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The Body As the Path

13939501819528By Kate Gallagher

This month, we're reveling in and contemplating the yogic path as embodiment... as becoming more intimate with our physical selves and our humanity through the practice of yoga. 

I had a yoga teacher that once said: "Your body, just as it is... is the perfect vehicle for your ultimate enlightenment." 

Decades old stories about my body immediately resisted this notion, but my heart felt hit with a lightning bolt of truth.

I don't actually know what ultimate enlightenment is...what it looks like... or feels like, but I do sense that despite my beliefs, despite the love-hate relationship I sometimes have with my body, it's ability to teach me perfectly remains apparent.

Geneen Roth seems to echo this, from a different angle as she writes:

"It's never been true, not anywhere at any time, that the value of a soul, of a human spirit, is dependent on a number on a scale. We are unrepeatable beings of light and space and water who need these physical vehicles to get around. When we start defining ourselves by that which can be measured or weighed, something deep within us rebels."

While my time as a yogi has convinced me of the wisdom in the body, and of the body, at an absolute minimum, perhaps the body asks for, longs for one simple thing: love.  

I think often about the moment of my death.  The moment when my body ceases to sustain life and vitality as I know it.  If there is one thing on my bucket list for when that time comes (hopefully in more than a handful of decades)... it's that I go out with incredible love in my heart, most importantly for myself.  So at least where there is grief, there will also be love.  Undoubtedly, a radiant love of self doesn't stop there. It couldn't.  

My life has been blessed by interactions with rare such humans who have learned this sophisticated lesson of embodiment, of humanity, of love. What my life would be without the power of example?!  Their love for self has impressed me deeply, and it is their radiant reflections of self-love that I carry in my heart and cultivate day by day.  Should we embark, seriously, on this path of the body, I think this could be our legacy... 


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