One of the most unexpected benefits of being a yoga teacher is that, over the past ten years of observing my students—observing their movement as they expand, contract, close, open, stretch and strengthen—I have fallen completely in love with the human body. And not just the physical form, but everything it contains—the beauty within—the emotional, mental and spiritual aspects as they are reflected in physical form.
It doesn’t matter how it moves or how it doesn’t move; it doesn’t matter if it is young or old; graceful or awkward; strong or weak; tight or open. It doesn’t matter what it can or cannot do, or how it compares to societal standards.
It is all perfection to me.
Last summer, I had the amazing opportunity to backpack into a secluded high mountain lake and have nothing else to do for an entire afternoon, except stare at that lake.
It was absolutely mesmerizing.
As I watched, the reflection danced between perfect clarity and distorted images; the water rippled and stilled; ebbed and flowed; and the colors in the sky mingled with shadows and light that displayed an exquisite array of colors—light and dark; dull and vibrant—every color you can imagine. It was like watching a light show on the water. It never stayed the same for more than a breath.
It reminded me of the human body.
Your body, and everything within it, is mesmerizing. Sometimes it reflects back perfect clarity and understanding; sometimes it distorts the reflection. It is movement and stillness, and sometimes both at the same time. Your body passes through moments of light and dark; dull or vibrant—every color you can imagine.
You are absolutely mesmerizing.
Have you ever stared in awe at a newborn baby? The delicate features; the light on their skin; the clarity in their eyes? Would you dare to look at yourself the same way, even if only for a moment?
Could you allow yourself to slip away from the barriers of your mind and the rigid ideas contained there so you can have a love affair with yourself?
To feel your skin, young or old, smooth or rough, and adore it either way?
To appreciate the features of your face—the way they’ve been passed on to you like sacred treasure, holding the history of your family and the generations before you?
To look into your own eyes and see what’s there—the love, the hurt, the pain, the strength, and the deep, deep knowing that you are so much more than what you see?
Could you slip away with yourself, if only for one solitary afternoon, or one deep breath?
Would you give yourself the gift of you?
I hope you’ll see what I see when I look at you.
I hope you’ll see that you are magic; that your body is perfect, in spite of perceived imperfections.
I hope you’ll see that your ‘flaws’ are not flaws at all; that they are what make you unique and special.
I hope you’ll see that you are always and forever changing; that this moment now is already gone.
One brief moment of love for yourself will heal you in ways you could never imagine.
One brief moment of love for yourself will show you the truth;
…that you are more than what you see.
That you are beauty.
You are so. much. more. than what you see.
You are everything.