Yoga is the best practice to change your mind, about your body!
Sep 7, 2018 | RUTH STEEL
Tittibhasana or Firefly Pose, is a challenging Arm Balance that requires more core than arm strength as well as hips, hamstrings & wrist flexibility. Not to mention - breath, concentration & meditation to calm that fear of falling crack first into a glorious bed of coarse grained rocks.
Before you go making an ass out of you and me, please know that I have not always been 'able' to do this pose or post pictures of myself, press pause before thinking that the point of this post has anything to do with aesthetics & shiny images, if I could lend a moment of your time, I'd like to share with you some things you may not know about me....
I’ve always fluctuated in weight and was bullied as a child for being fat. I allowed this to affect me for many years to come and was so blinded by this need to cover my midriff & constantly hold myself in. I would do binge sit-ups occasionally or go running wearing a bin bag in the hope of a sudden ’stars in your eyes’ type moment. In walks self-loathing me & out walks a slim toned beauty who is miraculously happy amidst the huge puff of elaborate smoke.
Being brought up in the era of Spice Girls, spandex & Mr Motivator - it used to be my all-time dream to be comfortable enough to work out in a crop top & not be worried about my wobbly tummy. I was determined, hardworking and doing all the right things I thought but was still self-conscious. The silly thing is, after years of self-shaming, poking & prodding at myself and disliking my tummy, I started to wonder if I would EVER be able to connect to my core, ’maybe it's not in my genes’ I would tell myself. Others around me the seemed to develop and connect to their core so easily during sport & dance but teaching points like ‘use your core’ & ‘pull your navel to your spine’ used to sound like I was being asked to grow a third leg or sprout a tail. 😰
So what’s different now?
Yoga has taught me to dig deeper. To find what’s meaningful & to love myself exactly as I am. To only speak words of kindness & love to myself and in turn, all others. Because THIS 'practicing kindness', IS 'practicing Yoga' too.
All too often, others can see an Instagram post and say "you're very flexible" but the truth is, it's not about being flexible or good looking or thin or toned or anything else societies shabby standards protest that we 'should be' on the outside. I care only about being mentally strong and mentally flexible...to question and be curious about every unkind thought that crosses my mind and challenge it because there is not only one way of thinking and living, there are MANY ways and we have the freedom to choose how we think, feel, act & react.
I continually choose to challenge my habitual patterns of thought, to challenge myself & my mindset, every damn day. And on those days when things get tough, I am more able to recognize my past pattern, make better decisions let go of things I would have otherwise clung onto finding peace in the knowledge that, 'I was mentally flexible in that moment, kind, loving & accepting of change.'
Once I started practicing more curiosity & positive thinking, to my surprise, I started to connect to my core & my body let go of some of that baggage I was holding on to for years. Any movement I did, be it Yoga, running, kettle-bell workouts - I was doing it because I love my body & all that it does for me, no longer because I hated it & had to ‘burn calories’. A wonderful by-product of this daily devotion to self-love and 'filling your own cup' and just BEing with whatever IS in the moment, be it good or bad - is that 'letting go of baggage,' in other words, the outside starts to mirror the inside.
For the skim readers:
👉🏼 In short - I stopped paying attention to the external & started paying attention to the internal.
👉🏼 One of the things it has taught me, is that - it does not matter how much others may hurt us, for we are capable of causing far more destruction to ourselves. It is always us the unique individual, who have the power to choose what we engage with & what we let go of, be it thoughts, feelings, people, food. How you think, feel, act & react is completely up to YOU.
Therefore, I have a favor to ask of you...
May you let go of those worries. Let go of your self-shaming. Challenge those thoughts & feelings and Love yourself to the core. Love yourself for all that you are and all that you believe in and your whole world will shift perspective.
It’s not going to be easy at first, you’ll catch yourself out frequently & laugh at how foolish you've been but it’s worth it because, if we cannot love ourselves.... how can others possibly love us!?
To all you beautiful, self shamers reading this - I see you, I support you, it’s time to let go of that part of your life now, you are worth so much more than the way you look!
All my Love