My friend Russell comes to my yoga classes almost every day. Over the last couple of weeks, I have made a number of yoga videos for my students so that they can practice at home during social distancing and shelter in place. Russell hasn't done a single one. I asked him why and he said, "because you make me laugh in class." He comes to class for the physical benefits, but mostly he comes because it's fun. And social. We decided to practice outside together in the playground near my house. Six feet apart of course. And the only other person allowed is my partner. A tiny social gathering within the parameters of the governor's executive order.
This made me wonder about the origin of the word "social". Turns out it's from the Latin socius, meaning friend, and socialis, meaning allied. This made me think about Love Body and about what we offer. I know the knowledge we offer is important. And the opportunity for self-awareness, especially around mindset and narrative. And I know the actions we recommend, such as mindfulness practice and joyful movement are important. But what is starting to emerge from our workshops, talks, newsletters and social media posts is that something is more important than all of those things. And that thing is other people. People need other people. People need social support: friends, allies, communities, long-term relationships. We need it all the way down to our cells.
I've recently become fascinated with the work of Nobel laureate Elizabeth Blackburn, who co-discovered telomerase, the enzyme that replenishes telomeres, the caps at the end of our chromosomes. Telomerase conserves cellular division by preventing the rapid loss of genetic information internal to the telomere, leading to cellular aging. In her TED talk, Blackburn says, "Tight knit communities and long-term friendships improve telomere maintenance." This social business is no joke. Our life, down to the life of our cells, depends on it.
People need other people. And Love Body is committed to forming a long-term, supportive community of women who share an urgent need and desire to cultivate more self-love. Whether you are struggling with negative body image, negative self-talk, wavering self-worth, chronic dieting, difficulty staying in the present moment, difficulty implementing a self-care and self-love regimen even if you know all the right things to do, we're here for you. Friends. Allies. Socius. Socialis. We're here. Stay connected.
Oh, and guess what else helps maintain telomere length? Meditation! One of the most important actions in Love Body's practice method. Just sayin'.
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