The Stretch 2 | Month 3, Week 2

Exploration this week: Santosha (contentment)

After many years and lots of therapy, I started to wrap my head around accepting my body, this body that I have today. It took a while, but I got there.

Contentment, though?

Yeah, that’s a different story.

When I first started engaging with accepting my body, it was from a fairly defeated, resigned attitude. Like, well, I’ve tried everything else (read: a million diets) and nothing has “worked,” so I might as well try this. It felt like a giving up of sorts, which of course feeds into the cultural narrative perfectly by blaming me and not the flawed and fruitless paradigm of dieting.

It never occurred to me that body acceptance could be something different. That I could find peace and contentment with my body.

And yet, I have — at least a lot more often than I ever thought was possible.

Here’s how it didn’t happen:

  • Overnight
  • Because of something I bought
  • Fancily
  • In a flash of insight
  • Because I found the “perfect” way to eat or move
  • Under hypnosis
  • With bells and whistles
  • In a linear trajectory
  • Because of something one person said
  • When I wore a cute outfit
  • Without taking five steps back for every one step forward
  • Under a full moon
  • Trying to force it
  • When I tried a new moisturizer
  • Because someone thought I should
  • After a good astrology reading
  • With a 5-installment payment plan
  • Seeing that life coach that changed my dentist’s cousin’s dog-walker’s life
  • When I wanted it to

Here’s how it did happen:

  • Time
  • Mostly without me noticing consciously

Most of the time in this journey, I feel like I’ve made zero progress and never will. But then a day (or, let’s be real, a moment) appears and I realize I’m responding differently, I’m thinking about my body differently, and I’m just here living in this body, not obsessing about it 24/7.

And I think that’s what contentment is — it’s something that settles in slowly, subtly, even imperceptibly. And then you realize, it’s here.

#BodyInvocation

This week’s invocation is:May I find contentment

Try bringing this invocation to your practice this week, to start it, end it, or anywhere in between, and see where contentment might present itself — if even for a moment.

Curvy Question

Curious about what contentment means for you? Try this question for reflection:

What does contentment mean for me in yoga? What about in other parts of my life?

Video of the Week

Studio members, your video is right here (along with a couple others to experiment with if you’d like!).

Podcast

Last week on the podcast I talked about how cultivating the opposite showed up for me during the week. Give it a listen here.

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