We are surrounded by a celebrity culture that brings all kinds of pressures on women to look a certain way and live a certain lifestyle. This is not only exhausting but it produces all kinds of pressures and also shame when we cannot except ourselves the way we are. Yoga can teach us to love and accept our body and the way we look. Acceptance is something that reaches beyond the body. We can accept difficult emotions, we can accept our current situation in life, we can accept our suffering in whatever form it takes, and we can accept our mental resistance to moving in a direction that has heart and meaning for us.
1. Yoga is Not About Should’s.
In case you need reminding you are a unique soul with unique gifts and a unique way of being in the world. Yoga is about slowing down and releasing the should’s. Through yoga you can learn to connect to the deepest truth of who you are. Yoga is a process not an end result. You can stop living your life as a means to an end and instead live the life that’s meant for you. When we release the should’s then yoga teaches us to listen to our intuition.
2. The Body is a Sacred Temple.
Rather than seeing the body as a machine that breaks down and goes wrong from time to time, as mechanistic science would have us believe, see it as an intricate, miraculous piece of biology that truly is a sacred vessel for your divine spirit. Whatever your spiritual belief, or lack of it, seeing the body as a miracle rather than a machine has the potential to transform your life. Yoga teaches us to be with our body in the here and now. Yoga teaches us to release any comparison with other bodies so we can focus on following our own biological rhythms.
3. Yoga Teaches Possibility.
Yoga is demanding and can be challenging physically as well as on all other levels of our being. There is the sweat and aching at the beginning and the mental resistances of doubt and comparison and frustration and disappointment. We may feel that we are not ‘improving’ or getting the certain look quick enough. We may feel drawn to giving up and just chilling. If you have been practising for some time you will know the body mind and heart have certain limitations. In our yoga practise we will meet this in the studio at some point. Yoga teaches us the power of gentleness rather than force is the way to meet and surpass our preconceived limits. When this happens then we are on the path to the seemingly impossible.