A YOGI CHA BLOG
When I understood that my body isn’t destined for people’s judgement
In this period of the year when consumerism takes an even bigger importance I want to talk about our bodies. I want to remind you that the female body has been the biggest subject of consumerism there is and the most hushed, shamed, pushed a side scam by the capitalistic and misogynistic society that we live in.
Many industries depend on women feeling inadequate and shamed:
The fact of feeling insecure about undressing in front of other people, men or women.
The fact that our lives are full of numbers that we feel we need to control in order to know our value.
From the number on you scales to how many people you have slept with and you annual salary.
I think that what pushed me to write this was when I listened to a story about a woman who was feeling uncomfortable with the touch of her boyfriend on her belly. She couldn’t enjoy it because she hated her belly, so he must too. And if he doesn’t, well then there must be something wrong with him. Or he’s lying.
The reason we exercise or why we lay in the sun to tan : is it truly for our own pleasure or is it to correspond to an image that has been instilled in our minds since birth?
The narrator was also telling how when she met up with her family once or twice a year; mother, sisters, aunties and cousins they would start with commenting on each other’s appearance. And I recognise that very well. It’s never been thought of as something specifically bad. It’s the analysis of each other since last time. What we wear, our hair, if we have put on or lost weight. But you don’t see men do this. Because it has not been instilled in their minds that their body exists solely for other people’s eyes.
And so, since we have been taught that we exist only for comparison and that our worth is defined according to where on the scale of this comparison you find yourself, naturally it leaves a window for “shadow manifestations” of the worst kind. The stuff that shame brings up. The “catty” behaviour between women that makes men giggle because – well it makes us even smaller and they know that we are fighting for THEIR approval after all.
Don’t get me wrong men : you have been just as conditioned to be that way as we have, to play the game. You are not being mean per se when this happens, you are simply accepting the role that you have been given.
I wanted to speak about this for so many reasons but even more so as I am promoting my group program that will start next year. Because yes, Ayurveda is a diet. But not in the sense you might “read” that word. I had someone commenting on my post where I had put “Ayurveda is not just a diet, it’s a lifestyle”. And the commentator (a woman) wrote “people think Ayurveda is a diet? (with an eye rolling emoji)”. And there was such resentment and scepticism in that comment. Which I understand.
Because we associate all the diminishing things about being a woman to that word. But this is not what I want to promote. A diet is a “regime”, meaning a system or structure. In French, the word for diet is actually regime. So the dietary instructions in Ayurveda are not about weight loss, it’s about well-being and health. There are dietary instructions for weight loss of course, because someone who needs to lose weight for their health benefits, will need to follow certain instructions. So this comment was a typical reaction and an understandable one. We have had enough of the shaming of our bodies and we don’t want to think that something so wholesome and holistic is just another way to push us to dislike ourselves.
On the contrary, the beauty of Ayurveda is that first and foremost this science of life wants to educate us about our perfection as unique constitutions. Ayurveda will never ask you to spend hundreds of dollars but instead it tells you to find most of what you need in your kitchen. If you don’t have it, usually the local market will be able to sell you what you need. No need for fancy packaging or pills. All you need comes from nature.
And more so, Ayurveda will always promote prevention to curing. Because that is your most effective health insurance. Ayurveda will put you face to face with your fears about not being perfect the way you are and say “well just try living according to your original constitution and you will see that you will feel better”.
Since we have been in this vision of consumer based female bodies for several generations, it is not always easy to apply this. Hence, the comment on diet. We have it ingrained in us.
Unfortunately, we have been trained to not see the forest for all the trees. You see, the whole goal of the Ayurvedic lifestyle, is the same as the Yogic philosophy. To come to the point where Spirit shines right through. To stand in our true nature because this is how peace is attained. That is your forest.
We are so occupied with these trees hiding it and they are only the side effects. Yes you will see the changes physically as you practice the two sister sciences and you will notice an enhanced mental capacity as well as the emotional resilience. But if you stay focused on obtaining that, you will be frustrated and you will be disappointed. Nothing is forever and there is no moment when you can just stop the practice because you have arrived at your goal. It’s the practice of it all, that IS the goal.
Hi, I’m Charlotte (Yogi Cha). I’m a yoga teacher with a degree in clinical psychology. I’ve always had a deep curiosity toward eastern and western approaches to understanding the mind, and the ming/body union. You’ll find me in the lovely Canggu Bali, nestled amongst coconuts, palm trees and sunshine 🥥🌴🌞
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