Body acceptance and self-love is such an important concept, but difficult to comprehend for many of us. We see images in the media of how yogis and celebrities who practice yoga physically look and it has diluted the way we see the ideal “yoga body.” I’m here to tell you no matter how much you weigh and how old you are, you have a yoga body that is capable of doing incredible things.
Many people are under the impression that you need to be strong, fit and thin to practice yoga. That can’t be further from the truth. Yoga is a spiritual and meditative practice that allows you to be exactly as you are. Throughout the span of your life, your body will change and evolve. You won’t look or feel the same when you’re 21 as you will when your 71. That’s the beauty of yoga. All are welcome and no one is excluded.
Here are 5 ways to celebrate the body you have, wherever you are in your fitness journey.
- Look at what you’ve accomplished so far. Go back to when you walked into your first yoga class or did your first workout at home. Think about where your flexibility and stamina was during that time. Now, fast forward to today. I can bet you are in a completely different place and can do things you never thought were possible! Poses that seemed difficult in the past now come to you effortlessly. If you’ve never practiced yoga before, take a look at other areas in your life. Perhaps you’re a mother and have gone through childbirth. Your body was healthy and strong enough to carry another human for nine months and you pushed through until the very end. That is an amazing and beautiful accomplishment and should be celebrated!
- Remember your why. It doesn’t matter if you have been practicing yoga for 25 years or 5 days, why did you decide to begin your yoga journey? Remembering your “why” from time to time helps remind you why yoga is so important to you and the reason you keep working on your practice.
- Stand in front of a mirror and focus on the good. Every morning, to get started on the right foot one of the first things you should do is point out what you like about yourself. It doesn’t have to be physical, for instance, you might like the fact that you can get into a meditative state practically instantaneously. If you love your strong shoulders from all of those downward dogs, say it out loud to yourself. This is a type of positive reinforcement that really can set the tone for the day.
- Find someone who supports and motivates you to be the best version of yourself. Maybe your yoga partner is always saying how flexible and graceful you are in class. Your mom might be someone who offers words of encouragement regularly or a significant other. Identify this person or persons and whenever they say something supportive or motivating, write it down on a piece of paper or in a notebook. You can either keep a running list or make a jar full of compliments and messages that lift you up. Whenever you’re feeling down, take a look at your list or take a message out of your jar and read it. Instant mood lifter!
- Fill your body with health. You are what you eat is a common cliché but oh so true. Reflect on what you’re putting into your body every day. Does most of your diet consist of whole, minimally processed food? If not, it might be time to rethink your approach to nutrition. Eating mostly whole foods does wonders for your body and mind and can even help you in your pursuit of yogi excellence.
This is it for now. Thanks for reading and have a nice day!