Beginning a form of movement requires a relationship with our bodies. Particularly in our asana practice, our bodies are the vessels that allow us to connect ourselves to the world.
Over time, I have found my relationship with my body quite unsteady and difficult.
In an age where media has heavily influenced my behaviour, people that present with gaps between their thighs, ribcages pressed against torsos, and collarbones that poke across necklines, have saturated my screen and modelled an ideal image to strive for.
Feeling a sense of disconnection from this portrayal, synchronised with the struggles of mental health, forced the pressure to shrink my structure into a frame I thought would support my self-worth.
The cost of loosing weight became heavy.
In search for a direction and belonging, a friend invited me to a yoga class in my late adolescence which paved a path of setting an intention.
Now at first, my yoga practice was not far from a motive to feel good within the structures of my skin, and was encompassed by the physical benefits that asana reaps. With time, and practice, my intention shifted from outwards, in.
The weight of anxiety gently became lighter.
Sharon Gannon suggests that vanity lacks empathy and comes from a deep self-consciousness and self-absorption that stems from feeling separate (Yoga and Vegetarianism, 2008, p. 66). As I reflect on my journey of self-awareness, and enquire into the practice of self-compassion, I realise that how I present my thoughts, words and actions are centred from a place that simply wants to belong.
This journey has evoked a sentiment of healing. And healing is a homogeneous term that lays the foundation for balance.
Healing is defined as the process of becoming healthy again.
The process of which is a practice.
The practice of returning to a state of steadiness.
Yoga has given me courage to hold a mirror to parts of myself that lacks compassion, and unravel the root of why I have felt disconnected. By setting an intention, and bringing awareness to the limitations of my mind, I have been able to acknowledge that my intrinsic identity is founded upon my inherent connection to those around me and is beyond the weight that binds to my body.
Yoga permits individuals to connect to something less tangible, and more impalpable, giving us permission to detach from the physical prisms that bound us to our minds. It is with our practice we continually learn to move from our heads and into our hearts.
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