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Zen Peacekeeper.

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Do you love your body?

Tuesday, November 9, 2010 by Marianne Elliott

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Honestly, do you?

If you imagined your body as a person, maybe even a friend of yours, how would you rate the kind of friendship you offer your long suffering loyal buddy/body?

As I come to the end of another 30 days of yoga I’m struck again by the weight of disapproval our poor bodies struggle under so much of the time. If you find yourself disapproving of your body most days, you are not alone.

Believe me, you are not alone.

We’ve all been subjected to so many thousands of messages about the ways in which our bodies don’t measure up that it is no wonder we struggle to find acceptance even within our own selves.

But it doesn’t have to be this way. I’m grateful for the practice of yoga and the kindness it is bringing to my own relationship with my body. And what I am learning, I am committed to sharing.

The biggest lesson I’ve learned from leading more than 500 people through the 30 day process to establish their own home practice of yoga is…

the transformative power of kindness.

What I’ve seen over and over again is that people really do not need another voice of criticism in their lives.

We have plenty of that already, especially, for women, when it comes to our bodies.

As my friends at BodyMindLife yoga studio in Sydney put it so beautifully in their most recent newsletter:

In a culture where the female form is constantly subjected to a disciplining and often disapproving gaze, yoga offers a way for women to learn to love and accept their bodies just as they are.

Are you ready to give your body/buddy a break from that disapproving gaze, even for an hour?

Here’s my personal goal for today – when I get on my yoga mat in a few minutes I’ll offer up my practice as a thank you gift to my body.

I know my body is longing for space at the moment, spaciousness within my body itself as well as more space in my days for moving. So this afternoon I’m giving my body the space it craves, with gratitude and – yes – love.

We’ve heard it, and probably said it, so many times that we may have stopped noticing the wisdom of it – but it remains true:

How we love and care for ourselves is how we love and care for everyone else in our lives.

Can you find a little time today to give your body some love?

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5 Responses to "Do you love your body?"

  1. iamronen says:

    Hello Marianne,

    “people really do not need another voice of criticism in their lives” is what reverberated through me. We got our share of this over recent weeks as we went through the motions of leaving Israel (I am writing this from a room in Romania).

    When it comes to the body – I belive that Yoga exposes a core truth – it shapes the body not into some external image – but to one that reflects an inner image. I once had a student who came to one-on-one lessons in the hope of trimming her body – and the opposite happened. So it again boils down to perception rather then physical form doesn’t it?

    I also believed you have outlined a generic formula which limits our perception and it’s ability to discern better and to change. Criticism is an aggressive imposition of perspective – it is a limiting experience rather then supporting one. When it is offered with care, love and compassion it is no longer criticism – it is more like a teaching.

    I have spent the better part of my life learning that I grow much better in a nourishing environment then I do in a supportive one. Of course, I’ve received my fair share of criticism on that too … such is life 🙂

    All Things Good
    Ronen

  2. leonie wise says:

    I read something today that stopped me in my tracks.

    “If you had a friend that spoke to you in the same way that you sometimes speak to yourself, how long would you allow that person to be your friend?”

    Now I come here and find your words to be poking at me, reminding me that to be kind to myself first, is the best kindness of all.

    Thanking my body today by going for a walk outside in the crisp autumn air.

    Sending you love across the seas
    x

  3. Bel Youll says:

    Hi Marianne,
    I love that you mentioned Body Mind Life in Sydney. I work for lululemon athletica who have a wonderful relationship with this studio. The Friday night Yin Yoga class with Kelli Prieur at the Surry Hills studio is the perfect way to offer yourself some kindness at the end of the week.
    x

  4. […] I found Marianne Elliott (Zen Peacekeeper. Change-maker.) very early on and was moved to find a woman writing about taking risks and living in (and loving) her body. […]

  5. Candace says:

    “How we love and care for ourselves is how we love and care for everyone else in our lives.”

    So simple and obvious, but so NOT obvious. Thank You. Dead on. I’ve been in a slump, and feel bad that I’m not treating my loved ones the way I want, and giving them the time I want. Even though I want to, I’m finding myself too tired, overwhelmed, negative to myself. This sentence of yours made me think, and I realized it’s because I’ve been letting myself go, not taking care of myself, because when I’m feeling best, I’m best able to give of myself to others.

    Thank You.

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