A friend shared a post which popped into my Facebook news feed. The meme was what first caught my attention. It spoke to a practice that I had begun to start the day with – speaking to my body – in particular my cells – acknowledging and appreciating their desires and encouraging them to do their thing! As I read the post itself from Sophie I knew that this was something I wanted to include in my website.
This is a bit of a long post…but I wanted to share with you all my yogic journey and the reasons why I decided to become a yoga teacher. A short story for your tea break!!
I battled with body image and my weight for over 20 years. I think the first time I remember feeling fat was probably when I was just 6 years old. I look back at photographs and all I see is a beautiful healthy little girl but inside my head I was this horrible fat thing and that belief grew stronger and stronger as I got older. We’re constantly bombarded with ideals of how we should all look, both women and men. And I fell into that trap which I think most of us do.
I put on a brave face through the years but I absolutely hated my body, my shape, my size. I had very low self-worth. And I took all that pain and hurt and punished my body. Either through spells of vigorous workouts 4 or 5 times a week in the gym, pushing myself to lose weight so I could look attractive and be happy. Or by being so down and feeling helpless that I would go through spells of an overeating disorder, stuffing everything I could into my mouth in a haze like a zombie. It was always one extreme or the other, but both very brutal on my body. And feeling ashamed, I didn’t tell anyone. I always felt like I didn’t want to burden anybody else with my problems.
I started traveling and opening myself up to new experiences which was an incredible part of my life, but my weight troubles never left me. I could be in the most beautiful place and I’d still have moments were I felt really unhappy inside.
We have this foolish notion that we’ll be happy when we lose that 10 pounds, or when we go away on holidays, or when we finally meet that special person. We put our happiness in outside events and possessions and people. We expect these things to make us happy. And ya, they probably do for a while, but it wears off. And so we buy more things, or start another new relationship, or book another holiday to escape reality. But the reality is, we can be happy regardless of any of these things. We have the power to change our perspective. We have a choice in any given moment how to feel.
(By the way, this is all still a learning process for me, I can still put expectations on other people and things to make me happy, but it’s a learning curve, none of us are perfect and that’s the beauty of life.)
Yoga, without question, helped me changed my whole outlook on my body and my life. 100%. Which is why I feel so passionate about it and what to help others gain the benefits.
I used to take Pilate’s classes because it was a great workout and I knew yoga was a bit similar but I never had any interest in it because it was “too gentle” for my liking – remember…I wanted grueling workouts because I liked to punish myself! I can’t remember why all of a sudden I decided to try yoga, but I did. In a local gym. And I was pleasantly surprised that it is actually a great workout. So that kept my interest at the start that kept me going back.
But the more I practiced, the more I really enjoyed it. So I started to practice at home, watching YouTube videos and that’s when things really started to change in my life. My perspective changed. I no longer felt the need to aggressively workout and punish myself. I let all that aggression towards myself go as I started to heal and accept my body the way it is. I started to love my body, I started changing how I spoke to myself and how I viewed myself.
Again, it’s still a learning curve, I do have moments were I’m being hard on myself but I think one of the most important things we can do, is be aware of our thoughts, be aware of the things we say to ourselves. And when you’re aware of what you’re telling yourself, you can change it. It’s not something that just happens overnight, it’s a slow process but start today.
Start loving yourself. Start loving your body. Thank your body for all the amazing things it enables you to do. We can walk, run, DANCE, sing, play, LAUGH, eat delicious food, jump out of a plane, see rainbows in the sky, we can hug, kiss, have sex, CREATE LIFE. I mean how amazing is all of that and there’s so much more. I guarantee nearly every single one of us has at some point in our lives, struggled with body image. As humans we have so many more commonalities than differences. Underneath it all we’re just the same. We all want to be accepted and loved.
But it starts with yourself. Accept and love yourself where you are at right now, wherever that is. Stop criticizing yourself and judging yourself. Be kind and compassionate to yourself. You deserve it. ❤