Contemplations from the 4th lesson on the Shiva Sutra
Sutra 3: Yonivargah kalashariram
‘This body is a living piece of art, composed of the five elements of nature and borne from the womb of the universe’
In a world obsessed with body image, that has given rise to a collective insanity of insecurity and paranoia around our own forms, this sutra is a shot in the arm and a slap across the face.
Shiva says, “Wake up and say thank you for the gift you have been given!” This show of gratitude alone will be enough to send a new wave of vital energy through your veins. Take what you have been given, honour its uniqueness, don’t worry about what anyone else was given and make the absolute most of what you have! This body is a rare gift of nature, borne from the womb of the universal mother; it is hardwired for ecstasy and programmed to take you to the highest knowledge of the Self.
"This body that you so often complain about and wish was a little taller or shorter, fatter or thinner, is in truth the most sophisticated and beautiful piece of technology ever invented; and you are wearing it. All that you need to do now is pick up the yoga user manual, apply the techniques, and realise its awesome potential."
You see, the only reason we can ever feel bad about our bodies or compare them with other peoples’ bodies is because we haven’t explored our own deeply enough. We look at our bodies too much from the outside rather than feeling them from the inside. Once we have felt the ecstatic flow of life energy flowing within us, whether we have a pimple on the chin or not will be of little relevance.
So the secret to transcending all limited and negative ideas about our own bodies is to get on the mat and connect with the fathomless beauty and radiant light that is coursing through it and so forget to reference ourselves externally. True beauty does indeed shine from within.
As we practice this ‘inner yoga’ more and more we will find that from time to time we forget to care what others think. And as we continue to climb out of our own body image we may start to see the deep beauty underlying the bodies of all those around us and value the unique art of each and everyone.
Our work in this lesson is to say ‘thank you’ to our body more often, and each time we catch ourselves thinking negatively of it or comparing it with others, to say, ‘sorry, please forgive me, I forgot what you are.”
Here are some parting thoughts;
The more we value our body – the more powerful it becomes.
The more we unite with our body – the less personal it becomes.
The more we get into our body – the more we will go beyond it.
The more we accept our body – the more beautiful it becomes.
The more we care to discipline our body – the more freedom it offers us.
The more we connect our body to the earth – the more it wants to fly.
The more we relax the tensions of our body – the more blissful it becomes.
The more we see our body’s uniqueness - the more authentic it becomes.
The more we move in our body – the more still it will become.
This body is not in our way – it is our way,
This body is a doorway to the infinite.