The Body Series: Going Gentle With It


Taking a tiny step forward. 

(Don’t those paws kill you with cuteness? They slay me.) 

One of the things I love about yoga is its be as you are approach. Several times during the class I took this morning at my gym, the instructor encouraged us to do what we could and to be content with that. She began the class with a reminder that competition — with others or even our own selves — was not the purpose of the class. She gave several alternatives for the various poses throughout our hour together, allowing us to judge what adjustments fit our current level of ability. 

It’s such a gentle way to be. 

Yesterday, a friend asked what I liked about my experience of the cycling class I tried. I told her the most meaningful part of it was the ability to be guided but to make decisions autonomously throughout the workout based on my body’s ability and readiness to try things. For instance, when we simulated climbing hills on our bikes, the instructor said the first hill should feel like a 6 on our personal scale of 1 to 10. We got to determine what a 6 felt like and adjust the resistance on our bikes accordingly. 

It was an opportunity to be in tune with my own body.

I find that I really appreciate that — especially as I’m a beginner at exercising again, and especially a beginner at cycling. 

It reminds me of what I’ve shared with you about the process of learning my heart. It took so much time. Years. Stubborn as I am, I would not let any person dissuade me from learning what I was trying to learn or from letting it take as long as it needed to take. 

I keep thinking about that heart journey as I go through this process of learning the body and then learning my body. It will take as long as it takes to become real, and that’s OK. Every step forward will be a celebrated victory, and that’s wonderful. I’ll only hold my integrity accountable to what I’ve learned thus far in the journey, and I’m completely OK with that. 

Be with yourself where you are. Learn that place. Let it become real. 

What is it like for you to give yourself this kind of permission?