Over the past year, I’ve lost some weight and coincidentally, the size of my local yoga classes has shrunk. Like these classes, my body shape has changed from that of a plump macaroon to something more like a banana. Hmmmm. While we might think that slender bodies are considered more attractive, the research shows that in our most natural state, human beings are actually drawn to plumper body types.
A recent NY Times article reported on the Matsigenka people (see photo) who lead a primitive, hunter-gatherer life in a remote part of Peru. The Matsigenka population which was isolated from modern influences showed no preference for skinnier body types. While the Matsigenka population with exposure to modern society did in fact prefer the hard-bodied physique. In other words, advertising and entertainment impress upon everyone the importance of hourglass shaped bodies…while in truth, our most primal self longs to squeeze another’s flesh.
A wise one said, “The soul is placed in the body like a rough diamond, and must be polished, or the luster of it will never appear.” We spend countless resources attending to the body, while the soul cries for attention. So if you really want to be authentic, next time you’re in yoga class, say to your teacher, “Hey, you look fat.” While on the surface it might be confusing and even cause a rift in your teacher-student relationship, deep down, their soul will thank you. Just trust me.
God knows a day governed by the soul is a day of heartfelt, honest communication; day of chocolate, sunshine, and Negro Modelo; a day celebrating belly rolls and manboobs. God knows a day governed by the soul is a rare day indeed.