Why I love to teach is the things it teaches me, the things it makes me reflect on. I had one such experience recently which really made me reflect on the concept of 'loving your body'. When around three students turned up to a candlelit, no air conditioned class with let's say, very poor personal hygiene, I was really torn as to what to do. As a teacher you accept and embrace whoever walks through the door, but when it affects the others in the room to the point of visible discomfort and to the extent that you have one student even ask to leave the class, you have to weigh up the greater good.
So what does it mean to love your body? I don't mean the size of your butt, the definition of your abs or the diameter of your biceps, but truly loving and taking care of your body, inside out.
* Nourish it from the inside with good food: There's a reason why more kids are growing up with allergies and conditions they never did 20 years ago; it's called eating cr@p food. Why girls are getting periods way before they used to, why they're developing body hair younger and younger. As Hippocrates said: "Let food be they medicine and medicine be thy food." Hippocrates also said all health problems start in the gut. Go figure.
* Nourish it from the outside by keeping it clean and putting only good, natural things on your skin: Everything you put ON your body, goes IN your body. Who would think there would be petroleum in baby oil? There are so many great natural products now and it's also super easy to make a lot of these at home with a ton of recipes online for the likes of home made eye make up remover, body scrub etc. I only use coconut oil as a moisturiser now and there are so many amazing and affordable things out there. Brands like Human and Kind, Balanced Guru, Herbline Essentials... And really, is keeping it clean something we should even have to talk about in this day and age? There's barely a facility I know here in Dubai that doesn't have clean showers to freshen up before AND after class if that's what your body needs.
* Learn about your body: it's a wonderful machine. Know the difference between your hips and your butt, between your shoulders and your shoulder blades, the difference between a forearm and an elbow. I don't say study Grays Anatomy but you can't run a machine that you don't even understand. How can you intelligently and mindfully follow instructions of your coaches and teachers or 'listen' to your body when you don't actually know these basic body parts? It's the equivalent of knowing the wheels and steering wheel on your car.
* Keep your body physically active: move, in some form or another. It doesn't have to mean you take up CrossFit, join the nearest bootcamp or even run a marathon. Find something fun, move, walk your dog more, take the stairs, go dancing, walk to the local coffee shop instead of driving. Just do something. Break a sweat. Get your heart rate up. Regularly.