Innumerable forces collectively determine how we view our bodies. The media produces an ideal and agreed-upon understanding of attractiveness, while, more detrimentally, friends and colleagues offer their critiques, establishing a personal platform in every individual for self-criticism. The body is an easy target because it is quantifiable—there is no dispute in comparing measurements of size, shape, weight, strength. So, we identify the opinion-ed “flaws” in our bodies, and we attempt to reshape these individual masterpieces into something others say is attractive.
I propose that we take a different approach. Let’s allow the body itself to show us what is attractive.
Yoga can be the medium for this endeavor. Let us allow our bodies to use yoga as an avenue to physical freedom. As we strengthen ourselves physically and mentally, our bodies will attune to fit our needs and emerge as they are meant to be. Let us give the body a chance before we consider it flawed. Providing the body with the opportunity to come forward, it will show us just how exceptional it is.
When I analyze my body in the midst of a consistent practice, it is a revelation. This is my body! How exciting! My thighs are lavish and powerful. My shoulders are expansive and open. My biceps are surprisingly mighty for their slender appearance. Any more of me would be wasteful, and any less would be disappointing. We do not get to choose the bodies we are given. A power beyond our understanding makes that decision, specifically and purposefully, and it is our privilege to explore that gift. It is by the exploration of its capabilities that the body shares with us its true and honest beauty.
I challenge us all to give our bodies the respect and honor they deserve. Provide the time and practice, and the impeccable body will emerge, like a sculpture from the stone, showing us what a gorgeous body really is. Let us discard the preconceived outsiders’ understanding of how attractive we are. Our bodies already know. Let’s give them some credit and relish in the idea that at every moment “THIS is my body!”