I recently read a book given to me by one of my students called “Waking”, by Matthew Sanford. It is a memoir about his life after he survived a car accident that killed his father and sister and left him with a broken neck and paralyzed from the chest down at the age of 13, and how as an adult he becomes a YOGA teacher!
He tells of his recovery and the ways in which he survived this tragic event in a way that is beyond inspiring. What intrigued me the most was his profound philosophies on life and how we perceive it externally, but more so how he perceived his life in connection to his Body and Mind…..the true essence of a yoga practice!
I shared part of his book with several of my classes at my yoga studio in Ormond Beach and want to now share it with you.
He writes, “During the previous twelve years, I have borrowed against my body. I have unwittingly relied upon the resounding beauty of its discipline against death. When I “left” my body during my traumatic experiences, it was my body that kept moving blood both to and from my heart. Often, as we age and can no longer do what we once could, we say that our bodies are failing us. That is misguided. In fact, our bodies continue to carry out the processes of life with unwavering devotion. They will always move toward living for as long as they possibly can.“
Go ahead, read that again. It was a very powerful "A-HA" moment for me personally. How many times have you said “I’m getting old, my body is falling apart” or “ As I get older I can’t do the things I used to so why bother?” The above passage is a great reminder that our bodies are amazing and that we should have an abundance of gratitude for all that our bodies do FOR us to keep us alive! So what if you can’t run a 5k as fast as you could 10 years ago? So what if it takes you a little longer to get moving in the morning when you first wake up? Our bodies are doing the BEST they can. They carry on life with DEVOTION!
I invite you to stop. Take a few deep breaths. Close your eyes and have gratitude for the strength of your body and the strength or your breath whether you are 25 or 75. Have devotion for your body mind and spirit because you only have ONE body in this lifetime. Cherish it.