Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Body Image and Yoga

Yoga has kind of become my life. I started training to be a yoga teacher in January and I graduate in 3 weeks! I don't even know how that's possible. It's gone so fast!

If you would of asked me a year ago if I wanted to be a yoga teacher, I would of laughed at you. Now look at me. It has completely changed my outlook on life and what it means to be healthy in my own body.

Today I want to to talk about body image and all the reasons women specifically avoid going to yoga classes. This is important to me, because once, this was me. I would avoid going to a class because I didn't feel like I fit the "type" that did yoga.

It sounds silly, but there can be a misconception on who should be doing yoga. In todays world, body image is thrown down our throats. We are too thin. We are too fat. We don't have thigh gap. We have muscular legs. It seems no matter how you look, something isn't quite right.

As women we are always feeling pressured to look a certain way. This brings lots of self doubt and often makes us feel bad about something we may not even have control over. We detach ourselves from doing things we love or have interest in because we don't feel like we are good enough.

Not the best photo, but you get the point! - More professional photos coming soon!
 
Ladies, let me tell you something. ALL BODIES ARE NOT BUILT THE SAME. Studying anatomy through this journey has shown me that there are people out there who can do certain poses, and there are people who will never do that pose. It's not because they are not in shape, it's because their bodies were not build to get into that pose.

Our bones are not all the same length or even shape. If you are trying to get into a pose and you are experiencing bone on bone action, that is no joke. You can't force a bone to go somewhere it wasn't meant to go. I know plenty of "skinny" women who can't touch their toes. They were not build to do this. And you know what? It's perfectly fine!

Yoga is not about getting into that perfect shape, it's about doing what your body needs. Reap the benefits of the pose, and quit looking around to see how everyone else looks. I stopped doing this, and now I can get lost in my own practice. My body feels amazing and that is all that matters to me.

Once I got into this mind set, it made me realize that I am doing what my body needs. Not what someone else's body needs. In one of the last classes I went to, I looked up in a challenging pose. What I noticed floored me. Everyone in the room was struggling. It wasn't just me.

Yoga is hard sometimes for everyone. No practice is ever the same. We all have good days and we all  have bad days. I know there will be students in my classes that will be more advanced than me. I am okay with that. It is not a competition. We can all learn from one another.

So as I close this thought, I want you all to know, if yoga calls to you, just go for it. Your body will thank you. I also want to let you all in on a little secret. I am building a business plan to offer yoga to women who are afraid to take that leap. Build a safe space for them to come and be themselves and to still love their body, no matter what your "shape" is.

I feel like my purpose is to help other beautiful ladies love themselves as much as I have learned to love myself through this journey.

Share with me your experiences with yoga, and what if anything keeps you from going to a class. I would love to hear your stories! Remember, YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL!

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