Cheers to you!
For years, I would NEVER go out in public unless I was showered and put together. I bought into the story that beauty is 100% appearance based. Yet, practicing yoga (especially hot yoga), while more thoroughly absorbing the teachings of Christ, is helping me realize ALL bodies are beautiful because each of us is a place where heaven meets earth. Far from being only skin deep, beauty is an inner feeling.
As this blog came to fruition in my mind, I kept thinking of Nirvana’s song “Come as You Are”. One of our core cravings as humans is to be invited to come as we are, minus real and metaphorical stylings, makeup, and masks, and WELCOMED with arms wide-open.
Have you ever heard of a “thin space”? It’s a physical place where the separation between earth and the “other side” is thin. As I understand them, both yoga and Christianity teach we are thin spaces, people are the temples of the Divine and revelation that the material is the gateway to the spiritual. This means we are fundamentally created to come as we are, because we are innately beautiful as we are!
In addition to practicing yoga, I’m blessed with the opportunity to teach it. I can’t tell you what a gift it is to witness disheveled, sweaty, and NOT put together people of all types LIT UP from the inside out after practice. This, I’m convinced, is evidence of how all our bodies are beautiful. Getting out of our heads and into our bodies via mindful breathing and moving seems to tap us into a deeper well of beauty that’s within each of us.
Why and how do people end up “blissed out” after a yoga practice? After a lot of thought on and experience of this, my hunch goes like this: When we quiet our minds by shifting our awareness into our breath, bodily sensations, heart, and the energies within us and around us, we open the door for heavenly blessings to flow into and through us. Honestly, this inner feeling is so beautiful, I don’t know what to call the abundant joy, peace, and Love we experience but “Divine”.
While I 100% honor that it’s good to do our hair, put on nice clothes, apply makeup, and look our best (I get to volunteer with youth who are going through hard times, like homelessness, couch-surfing, poverty, addiction, and abuse, and it’s incredible what a game-changer getting cleaned-up, dressed-up, and done-up can be!), there’s also something powerful about setting aside our concerns for our looks, expressions, clothes, and such to look deeper. Making the shift from judging outer-beauty to experiencing inner-beauty allows us to feel Spirit flow with our breath, to see the inner light in people, to taste the shining, shimmering sensations within us, and plug into the current of Love all around.
Some of my favorite ways to witness my body’s beauty, and thus soak my senses in the Spirit anytime and anywhere include:
– Feeling my breath as if it’s Love moving into and out from my heart.
– Breathing like my inhales and exhales tug strings between me and others, nature, and God.
– Tuning into a sense of Light streaming into me through the crown of my head, my heart, and my hands (most easily done in a comfortable seat with eyes closed, after a bit of physical activity)
– Gazing at others with the awareness that she/he is shining from within.
– Give and enjoy lots of big hugs.
– Enjoying the tiny, tingle buzz and hum in my fingertips and face. Theses joyous sensations most easily come after a workout/yoga practice, while laying down with eyes closed and doing our best to feel the energy in your body.
– Breathing with the awareness in my heart that each inhale is literally filling me with the kindness of others, while each exhale is sending out my own blessings.
Beauty is feeling good on the inside, being LIT UP from the inside-out, believing you’re a conduit for heaven, and trusting we all truly shine like stars. So: Come as you are because YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL! The more we awaken to the beauty of our bodies, and the way they’re sacred spaces where heaven meets earth, the more incredible everything becomes. What practices help you experience this?
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