I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately – about consciously thanking my body for all that it does. When you’re diagnosed with cancer, it’s easy to feel like your body has betrayed you. Like it’s been sneaking around behind your back, hanging out with rogue cells in alleyways making dirty deals. It’s a horrible feeling, that.
But my whole cancer experience has reset my priorities, which means that my time on the mat is now nonnegotiable. And so, I’ve been spending a lot of time feeling all the great things that my body can do and these are the things I want to focus on.
Before I begin my thank you note, I’m going to apologize formy past transgressions. In part because, despite what my writing might portray, I want you to know, dear readers, that I’m really not all hearts and flowers all the time. And also, by acknowledging the crappy stuff I’ve done to my body, I’m hoping that I can let it go (and my cells can, too) forever.
Ahem. Where do I begin? It seems like I have to begin loooong ago, back in my late teens and early twenties since that seems to be when my poorest choices were made. So here goes: Sorry about all those French fries (although the jury’s still out, I feel twinges of guilt for those high school McDonald’s runs). Sorry for drinking alcohol. Like ever. I’ve never been a big drinker, but that doesn’t seem to matter with the type of breast cancer I had. Sorry for bumming cigarettes at college parties and for my (past) love of cakes, cookies, ice cream, and cannolis. Do I need to atone for that tanning booth experiment that one time? Let’s just say it was the 80s and we were pulling out all the stops for prom. And we didn’t know any better.
In spite of all that—through fat times and thin times, good hair days and bad, you’ve continued to be there for me. So, I thought I’d thank you, publicly. Here goes:
Thank you to my heart for beating and reminding me that I’m alive
Thank you to my belly for moving up and down when I breathe in Savasana
Thanks to my toes for feeling the sand squoosh beneath them
Thanks to my face for feeling the sun shine on it
Thanks to my arms for being so great at hugging
Thanks to my legs for running and skipping and hopping
Thanks to my hips for wiggling and having dance parties with my two year old
Thanks to my vocal chords for making it possible to sing
Thanks to my ears for being able to hear music
Thanks to my wrinkles. If I’m being really honest, I have to admit I don’t like looking at you. But, you remind me that I’ve lived and and that I have gained some wisdom since the tanning booth incident.
Thanks to my blood and lymph and all of those other elements that come together and make sure that my body keeps on keepin’ on each day
Thanks to my musculo-skeletal system for firing up so that I can do yoga and feel what it means to be embodied
Thanks to my taste buds for giving me so much pleasure
Thanks to my brain for being able to process all of this. Sometimes you are too clever for your own good and you make things far too complicated. But all in all, I’m impressed by your hard work.
And finally, a big shout out to my eyebrows. Because, have you seen my eyebrows? I just really love the shape of my eyebrows.
Thank you. Thank you. Just thank you.
By Andrea Ferretti
Andrea Ferretti and Jason Crandell are a husband and wife team who have been teaching, writing about, and living their yoga for nearly two decades. Andrea is the former executive editor of Yoga Journal and is now creative director for Jason Crandell Yoga Method. Jason is an internationally recognized teacher known for his precise, empowering, down-to-earth approach to vinyasa yoga. They live together in San Francisco with their full-time boss, Sofia-Rose Crandell, age 3. To read their blog or to learn more about Jason's upcoming teacher trainings, please visit their web site www.jasonyoga.com