Your Body is not the problem-Yoga Style

Your body is not the problem, it's the way you feel about your body that's the problem. Those thighs you have that rub together, nope not an issue. Not REALLY. They're just thighs. Skin, muscle, fat, and bone at the top of our legs. That's it. Everyone has them and yet they're the source of such angst. On the surface they certainly do seem like a problem to be fixed. Something, yet another thing, that we need to get rid of in our lives to become happy.

But if you dig a little deeper you begin to realize that thighs represent about a million different things in our lives. When I lose weight I'll be happy, or at least happier. When I make 100k a year I'll be content. When I can drive around in VW Touareg (slate gray V8 tdi, bio-diesel powered, please) my life will have the cherry on top. Just TRY and convince me I don't need a Touareg :) The problem with this formula is that it's never enough. Sure, if one day I get my Touareg, I'll be happy. I'll probably facebook about it, name it, drive it around town, and press my nose in those pretty little leather seats to soak up the fresh new car leather smell. I'll be really happy for a month, maybe 6, maybe even a year or two, but after time that happiness will fade and I'll start looking for something else to make me happy again (if it hasn't already begun).

Think about something you REALLY want right now. Maybe it's a chocolate chip cookie, maybe it's 20k for a down payment on a house, maybe it's a loving relationship. Whatever it is, think about it and hold it in your mind. Now imagine not being able to acquire it for say...a year. Now notice that knot in the center of your gut. That gnawing feeling of "MUST HAVE NOWWWWWWW". That feeling is like my own personal 6 year old. She likes to throw a temper tantrum when she doesn't get her way. She can be quite the little bitch. Now instead of giving in to that 6 year old, just try sitting in that uncomfortable space. Noticing the knot in your stomach and watching as it gets more and more untangled. Maybe it takes just a few seconds for that nag to go away, maybe it takes 20 minutes. The point is, it does go away if we don't feed it.

Have you ever seen the show obsessed? It's about people with varying levels of OCD surrounding many different things. They'll take an obsessive germ-a-phobe and throw them in the most nasty vile porta-potty and be like, don't come out until you're relaxed, mm-kay? OK, not that extreme, but they essentially put people in their "level 10" environment and talk them down until they're at like a level 4. These people go through some pretty extreme emotions and physical reactions, until they can realize and really feel like "yep, just a nasty porta-potty" not gonna kill me. I think all of us in our own way have OCD, we are obsessed with feeling content/happy/at peace. So much so that we will manipulate our environments to suit our ever changing minds until our inner 6 year old shuts the hell up! But remember, she never shuts up, she just moves on to something else.

So what do we do?

We practice being uncomfortable. We practice being REALLY uncomfortable. We practice NOT getting our way. How? Well, one way is by practicing yoga, or rather practicing the physical postures of yoga. Do you see where I'm going with this? Imagine I put you in downward dog for a minute. Eh, not bad, not bad at all. Imagine I put you in downward dog for 5 minutes? Turning up the heat a bit, right? Imagine I put you in downward dog for 30 minutes. How's that 6 year old feeling now? Is he/she in full on melt down mode? I know mine would be. I mean, even if you could physically hold down dog fine and dandy for 30 minutes, you'd probably be like, what is this teacher DOING!!!??? You'd probably be thinking a lot more than that :)This Lady's lost her mind yo!

Now I'm not suggesting you come to class so I can put you in down dog for 30 minutes and make you love it, but what I am suggesting is that we start to play around with our edge a little bit. Testing that inner 6 year old with things that make her squirm. Next time you're in traffic and everyone else is driving like they're driving Ms Daisy, just try noticing that knot in your stomach that says "MOVE B, GET OUT THE WAY". Notice it, and this time instead of indulging in that feeling, just sit with it until it passes. Because ultimately you can only manipulate your external circumstances so much to make you happy. Lasting happiness and contentment and peace comes from within you, no matter if you have thighs that rub together.

Try it out!