287: What’s on Your Gravestone?

What do you want etched for all to see? She had very loose hamstrings? Well no one actually died of tight hamstrings but I think some of my students including myself will die getting there.

Our bodies are a simple machine. They respond to love and kindness, a bit of effort and lots of patience. How do you honestly treat your body? It’s quite possible you fall into one of the below groups;

I’m a three-toed  sloth; My body is a mess anyway so I may as well let it stay that way. Besides I have a million and one excuses as to why I don’t look or feel quite how I want to. I don’t find much joy in exercise, in fact I’d rather not move at all if possible. I wonder if I can get a parking space right outside the supermarket door?

I’m a machine; My body is super human, I spend all morning at the gym pumping weights, drink strange gook to fuel that, burst on through the pain barrier, fall into a crumpled heap at an injury when I can’t exercise. I take all the stairs, I am disdainful of people who don’t exercise. I am a shining example to all. Look at my temple it’s gold-plated and steely. I  have got to keep going.

For years I think I fell loosely into group number two. Both of these groups are forms of punishment to yourself. Mine was the more painful torturous group. Every day high-powered cardio, badly fueled, which would usually end in me feeling slightly angry at the end rather than relaxed. Sure I had loose hamstrings but I was slightly deranged and obsessive. I worried. How much exercise, how much food? It’s quite unpleasant.

As soon as we age the body sends signals to both groups either in the form of injury or disease.

sumoYoga teaches us to take the middle ground. The exercise is steady and comfortable. Yoga wards off disease and it keeps your muscles stacking properly. When I first started doing yoga I had Panic Button voice.’ Oh you really let yourself go now, you are going to be the love child of Mr Sumo and Blimp.

But I kept going with yoga and this is what I learnt.

You don’t need to be hard on your body to treat it well.

Years of mistreatment will catch up with you and you will get the body you deserve.

It doesn’t matter if you go hard one day or do nothing one day, just balance it out on another day.

Take time out to stretch and breathe everyday.

Practice for today: Take the middle ground when it comes to your body. If you fall into either of the groups assess where you can bring some balance to your health.

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