Acceptance

“If you don’t feel good in your body —– if you can’t move forward with ease and not dis-ease —– how can you feel good about anything?  Yoga….makes us feel good about the bodies we are in.”  Beth Shaw

 

Open any yoga magazine and you will be bombarded with images of slender, strong, arm-balancing yogis and yoginis.  Perfect bodies either the gift of hereditary or hard work.  Either way it leaves the novice and experienced practitioner alike, feeling inadequate and intimidated. 

To be blunt, real people just don’t look like that, especially while in the middle of an asana practice.  We sweat, grunt (well not me :)), squeeze our bellies over our tight pants in a twist, and don’t care how beautiful we look.  Now when we first start practicing we spend a lot of time comparing ourselves to others, believing that somehow beauty equals success in yoga.  We fully identify with our bodies and believe we are nothing more than the sum of parts that make up our bodies.  I wonder where we get these ideas?!

REAL yoga happens when we let go of these false identities with our bodies.  We may not be as slender or flawless of the magazines tell us yogis should be.  But we have heart, an openness to explore our bodies, minds, and spirits,  and yoga has taught us that this is where the REAL beauty lies.  Hidden under the sweat, soaked shirt that proudly proclaims, “I am here just as I am.  Perfect.”

From my open heart to yours,

Shanell

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