are canyons and pine mountains

and the maker of canyons and pine mountains!

All seven oceans are inside and hundreds of millions of stars.

The acid that tests gold is there,
and the one who judges jewels.
And the music from the strings that no one touches,
and the source of all water.

Practice for today: If you feel you judge yourself and your body, that your appearance or how your body is behaving is more important than what is on the inside consider this. Within you is the maker of canyons and pine mountains and the source of music and life and energy.

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