Your marriage is a vessel for holding love. So, too, your body is the vessel for holding you, for expressing God in this world. Just as it is essential that you work to “keep the fire alive,” it is essential that you work to “keep the body alive.” The two go hand in hand. If you want to build a strong vessel to hold the love of your marriage, that work must also include your bodies. Whether your approach is to focus on diet, exercise, hatha yoga, tai chi, pranayama or dance, it is important that you commit to care for your bodies. It not as important what forms you choose, only that you include some form of body care in your practice of marriage.

Our bodies are the expressions of who we are: our light shines in our eyes; our gifts are given through our hands; our feelings are experienced through our bodies. Advaita Yoga in general and Tantra in particular teach that spirituality is not divorced from our bodies but is rooted in the body and includes our physical dimensions. Mystical experiences are not integrated into our lives if we do not incorporate them into our physical experience. The healing of traumas and the resolution of karmas unfold through our bodies. To follow marriage as a spiritual path, it is essential that you honor your body as integral to this work. The stronger you intend to cultivate your energy together, the deeper you need to work maintaining your health and strength.

There is also a bond that develops between you and your partner when you have a body practice together. It is as if there were a knowing rooted in your bones that the two of you share. This even applies to doing physical chores around the house together. Perhaps you work out together, take walks, do gardening, adopt a Hatha Yoga practice. These will all improve not only your individual vessel but also the bond between you.

Part of this practice extends to taking care of this earth. The physical earth and its ecological network of life is also part of your being. We all have a primal connection to the spirit of the earth; it is essential to our deepest soul. Your health depends upon the health of this world; it is the vehicle for your spiritual practices and growth. When you commit to body practice, to your physical health, also extend that to connecting to the earth. Put this connection into action, nurturing the health of the earth. What you give to the earth will come back to nurture you and support you to deepen within your own selves. Yes, it is easier to engage the spirit of the earth if you live close to nature, but even if you live in an urban setting, you can visit parks and help clean up or repair them, feed birds, grow any amount of a garden you can, behold the sunrise and sunset and express gratitude. There are myriad ways to cultivate the connection. It will root your love and your mystical practices in your bodies and in this world.

Next Essay: Kirtan: The Power of Chanting

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