In the beginning was

the Word

And the Word was with God and the Word was God

I’ve been pondering the power of words lately. For yoga teacher training this month, we are to each lead the class in a back bend or a small flow that includes a back bend.

Doesn’t this look intimidating?

It does to me. I can’t do either of those yet. So how do I lead someone else through doing a back bend when I can’t do one?

The good news is that these are also yoga back bends.

And I can do these.

And what does this have to do with words?

Go back to the second sentence under the first set of pictures. I started to write “I can’t do that,” but then I remembered the power of the little word yet. I may not be able to do those first back bends, but some day I could, and yet keeps that door open.

If you’re like me, the words “back bend” haven’t brought up happy thoughts in a long time, but what comes to mind when I say open your heart toward the sky or claim your space or open your shoulders? Those sound softer but strong. They feel doable. Positive. Your body will wind up in a very similar position, but my guess is that by opening your heart you will find more of bend from a standing posture than if you simply thought, “I have to bend my back.”


Words have power; immense power. Our choice of words can add light and life to the world or it can bring darkness and death of spirit.

In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God and then God gave that gift of words to us. Humans. You. Me. Words.

It’s mind-boggling when you sit and ponder the power of words. How words can mean the same thing but have completely different connotation around them. Bend your back or Open your heart toward the sky. Which would you rather do?

Today, I choose to open my heart and I choose to lead others to do the same.


One more thing about bodies

For most of my life, it has unnerved me when someone asked, “have you lost weight?” In fact, in my life history of gaining and losing weight, that question has often triggered a cycle of weight gain. I know it’s meant as a compliment; that people believe they are saying something positive to me. Maybe others want to be asked this; I don’t.

I don’t mean to make anyone feel bad by challenging this idea, but challenge it I must. For the past few years, I’ve been pondering why this is true. Why has this one small question unnerved me when it’s meant to be a compliment? Here are the reasons I’ve come up with:

  1. If losing weight is a compliment, it implies that there is something inherently good about weight loss. This isn’t true. People lose weight when they are sick. People lose weight when they are emotionally stressed and cannot eat. There are a huge number of reasons that people lose weight that are not good, so the presence of a smaller body does not equal a positive accomplishment.
  2. The flip side of this is there is nothing inherently unhealthy about larger bodies. True, some larger bodies are unhealthy, but there are larger bodies that are much healthier than smaller ones. If this is hard for you to believe, then look herehere, and here. After you’ve let that soak in, check out how many organizations there are for people with eating disorders.  Here’s a list to get you started:
    1. National Eating Disorder Association
    2. Binge Eating Disorder Association
    3. National Association for Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders
    4. Academy for Eating Disorders 
  3. CLARIFICATION: I am not saying that no one with a large body has health issues as a result. Neither am I saying that everyone with a small body has an eating disorder. What I am saying is that body size is not a clear indicator of either physical or emotional health. Therefore, complimenting someone on having a small body should not even be a thing. Compliment my courage. Compliment my intelligence. Compliment my sense of style, my ability to sing, or my willingness to love people with abandon and invest in their lives. 
  4. The biggest reason body questions and their implied compliments bother me: Why are you noticing my body so much anyway? It’s mine. It’s not public property to be assessed or graded or assigned value. It’s my body. It’s strong and capable and gave birth and fed babies and I’m very proud of those things, but it does not mean that it’s any better than anyone else’s body or that it’s any better when it’s smaller than when it’s larger.

Food, movement, and body size have been the focus of much of my life. They have been present in my own thoughts, in statements made to me, and in the culture I’ve lived in. It’s remarkable that anyone comes away with any sense of normalcy these areas. I’ve spent money and time in counseling, reading, working with a life coach, and on diets and exercise plans and Bible studies, and . . and . . and . . . it just keeps going on.

I’m turning 50 this year and I’m tired.

I’m tired of thinking about food and whether or not my body should be different. I reached that point a couple of years ago. I’m just done.  It takes way too much emotional and spiritual energy.

Instead, I’m going to do what I love. I’m going to keep practicing yoga. I’m going to dance when the music is good. I’m going to walk outside when I can. I’m going to eat yummy, amazing food, and wear clothes that make me feel good about myself.

And if my body winds up changing somehow and you ask me if I’ve lost weight, I’ll tell you the truth: I have no idea.  I have no idea and I don’t really care.


PS: if you are interested in learning more about body acceptance, please check out Amber Karnes and her Body Positive Rebellion. I’ve been following her work with body positive yoga for several years and am also participating in this online event. Having these thoughts refreshed within me is part of what inspired this post.


I don’t usually set New Year’s Resolutions, but it also seems wasteful not to use such an obvious demarcation of time to do some assessment.

This year I have one:  Yoga every day.

Therefore, when I started this post on January 1, I was sitting in a parking lot, waiting for a yoga studio to open for a hot yoga class. Normally, I am not a hot yoga person, but y’all, it’s cold outside. Like I-can’t-feel-my-face-why-can’t-I-feel-my-face cold. So hot yoga it is.  Or was.  That was two days ago.

My main goal with this is to create a home practice, so this month, I am doing Yoga with Adriene’s 30 day stretch called True. Jason and I have been doing this at home in the morning. I’m so proud of him for doing this with me. Humbled and thankful too. Today is the first day we will do it in the evening instead of the morning. Work schedules have kicked back in and we decided that getting up at 5:00 AM is not our style.

I am still going to classes at Nooma, still working on my own teacher certification, and this month I am also doing an additional certification in making yoga classes accessible for people with bodily challenges. Yoga is for everyone, not only for those with the bodies Western yoga culture has put in front of us as “yoga bodies.”  Do you have a body? Then you have a yoga body.


Want to follow my #yoga365 journey? I will try to remember to post on Instagram, but it most likely will not be a daily post. Once classes start next week, it will be a challenge to keep up with posting, but I want to encourage others to set lofty goals, so I will do my best.

If you are reading this, you are a faithful (or maybe bored?) companion. My lack of writing has been very impressive in recent years, so I’m always surprised when anyone shows up here.  If you’re here, please let me know. Writing more is always on my mind, so I want to honor those who show up to read my words.

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