Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Temples of the Divine

So I was going to write about how I was inspired this weekend going into St. Joseph's Oratory in Montreal and how it totally shows how the church is an expression of the body and how we really are walking, breathing temples of the divine spirit but something's still on my mind from this morning.

I teach yoga at CHEO in the eating disorders program. This morning someone mentioned that there's an 11-year old boy on the floor who's not in the program. He's in the hospital with ED and he's 11. Just that itself brings tears to my eyes. What is going on that such a little kid is dealing with disordered eating? Even the person telling me, who is dealing with herself was surprised and disturbed.

Yoga is a place where people with disordered eating issues can hang out. There are all sorts of unsupportive practices in yoga where people with ED can hide. I remember getting sick during one of my trainings in India and I had lost a lot of weight through illness and I got back to my classes and my teacher told me that was good for my practice. That completely went against what I had learned about yoga back in the States (funny, eh?) and I looked at the guy like he was crazy. I probably told him I thought so, too.

So knowing that yoga, with its images of skinny bodies and kriyas and fasting and other body-oriented rituals, could be very unsuppportive to people dealing with eating disorders, I am very conscious to bring out the part where we're all sparks of the divine living in bodies that are actually temples. And that however we are is really great. We're made in all shapes and sizes and everything else.

And it still gives me a knot in my belly to know there are kids in Ottawa ritually starving themselves.

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