4 Ways to Learn to Love your Body
I thought I was pretty body-positive… until I met Tantrikas (Tantra practitioners) and their body-love practices.
As I sat in a circle with them and described each part of my body: My hair, my jaw, my breasts, etc. I could always find something I disliked. Then I listened to the other women.
They sounded like infatuated lovers as they doted on their own eyes, feet, and hands. This wasn’t vanity but a real, authentic appreciation for their own uniqueness. I longed to be like them, but other than trying harder to think positively about myself I had no idea how to go about it. It broke my heart.
I’d learned from my spiritual teachers that the body is a sacred vehicle, that with enough love and time it could carry me to enlightenment and liberation. Through my spiritual journey, I was able to see the sacred beauty in just about everything… except for the body I saw in the mirror. I feared that I might never be free of this war with myself. But that wasn’t the end of the story.
Over time, using the techniques I share below, I completely transformed how I relate to my physical self. Now, when I look in the mirror, I see a perfectly imperfect piece of the Divine. I see the tool that is directly responsible for everything beautiful and good I have ever experienced through my senses. I see a unique manifestation of nature, as inherently sacred as a tree or flower. I see home. And your body is just as special.
Your body carries you around the world, dances with joy, and sees unbelievably beautiful sights. It gives you universe-shattering orgasms and pleasure. Ultimately, your body gives you some of the most meaningful experiences of your life, and more.
Your body is the one thing that will never leave you. It is the one thing that is with you from cradle to grave. It is always there to remind you to slow down and take care of yourself. It will carry you everywhere you want to go and is the catalyst for every experience you’ll ever have. This isn’t just an opinion you can have in your head. It’s an experience you can have for yourself. Here are 4 ways how:
During meditation, focus on your internal, bodily experience. During meditation, instead of focusing on your breath, try focusing on the minute sensations that are happening in your body all the time. The tingling in your elbow, a pinching in your knee. Get curious and see what your body feels like on the inside. If pain or illness is an issue for you, explore what areas inside your body feel good or ok or pleasurable. Notice how incredible it is that you can feel multiple sensations at once.
Be grateful for how your body serves you. Say thank you to your feet for carrying you throughout the day. Say thank you to your hands for helping you communicate and create. If you’re sick or hurting, recognize that that’s your body trying to repair itself and let you know that there’s a problem. If you can, show appreciation to your physical pain.
Give your body credit for your sexual pleasure. As I describe in more detail here, your body is the source of all the pleasure and orgasmic magic you have ever felt. By consciously giving your body the credit, you are teaching yourself to fall in love with your body the way you would any talented lover.
Develop an artistic perspective. In most figurative art pieces, it’s the unique “imperfections” of the body or face that make it beautiful. It’s not the perfection of the subject that determines the beauty of the painting. If you spend enough time with this kind of art, you’ll start to see your own body and the bodies of those around you as living, natural sculptures. (If you really want to go hardcore with this try nude figure modeling at a local art class. Nothing like seeing your cellulite interpreted through an artist’s eyes to change how you see yourself.)
Once you truly realize the preciousness of your body, it seems silly to judge its worth by impossible beauty standards and soulless health measurements. Once you see your body as inherently holy, it becomes silly to compare it to airbrushed images of celebrities and gym rats.
No matter your size, age, or make-up job, your body is beautiful.
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