Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Celebrate movement and beauty

Originally posted September 12, 2011

I took my morning constitutional today. What a beautiful day. September has given way to cooler temperatures. I no longer start sweating the second I step out my front door. What a relief. It rained last night and everything smelled fresh. Some of the leaves are beginning to turn. It makes me so happy. I love fall. Gardens are being harvested, flowers are still out in full beauty, and everything just seems calmer while we wait for nature to move forward. I had the majestic mountains that I love so much to one side of me, and a gorgeous view of the valley and the lake beyond on the other. Life was good. Above us some very loud birds caught our attention as they soared through the air. Cormac leaned clear back in his stroller, looked up, and whispered under his breath "wow." I couldn't agree more. Wow.
But I wasn't just enjoying nature this morning. I was enjoying the feel of the pavement and dirt roads beneath my feet. I love to walk. It makes me happy. I love looking at the scenery. I love seeing new neighborhoods. I love, love, love looking at the houses that surround me. I walked 3.5 to 4 miles today. How blessed I am that I can do that. I'm on Cloud 9 already because I felt this little baby move for the first time yesterday. How incredible, not only can my body walk and move, but I'm blessed to have a little person growing inside of me. What is there not to rejoice about?
Let's switch gears for just a second. Don't worry, I'll bring us full circle. Did you know that this month is National Yoga Month! (Who makes this stuff up? Do you know? I sure don't, but I'm going with it anyway.) As a fan of yoga I am naturally excited about it. Let me tell you a bit about me and yoga. I came to yoga out of desperation. My body was in constant, unexplained pain and I had heard yoga could help. So I got a DVD and gave it a shot. It was so very hard. I couldn't reach my toes. Downward Dog was the hardest thing I had ever done. I couldn't hold it for more than a few short breaths. But after each practice my pain would ease up and I would have a few minutes of beautiful relief. So I kept at it. I was amazed that within just a couple of short weeks I could touch my toes with ease. Downward Dog took more time to feel comfortable (and is still a challenging pose for me thanks to my weak and inflexible shoulders). But what was exciting was what I could do. And how fast my body adapted to yoga. It was like we were made for each other. My body wanted yoga, craved it, and responded well when I would practice. It was love.
It makes me sad when I hear people say they can't do yoga because they aren't this, that, or the other. They are missing the point. Yoga has never been about what you can't do. Yoga is a celebration of what the body can do. So maybe you can't turn yourself into a pretzel, but you can do a beautiful headstand. There are so many possibilities with yoga. And your body changes with each practice. With each practice you can do a little more. Your body wants it. And it's a beautiful and amazing thing to celebrate the things that our bodies can do.
As I was walking this morning I was thinking about how boring the world would be if it were all mountains or all plains. But it isn't. It is diverse and beautiful. And it should be celebrated. The Earth i s a gift that we've been given from God. It should be celebrated. But how much more should we be celebrating our bodies. They are different, diverse, and oh so beautiful. They are gifts from God. Special gifts that He constructed just for us. Each is unique. Each has its own abilities. And each is beautiful and needed.
So celebrate that beautiful body this month. Move in a way that makes you feel fantastic. Try some yoga and this time don't you dare look at your neighbor or the person on your screen to compare what you look like with them. No. Instead acknowledge the greatness that is your own body and movements. You are beautiful. Take a few minutes to celebrate that.