Are you at war or at peace with your body? Do you look into the mirror and think hateful thoughts? Do you try to force your body into looking a certain way through overly taxing diets and exercises? Or conversely, do you indulge in behaviors that you know are harmful to your body like overeating or making unhealthy choices? Do you hold yourself back from certain activities because of the shape of your body?
In her book Yoga from the Inside Out, Christina Sell proposes that a yoga practice can be a peace offering to our bodies. She says, “We cannot simply jump from a war with the body to a perspective that simply claims ‘the body is our temple.’ We must begin with the practice of making peace, over time aligning our behavior with our intention to offer peace. Through our various practices we treat the body with the love and respect it deserves.”
My personal peace offering to my body started with practicing the Yogic Diet. I began adding in more nutritious foods and cutting out some things all together that felt natural and easy to do...alcohol, most meat, and diet sodas we easy to cut, but coffee and sugar were not. Still, I did not force myself to cut out anything from my diet. I let it unfold naturally as I maintained my intention to make peace.
This started a process for me that led to such breakthroughs as: ending my lifelong emotional eating patterns, making exercise as routine as brushing my teeth, never weighing myself on a scale, switching to green tea and having coffee as an occasional treat, and gently nudging sugar out of my breakfast. And I know this peace process will continue.
Practicing yoga and the Yogic Diet are definitely great starting gates in beginning your own peace process with your body.