Somewhere during yoga practice today, or more precisely during shoulder stand I fell out of love with my body. As age has gracefully carried me to the halfway line my stomach had retaliated by falling from it’s perch and landing somewhere in my face. I was grasping for loose clothing to do the cover and tuck but unfortunately when you are upside down so is your clothing. My vanity had met me face on. So today my practice was to watch the saddlebags of my humanity coming at me and be completely OK with that. Not an easy practice.
Here are my yoga tips for dealing with negative self image on or off the mat.
This is when we see something we don’t like and we start up a conversation with ourselves about it. Maybe your nose is a bit crooked, or one of your boobs is lopsided or you have big thighs. Things are going OK until you notice this or probably notice someone who has a nice nose, slim thighs or equilateral boobs. We start to chastise ourselves, we tell ourselves off and we dig the vocab right into our ‘fault’. This is the time to pause, silence the mind, observe our beliefs and habits of self criticism. Be careful what you say to yourself, you are the person listening.
In the Now.
Yoga is the practice of being in the present moment. Look at your body as it is now, not how it was or how it might be in the future. Love it as it is NOW.
Control vs Letting Go
We can control some aspects of our health and therefore our vitality that will show up on your body. Nourish your body in every way you can, from what you put in your mouth to the way you move your limbs. However, sickness, injury, weight gain/loss, age happen. Do the best you can with what you have and be prepared to let go or surrender to the ever changing nature of the body.
………………………View your body as an instrument to achieve what it is you need to do in this world and treat it with respect.
………………………Go from judging your shape to appreciating the miracle that you even have a body
If all else fails put on some yoga clothes and read the below.Practice for today: Examine the point behind some of your negative self images about yourself. Does it still serve you to hang on to these or would you time be better spent doing something else?