Have you ever had the experience where someone tells you not think about elephants, and immediately all you can think about is elephants?
This week I wanted to write about integration. Integration is the purpose of yoga. It’s like a process of weaving all the parts of ourselves back together. You might have heard me, or another yoga teacher, talking about yoga being when the body, mind and spirit are all united in your pose practice, for example.
But as I’ve furthered my Tantra studies this year, I have realized that this is far bigger deal that being a bit distracted or stressed out by life. All of us have learned at some stage that we have good and bad parts and that to be a good person we must keep a tight leash or even banish our less virtuous tendencies.
Body image is great example. The part of us that fit what we want = good, anything else = bad. But the trouble is, when we internally fight with ourselves like this, we empower the bits we are trying to repress and weaken ourselves overall.
When we decide that bits of us are not ok – thighs too big, tummy too round, legs too skinny… it doesn’t help us. But if we can change our attitude – everything changes. People often think if they drop the war, they’ll lose the battle. For example, if they stop hating their body they’ll get fat. But did loving skinniness make you skinny? No. And all the research shows when we are positively motivated we tend to stick to our plans longer and get better results. I even know people who talk to themselves.
Imagine being collaborative, hell, even supportive, of your body, for example. What could that look like?
Here’s a little exercise to demonstrate why being friends with ALL our aspects is more helpful than not.
· Visualize your body in its ideal form. Close your eyes and feel in your body. How that would feel? How would you go about your day?
· Then come back to your reality right now but keep that feeling and live your day the same way.
Lots of love