01 November 2016

Plump Arms. Clear mind.


I might have finally gotten there. Or reached close to where I wanted to be. So I thought after I had seen the reflection of my plump arms on a glass window as I was strolling around Adliya last night, and thought, “eh, look!”, and that was it, an acknowledgement of my plump upper arms, followed by zero judgement, nothing, nada.

Today, I have a confession to make; for quite a while, as a practitioner of yoga, I judged my body; I took pride when it “looked” fit and sabotaged myself whenever I looked more full. Being a yoga teacher didn’t help much initially, I struggled from time to time as I compared my body to those of fellow “slim” teachers, and my practice and style of teaching to theirs. The body can be a distraction sometimes, I see now, as we strive towards a calmer space in our lives.

I spill more beans; my personal practice varies greatly; some days I only practice breathing, some days I only meditate, some days I just do a few Sun Salutations, some days I mix it up, some days I just stretch in bed, some days I practice online with other teachers, some days I just lie down in Savasana, and some days I can’t stand the thought of unrolling my mat. Every month, when I am on my period, I often go for 4-5 days without practice, and it is lovely, because by day five I start to yearn for being on the mat. I try to set some “discipline” in my practice and stick to a regular form of practice, but I get bored, and respecting my daily-and-ever-changing nature and responding to what complement it is stronger and more truthful to me than doing something regularly for the sake of doing it.

During my Level 1 yoga teacher training, I was reminded over and over again to be authentic. That was the number one tip. Today I find myself sticking strongly to that as a guide, thus my personal practice reflects on what and how I teach. In class, some days we do more breathing, some days we sweat more, some days we chant more and some days we dance. This works for some people, and it doesn’t work for many, and it is ok. My mission, I figure, is to attempt to find inner peace within me, and share my path with others to the best of my ability and in the most truthful way I am capable of. Hence, when I look at the big picture, the plumpness and my body becomes insignificant, trivial.

If I want proof that what I am doing is beneficial, it is that my mind is calm, I am able to think clearly and lovingly, I am able to feel what I feel and then get over it, that my thoughts, words and actions are loving, and when they are not, I am aware of it.

“The body is just a vehicle”, I think I am finally starting to really comprehend what that means. Having awareness, being conscious, being guided by love, surrendering to what is, this is key. Everything else is furniture.


Om Namo Narayani.

Love,

Amal Jaffar

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Love it! I am truly happy that you finally accepted that self worth has nothing to do with body shape a concept which I am struggling with on a daily basis.

God bless :)

Shazer said...

Your truth is exemplary. Accepting and embracing with total transparency. So simple, yet so hard. A daily challenge for sure!
Thanks for sharing and inspiring!

M said...

I love the last line! :p I have learned that each day I can do different things, some days I can do one thing, and the next day I can't. But then, sometime, I can again. Forcing in between just makes me more tense. Thanks for sharing and being an example of just being yourself and working with your body not against it :) and for the record your calmness of mind can be sensed :)