It's the New Year and who knows how many sit-ups and crunches are being performed today?
Instead of a resolution about your body, how about a revolution toward your body? Wouldn't it be great to be liberated from the tyranny of our shame about ourselves, especially that soft center of ourselves, our belly?
What is a healthy belly, anyway?
When I was a fledging yoga student, I remember that I never knew what to do with my belly in
I didn't dare let my belly "hang out," and my yoga teacher told me not to pull it in.
Once, in a yoga class I was teaching, everyone erupted into spontaneous applause when I proposed that a healthy belly is one which is softly rounded, yet strong (enough) and flexible.
Now I know that it is good and natural for bellies to be curved. A too tight belly restricts digestion and breathing. Appropriately strong pelvic stabilizing muscles are important for back support and for integrity, balance, and alignment in movement. The strength we gain in our legs in yoga also supports the pelvis.
In many cultures, the belly is considered the source of creative energy and spiritual power. From the yogic concept of balance, we can revolutionize our thinking and regard our belly as neither a place of passive weakness, nor a plate of armor against the world, but
a resilient and receptive powerful ocean between the earth of our legs and the sky of our lungs.
Here's to the revolution of loving your belly!