At last week’s Anusara® yoga Teacher Training in Paris, my intelligently poetic friend Sianna Sherman described the body as, “either a cage to trap you or a stage to set you free.” Think about it. Our bodies are the vehicles through which we experience the world. What we touch-smell-taste-hear-see is filtered through our own particular physical parameters – through the amalgamation of sensations that is us. Through our bodies we suffer pain and illness, but also pleasure and even ecstasy.
When I find myself complaining about sore hamstrings or wishing that my backbends looked more teardrop-shaped than bridge-like, I remember that I am privileged to even have such concerns. We can use our limitations as excuses to give up or as reasons to feel resentful, but neither of those reactions serve us. We are either accepting the cage or trapping ourselves further through our own negativity. When we begin to appreciate our abilities more than we resent our limitations, our body becomes our stage – a place filled with sensation, drama, beauty, emotion, and artistry.
We need to recognize our limitations so that we can more profoundly celebrate our gifts, but we also need to regularly test those limits, to push at what we believe to be our boundaries and constraints – to get a taste of our potential and savor our fullness. The question we need to ask ourselves is:
Who do we want to be and how do we want to be within our bodies?