Ayurveda Teaches that the first step towards health is building a loving relationship with your body. Many people believe that loving their body means convincing themselves that they are beautiful enough, athletic enough, etc. They make a list of their positive attributes and try and focus on that while trying to ignore the ‘bad’ parts. We’d like to challenge this idea of love. It’s easy to love your good parts. Anybody can make a list of the things they love about themselves. But what about loving the parts of the body you feel ashamed about? How do you do that? a person focused on being thin might ask, how could I possible love my fat?

In a biblical sense, to love something means to adopt it. To love your body means to adopt it. You don’t even have to like your body to love it. To adopt your body means to chose your body over any other, and to select it as your own. It also means to invest your time, love and attention in caring for it, just as you would if you were adopting a child. Even if your child has many flaws, you would never exchange it for another. Finally, to adopt your body means to believe in it and place your hope in it.

Adopting your flaws and short comings is more difficult than it sounds. You’ll want to put some distance between yourself and your problems. This is natural. Each and every one of us has a certain beauty within, a place inside where we believe we are made in the image of God, and that place is the soul. First you feel the beauty of the soul inside you, and then you notice that your body isn’t a good representative of this inner beauty. That makes you want to reject your body.

At first when you realise that your body can’t, and never will measure up to your beauty within, it feels like a crushing blow and you want to escape somehow. Later you realise that no body and nothing on earth could possible measure up to your beauty within. There is nothing good enough to represent you – no job, no spouse, no home or fancy car will measure up. You realise that to live well on earth you need to forgive the earth for its short comings, including your earthly body. Compassion for these short comings wells up from your heart as you learn to adopt many things as your own, not just your body. Adopting your loved ones, your community, your society and nation, despite their flaws and short comings, makes your life special, tender and sweet. You realise that despite their earthly short comings each of these individuals has a beautiful soul too.