I was in a yoga class not that long ago… and I heard the instructor say something I hear over and over again in yoga classes… “Breathe space into your body, in between the bones and joints.”
Breathe… a key element to yoga and to life… but it was the “making space” that hit me this time.
My weight is something I’ve struggled with since having children. Those few extra pounds reveal themselves in places I’d rather they not. Skimming Louise L. Hay’s book, “You Can Heal Your Life,” shows us where aches, pains, and even weight will settle when we mentally allow it. I won’t tell you where my weight settles, because that will be too telling of my own personal demons… but I will say, the woman is almost always right.
That said, why? Why, despite eating, and exercising, and meditating, and all the rest, do I continue to hold weight in these places? Why when I try to address the mental invitations (as Ms. Hay suggests) do I still struggle with the issue of weight?
Because the body is making space. Making space for me to hold the anger, the self-doubt, the fear, things I’ve cultivated and held onto more tightly since becoming a mom and realizing my mental state, and my life, had instantly become far more pivotal. Because we need some place to hold these emotions, so we hold them in our body—energetically of course—but the body is incredibly sensitive to energies… particularly our own.
And as emotions are not purely energy—they are also guided by tangible things like hormones, chemicals, and other physical impulses—when we store them in our body they do tangible things. Sometimes this results in stress, illness and chronic pain. Other times we store them away differently, and they attach to our cells, encouraging them to duplicate, to remain, to make more space for them to live.
There is a great deal of scientific evidence that shows how much we hold in our fat cells. Nutrients, toxins, everything we don’t or can’t flush out of our bodies, or that our bodies think we may need, is stored in fat.
So as you are reaching your diet or fitness plateau this year, don’t give up on your resolution—instead, consider resolving to dig deeper, to make more space for the things you are holding onto. To find a pretty place—albeit mentally or energetically—to hold all those things you’ve been holding onto, and perhaps hiding away because they’re scary to face. Recognize that our bodies need to grow larger to hold all the things we hold onto, and that by letting go, we can let go of those storage spaces as well.
Only then will we feel lighter, and healthier. Only once we stop carrying our baggage, can our body let go and allow us to be the us we know we are underneath it all.