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Yoga Girl Daily - October 15th 2020

Author: Rachel Brathen

Topics: Thankful Thursday, Gratitude, Self-Love

Links: Apple Podcasts / Spotify

About the Episode

Today’s gratitude practice centers on a very vulnerable topic: our bodies.

Society tells us our bodies should be smaller, different, and better. We look at ourselves in the mirror and our minds notice all those parts of us that need “fixing”.

Our relationships with our bodies are complicated, but there is an easy way to drop into nothing but gratitude for our physical selves.

Tune in as Rachel guides you through a practice that will help you recognize your body for the miracle it is.


[00:35] Welcome to Yoga Girl Daily, happy Thursday, and welcome to our gratitude practice of this week. I am so thankful that you're tuning in right now. We're about to dive into a practice that can be really, truly transformational. One that can be a little bit challenging because it requires some vulnerability, but something that we actually should be doing much more of because it has a huge impact in our lives.

[01:08] Today, our gratitude practice is all about our bodies, our physical bodies. We've had episodes around this before on the Yoga Girl Daily show, but I think this one is really worth revisiting again and again, because it's something that's going to give us something different every time. And our minds tend to shift toward the opposite of gratitude when it comes to our bodies. Many of us we've been told all throughout our lives and society and the media continues to tell us that there's something wrong with our bodies, that our bodies should be different, that our bodies should be better. We could always fix or change or improve something. And having a gratitude practice for the body, especially the part of the body that challenges us can change how we feel all throughout our lives. So, right now let’s take a moment just to close the eyes.

[02:01] So, on this topic of the body, I want you to bring to the front of your mind right now, the part of your body that you know you're really challenged by right now. The part of your body that you're the quickest to jump to judgment toward. The part of your body that you're not so kind to, maybe even it's the part of the body that you've spent your life hating or harming, or really judging very harshly all throughout the day. Our relationships with our bodies are complicated and it's really important just to get clear on what is that narrative in the back of my head? Am I spending more time judging or hating parts of myself than I am in acceptance and love? So, just noticing right now where your awareness landed. Chances are, you know this part of your body very well. Maybe it's even a body part that you obsess over or think constantly about.

[03:03] Now using your hands, I want you to bring your hands to this body part. I can find, or just sense, my hands starting to creep up to my upper arms right now. Every time I do this practice my hands up somewhere a little bit different. The judgment I carry toward my own body, it shifts, it morphs all the time. So, I'm holding my hands to my upper arms, but I want you to let your hands linger to that body part that you know, you judge very harshly. And then take a moment right now just to feel into the body. What does it feel like to deeply connect to this body part? And shifting away from the idea of, you know, what this part of your body looks like in the mirror or the things you've been told about what this part of your body is quote, unquote, supposed to be. Let's get really clear on what this part of your body actually is. So, for me, you know, what do my upper arms, my arms, what do they do? What's their actual function in life?

[04:13] I mean, my arms, it's how I communicate with this world, right? It's how I reach out. It's that channel from my heart, out into the world around me. My arms allow me to carry my daughter in my arms every day. I hug her with these arms. I hug my husband with these arms. These arms allow me to create, to draw, to paint, to cook, to bake every day, to write, to read. I use my hands for everything in life. So, when I get really clear on what these arms actually are for, and I can move away from this idea that, Oh, maybe my arms should be a little more slender or they should look differently in that kind of shirt. This narrative that I keep in the back of my head, that isn't actually real. What's more real, the idea I was told through magazines when I was little about what my arms are supposed to look like in a tank top, or the fact that I use my arms to hug my family every day?

[05:20] I mean, that's an easy answer. I wish it felt that easy all throughout the day. So, just for you right now, this part of your body, that you're connecting to. Move away from this conditioned idea or judgment that you have in the back of your head and bring forth what this body part actually is. What does this part of your body do? What's the physiological function of this body part? What does this body part allow for you to experience in this life? And here's the big question: what would your life be like if you didn't have this part of your body? What would your life be like if all of a sudden something happened to this body part, if all of a sudden you were experiencing debilitating pain or injury or disease or something shifted where wow, this body parts suddenly doesn't function anymore? What would your life be? For me, imagining my life without my arms, it's unimaginable. Unimaginable.

[06:26] And this judgment I hold to my arms and this silly idea that they're not good enough, it just completely pales in comparison to what my life would be like without. And it makes me smile because when I hold that in my heart, it's just, wow my arms. It feels silly that I'm not showering my arms with love every single day, that I'm not in awe just of what my body does every single day. So, noticing for you right now, what would your life be like if all of a sudden you didn't have this part of your body anymore. It's a big one. So, using that as a way, just to shift away from that judgemental, negative, hateful thinking and drop into the reality of this moment, the reality of your body, which is absolute awe, adoration, love, compassion. Wow. What a miracle it is, this body. Holding your hands to this body part right now say out loud. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you, arms. Whichever part of your body you chose. Thank you belly. Thank you, thighs. Thank you, butt. Thank you, back. Thank you, neck. Thank you, nose. Thank you, feet. Say it out loud. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

[07:55] Feel free to stay here in this moment of absolute gratitude and just continue showering gratitude over yourself. I'm so happy you chose to tune in with me today. Thank you so much for joining me for this practice. Yoga Girl Daily will be back tomorrow.

[End of Episode]