How Yoga Taught Me Self-Love
When I began practicing yoga for a purely physical practice, I never imagined it would change my life, my view on the world and on myself, so drastically. I jumped into it as a means of stretching to complement my running. I quickly was awakened to the emotional and mental elements of the practice.
The practice of yoga can bring us inside our body and mind to help us understand our worth outside our physical body. It can help provide us with the realization, which can be scary at first, we do not control a lot of what our body does – yawning, sneezing, smiling, the chemistry of the GI tract, the genetics we inherit, etc. But with that realization, yoga helps us figure out how to be okay with it – to let go of control and accept the fluctuations of the physical body and mental being. To be okay with the 5 pounds of water weight somehow gained within the last few days and to trust your body knows what it’s doing. To be okay you’re feeling lonely or sad today or this week.
Yoga also helped me investigate my “criteria for future happiness”. The concept of “I’ll be happy when…” Whatever that statement might be. “I’ll be happy when I fit into a size 2 pant”, “I’ll be happy when my butt isn’t so big”, or “I’ll be happy when my hair grows out”…these were all real “criteria” that have gone through my head within the last few years. I so quickly recognize when I hear these things said around me now, and it makes me want to embrace the person in an intense hug and pour in my feelings of self-acceptance just the way we are. We are perfect just the way we are, in this very moment. Whatever your “criteria for future happiness” may be, ask yourself Why? Are you sure? How do you really know you’ll be happy if that criteria is fulfilled? What will it take to get there?
Rewrite your criteria for what will make you happy now – today, in this very moment. Why wait to be happy when we can be happy now? 🙂 Recognize and acknowledge everyone has their own problems. Even that girl who wears a size 2, with a small butt, and luscious long hair…The grass isn’t always greener on someone else’s lawn. Maybe it’s your perception, maybe it’s fake…Maybe it’s turf 😉
Feed your spirit today. Accept and love what is. You are right where you need to be.
Cheers to a New Year, full of new possibilities for self-love!