Your Body Is Your Prayer
"OhdearlordbabyJesusMaryandJosephhelpmeorI'llpuke" is not a terribly elegant way of expressing gratitude for the ability to move and breathe and esteem yourself after a year in bed, sick and in blinding discomfort. Sometimes though, it is the most honest one.
It's hard to be honest to that degree when I'm surrounded by incredibly flexible, elegant yoga mommies holding poses like professional dancers for what seems like hours while I flop, hop, roll and occasionally fart while sweating buckets til I look like I just walked out of a shower.
I found myself there again today in yoga, bent over one knee, smooshing my belly fat against my thigh and trying to suck in my gut in an elegant "navel to spine" kind of way. OH...AND STILL BREATHE! That is actually the hard part about yoga.
Remembering to breathe when the proverbial fit hits the shan is in my opinion the essence of what the practice is all about.
Yes my neck and back feel SO MUCH BETTER after a good practice. Yes my mind and body are yoked together in a unique way that makes the rest of my day go more smoothly. Yes my sensation is manageable by me because of my hard work and effort, and yes my clothes fit better than they have in years.
But that is not the point.
IF BREATH IS SPIRIT THEN BREATHING INTO CRAMPS OR EXPLORING DISCOMFORT USING THE BREATH AS A VEHICLE MAKES MY BODY A PRAYERFUL PLACE TO LIVE.
To borrow a phrase...It's my body, my choice.
Today my shoulder was popping and clicking and creaking. PRAYER.
Today my thumbs were cracking and snapping in and out of place in the middle of side planks. PRAYER.
Today my primary thought during half the practice was "shitfuckpissthishurts". PRAYER.
This may offend some of you who are of more noble character but whatever.
Prayer is anything that I say to the Almighty. If you don't believe in an Almighty that's totally cool but I do and the Almighty I pray to doesn't have tender ears. If my Almighty had tender ears I'd be burning in Hell already. Anyone in enough chronic discomfort will quickly understand.
If what is happening in my body is mindfully offered up to Creator then I'm not stuck with it alone. As a prisoner. Isolated and in pain. I spent an entire year in bed like that and I'd like to not go back. Even if I am down for a day in bed...I'M NOT ALONE.
I'M NOT A PRISONER TO ANY SENSATION.
I'M NOT IN PAIN. I'M JUST PRAYING IN A QUIRKY KINDA WAY. In this frame of mind I can endure almost anything...one breath at a time.
Whatever you're doing today and whatever you're feeling as half the country is hit with a nasty cold spell sandwiched between super warm weather (which makes the bones and joints sing as they swell and shrink) just remember that:
1. Your mind can be medicine.
2. Your breath is spirit.
3. Your body is a living prayer.
Find an Almighty to send the message to as you live your life today or reach out to someone else who needs a message of love--just share what's going on and remember that IT'S YOUR PRAYER SO screw anyone who doesn't really like how it looks, sounds or smells. They've got their own.
I'm right beside you all the way.