Accepting the Impermanence of the Body

Peak pose of the week: urdva muka poschimotanasana, with a focus upon preparing the body for seated meditation

The popularity of yoga has become widespread in part because of the exercise aspect that more vigorous styles have offered in the western world. I think the athletic aspect is fantastic as healthy bodies positively affect the health of the mind. But what happens when the body is injured or sick? And of course, there’s the inevitability of aging and being unable to physically do the things we could at a younger age. This is when healthy minds can positively affect the body, no matter what state the body is in.

Today marks the first day of the 31 Day March Meditation Challenge! The major reason I’ve personally recommitted to a meditation practice is because of a vocal cord injury that will be landing me in minor surgery next week. I’ll be unable to speak for about 7 days and the physical aspect of my yoga practice will have to change significantly for at least six weeks (I’ll have to be very mindful about the way I use my breath and core). None of this is life threatening, but it has been a big bump in the road. I’ll be honest in saying that the injury is in part a result of not accepting what was happening with my voice and a lack of commitment to the physical changes I had to make. What I have found through meditation is an opportunity to witness impermanence and be completely within the changing moment exactly as I am. The struggle, the analysis and the judgment are still there, but so is my will to practice.

Meditation is where we get to exercise the mind.

“Impermanence is a principle of harmony. When we don’t struggle against it, we are in harmony with reality.” – Pema Chodron