Confession: I own a yoga studio because I took one too many triggering, unconscious yoga classes. Having recovered from an eating disorder (ED) in my formative years, my relationship with my body has often been contentious and the rhetoric around it terse. I count yoga as one of my lifelines OUT of the chatter of conditional statements and demeaning comparisons. Yoga connected me to me, not in the superficial way, but, in the way where I remembered I mattered. (HINT: We all matter!)
Illuminating The Root Of Your Habits
So, while it might seem facetious for me to say that I opened a yoga studio because I was triggered by thoughtless rhetoric, I am not joking. In ED recovery lingo, to be "triggered" is to be brought to a vulnerable space of old thought patterning (in yoga speak- samskara) and challenged to stay with your re-imagined, healthy stance. This is often doubly hard because our habits run deep and this new, nourishing way of processing things is inchoate. Thus, it is not uncommon after being triggered to at best feel 'freak out' and at worst repeat a learned but unsupportive response. This is also why yoga practices are so valuable in ED recovery. Yoga can kindly illuminate the root of our habitual way of (re)action.
Reciprocal "Nourishment" Is Not Nourishment
But, yoga is not infallible. Nothing is. Yoga is an alive practice and we are all a part of it. This is how I became triggered. Somehow, at this time of year, we as a collective society heighten our awareness around food and the body. In my experience, this is seldom positive. My trigger was (and sometimes still is) the idea that one exercises to compensate for one's meals. In no way is this conditional thought appropriate or nourishing. Not for me and I struggle to find a circumstance where it might be. Simply, reciprocal 'nourishment' is not nourishing!
So check in: How do you speak to about your practice? To others? To yourself?
Every time we put ourselves in an exchange economy of food, exercise, relaxation, love we are latently affirming a dangerous message of: I am not enough. This exchange economy is malnourishing for your heart. So, this season, I suggest trying something different. I suggest giving yourself a truly fulfilling gift. This season nourish yourself with your unconditional acceptance. <3