Have you ever seen a baby discover it can roll over? So often we experience physical activity like a fight against ourselves. Stop fighting. All goals take time. One of the easiest places to practice this is in a yoga class. Yoga classes
tend to place a strong focus on tuning into exploring your body instead of forcing it into a posture. In addition, I recommend trying to replace goals like lose 100 pounds to run a continuous mile or balance in a headstand. When you recover a sense of wonder at the amazing feats your body can perform (no matter how seemingly simple), it's easier to work with your body instead of against it.
7. Take pride in what fuels your body.
This is hard to write about because there seem to be so many “right” and “wrongs” here. In general, when you make your own meals you are constrained by the ingredients. If you only buy ingredients you take pride in eating (whether paleo, organic or vegan) you are much more likely to feel like you ate for your body. Learn new recipes for foods you’d like to add to your diet and don’t buy the foods you should stop eating regularly.
8. Get and give hugs.
Hugs are powerful tools for our bodies and minds. Neurobiologists
recommend long ones for the strongest effect. As you leave your house in the morning or a friend after dinner, don’t forget that all too important awkwardly long hug.
When everything is quiet we can hear the chatter in our mind. As the chatter silences, the volume of the slow steady beat of our heart and whisper of our breath rises. The constant pulse of movement inside our bodies reminds us that we are alive. We are still here today and every day we are alive is one to be grateful for; as long as there is life, there is hope.
10. Reclaim your sense of ownership.
Particularly poignant for those who have one way or another felt significantly alienated by their own body through chronic pain, struggles with weight loss or abuse. Your body can feel like it belongs to an illness, fat-shamers or an abuser. This is complex and takes years, but just by giving yourself the ability to explore what this even means, you are taking a step forward. The process could involve seeing a psychologist, reading a few books, doing some internet research, journaling, taking a trip and/or just sitting by the ocean. Everyone’s path will look different, but it’s certainly one worth taking.
A body is a vehicle for life, both our entrance and exit; you enter the world with it and you leave in it. As your gratitude and friendship with your body grows, so will your gratitude and friendship with life.