Close your eyes and let a big exhale come out your mouth. As you take a moment to go inside, reflect on a soul moment – a moment in your recent life that has somehow touched you… a moment in which you felt a deep connection to something greater than yourself… a moment when you tasted life’s sacredness.
For me, these moments often come in the most mysterious and unexpected ways: a gypsy melody that transports me to my childhood, tears from laughing so hard with a dear friend. These fleeting experiences invite me to come back to my Self, to God, to the Divine part of me that is separate from my Ego-mind.
On my own healing journey, and in my current work as a nutritionist and yoga teacher with people who struggle with eating and body image issues, I have learned that true healing happens when we strengthen and lean into what truly nourishes us – our “Soul” self rather than our Ego-self. When we start to trust who we really are and what we came to earth to do, plus challenge our attachment to a certain identity, weight, body, job, or relationship, then real transformation begins.
In the yoga sutras, we are introduced to this same concept of Purusha and Prakriti in Sutra 2.17: Drastr Drsyayoh Samyogo Heya Hetuh.
This sutra explains that the cause of avoidable pain is the over-identification of the Seer (Purusha) and seen (Prakriti, or Nature). In yogic terms, when we confuse and attach our Soul self to things that are by nature constantly changing, we suffer. Within the context of struggles with food, this attachment is often linked to over-identifying with weight, body, and appearance.
Yoga teaches us to listen to the wisdom of our body. When we close our eyes, connect to breath, and go inside, we can receive insight into living in our body in the present moment. Through awareness, we can tap into how hungry or how full we feel, rather than letting our mind dictate those cues. We can learn to decipher between physical hunger and emotional hunger, asking ourselves what we are truly hungry for. On the yoga mat, we practice finding space and breath in edgy, difficult shapes so that we can find that same ability to tolerate discomfort in our body without running to our closest habit.
We often hear that the “body is a temple for our spirit,” but the truth is we need our bodies to show up to live fully and beautifully on earth. Let’s nourish and care for our bodies in order to live with more peace and soulfulness.