I do yoga. It used to be just another thing that I was moderately “good” at. And I wanted to be better. I wanted to handstand. For my Instagram. Because what’s the point of doing anything if you can’t do it well?
But now I do yoga because it’s good for me.
When it comes to life, there is mind, there is body, and there is spirit. But when we talk about ourselves and our hopes and dreams, trials and triumphs, we leave everything up to our brains and our hearts.
Yet so much of life is physical, carnal. And our physicality does not make us sinful. Our sin makes us sinful. My physical body remains part of who I am while I walk this earth. I can’t fully appreciate life and living if I’m not fully accepting of the physicality of being alive, read: my body.
Breath in, breath out.
The heady sweet musk of the forest after the rain. Heart pounding in my ears on the hike up. Her small hand in mine. A quiet I love you whispered in the dark. All just as much part of my life as my thoughts, my feelings.
And in my physical body, there are limitations. Since when did limits become bad? My knees don’t like running and my shoulders don’t like handstands anymore. This does not require pushing through, but listening. To MY body.
I am an anorexic. Even in recovery, anorexia loves to spin her lies. And after years of punishments and pain and carrots over cake, I am finally learning to listen to the voice of truth.
Because perfection does not exist. At my most fit, I was also miserable. Sore and tired and so stinkin’ hangry. There was always going to be someone smaller, faster, better, stronger. Nothing I did was enough; it would never be enough.
But as my eldest loves to inform me, “We’re all world record holders once. When we’re born. Because at that moment (and that moment only) you’re the youngest person on earth.” And since she knows pretty much everything, it’s clear my ship has sailed.
Which is why I love yoga. Because yoga is a journey of appreciation for my physical body as the house for my beautiful soul. No one sucks at yoga, because what is unlovely and unworthy about another’s soul? The effort it takes to be present and accept yourself at any given moment, rejoicing in our made in God’s image-ness. Not only did God breathe the breath of life into humans, giving us spirit, but we were formed. He gave us physicality, bodies.
And it is my charge to feed and move and appreciate the body I’ve been given.
In this body, I have sang loudly and laughed really hard and eaten lots of pizza and drank too much wine. I have danced with my favorite people, walked on mountains, and swam in oceans. I have carried and delivered two precious and uniquely beautiful human beings. I have tasted and seen and heard and felt and lived and loved well. All in this body. My body.
The physical, although temporary, is real. And in this time I have, I plan to use everything He gave me, mind, body, and spirit.
Open your mouth and taste, open your eyes and see—
how good God is.
Blessed are you who run to him. Psalm 34:8