An Obsessed Exerciser Finds Self-acceptance: Conclusion

Aparigraha, specifically through not coveting an ideal body type, has taught me not to seek my validation within others but to look deep within myself and to understand who and what I truly am.  I appreciated the overlap this experiment had with other yamas and niyamas (such as ahimsa, as it took a great deal of energy to not be violent toward myself with my thoughts; santosha, as I learned the importance of being content with my current fitness level—without negating the importance of striving for better health; or saucha, as I found an appreciation for my body through gentle cleansing techniques such as exfoliation) and the ways in which it taught me to prioritize how I spend my energy.  Rather than spending all of my time obsessing about how many miles I will have to run to burn off that piece of birthday cake I just enjoyed, I began to consciously retrain my mind to appreciate the adequateness I bring here and now.  Additionally, I appreciate that the teachings of yoga are veiled in contemporary society and accessible to those even outside the yoga path.  A quote I found myself clinging to (on my long marathon training runs) reads, “It’s very hard in the beginning to understand that the whole idea is not to beat the other runners.  Eventually you will learn that the competition is with the little voice inside you that wants you to quit.”  The little voice proves to be the ego, and yoga—specifically through the path of aparigraha and this experiment—continues to lead me the cessation of this mental modification.