Good afternoon! I am struck by a quote I read today. “When one teaches, two learn.” This is feeling particularly poignant as I was approached by a new Yoga Therapy student, seeking weight loss via yoga, because she did not recognize herself in the mirror. This statement struck me like a ton of bricks! I began my weight loss journey back in August for this very reason. I couldn’t find myself in the matronly body I perceived that I was inhabiting. Yet, now, down 18.5 pounds, I look in the mirror and don’t entirely recognize this slender, narrow person either. Perhaps, looking outward for validation and definition is where I falter? I have secretly felt for so long that all would be well and right with the world if only I were thinner, more fit, stronger..never realizing that this statement implies that all is not well and right at this moment. All is not well and right with me? Me, who has the luxury of staying home and working when I want to, doing what I love? Me, who has been with my husband for 22 years and has yet to meet anyone I respect or love more? Me, with 3 smart, beautiful, diverse sons? Me, with a farm and animals and trees and pastures and a hot tub?
I have so much. How can I feel so unsatisfied?
I find my mind exploring this from two perspectives….
Firstly, I wonder why is so much of my identity wrapped up in thinness, in looking a certain way? In a sexual identity? Or lack thereof? Why am I unable to embody sexuality or sensuality in every pore no matter my size or age….in love with myself and able to share this openly, intimately with another? Instead I fall to the allure of dress up … submission or power … seduction or consummation … all things to distract me from the truth that it begins with me and my inability to love myself exactly as I am. And I won’t lie. Today, I don’t have a magic wand to make this go away, but I know that glaring at this truth begins a process of letting the veil fall away.
So, the second thing I know is that Yoga always leads me where I need to go. “When the student is ready, the teacher appears.” I have been walking through this flirtation with food disorder, identity questioning, intimacy craving, loneliness for deep friendship and I have not really turned to the yogic philosophy I teach. I have sat with the truths of my experience, but I have not been lead to go deeper. Today. I was reminded of the kleshas or afflictions. I actually found a workshop writeup that I taught called “What hinders you?” OK, Universe, I am ready…deep breath….
These kleshas are energy blocks, causes of suffering, knots of the heart. They are:
- Avidya- Ignorance. The root of all suffering. Lack of awareness of your true self. Forgetting your divinity.
- Asmita- Ego. You identify with your Ego. Your true self becomes lost, the mind becomes restless/dissatisfied.
- Ragas- Attachment. The ego forms attachment to things or circumstances believing these will bring you happiness. This external search for happiness rules your life.
- Dvesha- Aversion. Avoidance of anything that will bring pain or discomfort. We can’t avoid or dull emotional pain with denial, or substances or even, weight loss.
- Abhinivesha- Fear of Death. We cling to the body. We fear change. We fear.
How did I lose my way and forget that my gifts come from the light within me? How did I get so wrapped up in this physical form? What emotional pain is calling to be healed as I avoid it, chasing a perfect yoga body instead? When did my fear that I was no longer relevant sneak in and color my experiences? Wow! I think for today, I am going to let this be. I need to percolate a little….
I have an aerial dance class tonight and I am excited. I really do love to swing! lol I am going to try to inhabit my body and experience as it is. Allow myself to just be.
Thank you for reading and as always, I welcome your comments.