Finding Your Yogi Body
I started and stopped writing blogs similar to this one time and time again. I worried what you all would think, how you would process it, how I would say the words perfectly so that you would understand just what I was trying to say… I even wondered if I was ready to say these words. Then, I saw this picture of me in Puerto Rico and decided, this is it. I am writing it and I am ready.
Just like many of you, if not all of you, I too have suffered a turbulent ride with body image, acceptance and finding the “perfect” body. I know that this picture nor pictures from my past may reflect these insecurities, but, it is the truth and here is a little insight into my journey and recent epiphany.
When I looked at this picture, I thought… I look healthy, happy and full of light. But, that was not always the case and my body weight always reflected how I felt inside and the struggles I was internalizing. In this picture, I am actually 30 pounds heavier than what I weighed for much of my twenties and early thirties. I started yoga when I was 25 because I knew I needed something to change. I was suffering from a ton of health issues, which many stemmed from me being underweight. I began to change my life; I ate better and I did yoga, but I couldn’t gain weight because I was still bottling up so much inside. I was still holding onto pain, suffering and weakness. My body and health 100% reflected everything emotional and mentally I was coping with. (That could be a whole other blog.)
As I began to make transitions inside, my body began to change. And, boy oh boy was that a struggle. If you think losing weight is hard, trying to gain weight and accepting it is such a mind F***. The world tells you to be frail, small, weak and I needed to do the opposite. This was and is not just about looking good in a bikini, but it was about gaining my health back. From my late twenties on, I struggled from a slew of health issues that the elderly often deal with, not twenty year olds.
I bring all of this up not just to tell you about my struggles and my health, but to tell you that your perception of the perfect yoga body, may not be the one you need to work towards and it may not be as perfect as you think.
After returning from teaching my ladies only mermaid retreat in Puerto Rico, I pondered on some of the words and feelings my ladies expressed about their bodies and I wondered if we could all change our perceptions to having a healthy body rather than the “perfect” body.
For the last several years, I looked at pictures of myself and wondered how and why I gained so much weight, despite my efforts to do so. I judged myself and hoped one day I could get back into those crazy double zero jeans that used to fall off my hips. It was a torturous process. I needed to gain weight. I wanted to gain weight, but I struggled accepting the weight on my body.
Then, I looked at this picture and I saw health, happiness and lots of light. I no longer saw the pain I was carrying around or the struggles that I was so desperately holding onto. This picture allowed me to look inside rather than out and it allowed me to accept and embrace where I am physically as well as mentally.
Getting on our mats and moving our bodies is extremely important, but taking moments to sit and reflect where we are on this journey is just as crucial. So, when you look in the mirror, when you look at a picture, take a moment to see inside rather than just the outside. Start healing from the inside out and your yogi body will emerge.
Sending you all light, love, health and happiness!
XO – L
XO – Laurel