So….I never thought I would find a correlation between yoga and the Bachelorette but I also never thought I would have had cancer either or that I would have moved to and lived in Switzerland or that I would love a book called “The World is Fuc*ed…a book of hope” so much that the author is on my list of peeps I would want to do brunch with before I died if given the chance. I just haven’t figured out where yet….
So here is where this correlation started…
I was watching the episode of the fantasy suites where Luke basically tells Hannah B that if she has slept with any of the other guys, it’s his time to exit because he was saving himself (born-again) for his future wife. Well, this opened up a can of worms about faith, religion, masculinity, slut shaming, women, sex, their bodies, double standards, judgement, pride and a host of other human issues that are at play in the everyday world. Now since I began teaching yoga, I have come across some people that don’t do yoga and those that actually can’t stand yoga or people that do it. And I often wondered why and sometimes I think it did trace back to origin and exposure and sometimes faith based beliefs and sometimes – money. I think some people actually believe if you do yoga and more of the population does – the future will become that of India financially and the buildings will be dilapidated and the people smelly and too many of them. I myself never thought I would be questioned about my faith or any negative impact on society because I wanted to teach yoga–But I was. And I had to keep reminding myself that this was between me and my heart and my God. Who was anyone else to judge? And if they were judging – were the intentions selfish or out of love or out of control? Did they want me to pick a side? Did I have to? I try in all situations to see all sides as everyone has a point of view. In these moments, I tried so hard to channel Pema Chodrun and have some compassion and tell myself these people just haven’t been exposed, they don’t mean to be ignorant, etc etc etc. But then, anytime I try to suppress my voice- my fifth chakra gets blocked and it doesn’t feel right. And my fifth chakra can regulate hormones as well so then my thighs get bigger and that is not good for anyone in my perimeter – so I feel like I am compelled to use my talents to speak about this to whomever will listen or read. Which is a bit freaking scary and a bit off putting and trust me I wish I hadn’t been gifted this sometimes but here it goes.
Much like Luke and Hannah B – I was raised with religion. I was raised to believe in God and I still do. I have fond memories of going to church with my family and how I felt when I was in church and singing and praying and being reminded of all the blessings that I have even when things go wrong. I also struggled with body images, eating disorders, and binge drinking. I read a book many years later that actually said all of these issues were HIGHLY COMMON amongst middle class white catholic women in the US in the 90s. Does this ring a bell for anyone??? When I got cancer in my 30s and started to do yoga and change my diet and focus on self care and myself for the first time – I felt AMAZING and as I felt more amazing inside, this resonated outside. I did better both at work and in my relationships. Who doesn’t want that for a society? More mindful people who want to work to be the best version of themselves they can? Now yoga does make me want to use less. Less alcohol, less food, less product. My practice is better when I don’t overeat or over drink. I treat my body like a vessel and what moves the vessel and commands the oars is my breath not worldly possessions or money. It is simply breath and my ability to be grateful with the simple stuff. If you use this time to connect to a higher power – awesome – God def plays a role in my practice. But if you use the time to connect to you because you don’t believe in a higher power – I think the practice still has powerful effects on mindfulness and living in the present and keeping the body nice and limber as we age. Because who likes to live in a past that has passed or have anxiety over what the future shall hold? So I stay very rooted in this. Sometimes my self doubt especially after having Kira crept back in because I felt judged on whether I worked or didn’t work, whether I breast fed or bottle fed, whether I put my daughter in the international or local school, whether I taught yoga or went back to corporate -it was endless. And then another light bulb reminded me that the only person who needed to be at peace with who Becky was was Becky and her beliefs and my beliefs and inner core haven’t faltered. This was a personal relationship and I wish I had had the “balls” to simply tell some people to SEE their way out. But I didn’t in certain moments, I was living and being me and I didn’t want to be judged or put in a box.
So now I am back to taking a bit more me time to let it out, and heal parts of me that got blocked again with human emotions that I couldn’t find in me a way to express or the TIME TO FEEL THEM so that I could heal them. I have started going to class again regularly in a studio where they offer a variety of yoga – both power and grace, both yin and yang, both elements. It is breath based movement that at the end of each class – I lay there on the mat thankful for my body, for the practice, for my life, for the ground that supports me, and I feel more at peace and more align with LOVE. It’s almost like a good glass cleaner to the specs of my life. I have taken time to move our stuff, find a home for everything, get rid of things we no longer use and make sure our home base is something we are proud to come home to and kept orderly. Not perfect. Not without clutter or life. Filled with spirit.
Love is the basis of our core and it is the basis to help heal mankind and the planet right now and create a better place for our children and their children. When I look back to the people that loved me when I was sick, that helped me to heal – it was black, white, rich, poor, catholic, jewish, atheist, long time friends, strangers, doctors, nurses, reiki practitioners, massage therapists, juice shops, dogs, a dolphin in Grand Cayman, the list could go. There was no divide. And the result was amazing, it was divine. Putting up walls through religion, through race, through sex, through culture, through country, through social class, doesn’t help. Pigeon holing people or trying to figure them out based on one belief – won’t help you get to know them or their story. Because each story is unique with winds and curves and none of us know how someone else’s story will end.
So back to the bachelorette – I absolutely adore the show – I feel like each season it brings up social issues that are current. And I love yoga because it taught me what it feels like to love my body, to accept my patterning, and to navigate through the ickiness and continue to accept, grow, repair, love, breathe, and live….mindfully and more alive. Luke & Hannah B both have faith but their perceptions of how faith played out in their lives were very different. What they struggled with and their demons were different. What they were good at was different. I don’t believe in any religion or constitution that feels better when a woman is less empowered than a man and thank you Hannah B for moving the rose stand up when he wouldn’t take no for an answer. Props to you for taking back the floor from a man or any human that wanted to judge and make decisions for your body and your life – sound familiar? It was clear he didn’t see the parts of you that were divine – your ability to show a vulnerable side, your ability to want despite the show being a show to be as real as you could, understanding human flaw in that, your ability to show such compassion when you let someone go – I saw it. I saw your light and your love. And I think he was scur’d.
So props to Hannah B, to Chris Harrison, and to ABC! Namaste & God Bless!