Your Body Works
These 3 words are radical. I know, I know, you’re probably saying, “Yeah, yeah, I mean it works…. BUT…” So I’ll start over. Your Body Works even when we are sick, injured and have disease. Your body wants to live and it works, until it doesn’t. These three words took me 10+ years to understand. I wanted to end the sentence with the 4th inevitable word of BUT. I could think of 100 tasks it could not do before I acknowledged 1 that it did. When I came to Yoga, I wanted to do more, faster, and to be better/stronger/smarter immediately. What I got instead was this reoccurring message that I worked already.
Now don’t get me wrong, Your Body Works is not like saying, “It is what it is.” That is a statement of resignation. “Your Body Works”, is not in any way passive. Rather, to believe this statement is to accept yourself as you are AND know that you can work to achieve more. This requires taking responsibility of your body and the maintenance that comes with it. My teacher has always said, “You can sit on the couch all day and eat bonbons.” We all have free will and what we choose to be morally right is our own personal aesthetic. So, you CAN sit on the couch and your body would do its best to keep you alive and in a state of equilibrium. You will, of course, hit a threshold, where your body fights more than it thrives and there is no recourse. So yeah, you could do that AND I challenge you with this question, “Why?”
Your Body is built with structures upon structures that help you take in the world. Your brain allows you to perceive the world, to misperceive, to imagine, and to dream up other worlds. It helps you stand up, and move through space in an organized way. Your bones and muscles facilitate expression and range of motion. However you move the body shifts to hold integrity in it so much as it can. Your digestive system is filled with microbes and bacteria that reflects the environment you live in. It enables you to break down food and draw out nutrients for sustenance. It also allows you to be in dynamic relationship with the environment you live in. Your lungs breathe YOU about 20,000 times a day. Not to mention, all of your vital organs that just do their jobs without needing a self-conscious thought. You never have to wonder, “How do I work my liver?”. You are never not powerful, even though we may convince ourselves otherwise.
What we have available to us is to deeply consider HOW we use our powerful selves. How can we engage with ourselves, our world, from a baseline of respect and maybe even wonder? AND when something works, it WILL require work. That maintenance and daily care is a part of living in a body. Place yourself in a model of power and see what happens. Start from the idea that you are inherently capable. Take that as a call to action, an affirmation of your agency. And, might I add, your body has wisdom. So when we get all caught-up in the idea that we can micromanage everything and control the world…may you be reminded that your lungs are breathing you, your heart is keeping you alive. Your Body Works and you are the recipient of that Gift. No ifs or buts…no take-backs.