Why YOGA? with Danica Hedin

When I was 4 months postpartum with my daughter, my assistant manager suggested a Yoga Mamas class, taught by his wife, Deirdre Frank.  I had been looking to do a class where I could bring my baby to participate with me, so I decided to try it. I have tried many different workouts at many different places, and never felt like I was a part of the group. Poser YOGA has been the only place where I’ve ever felt like I’m truly a part of a second family. (It was in that class where I met another wonderful woman, Jenny Houston, and her little girl Waylen!)

I felt nervous when I went for the first time, but it quickly dissipated after meeting Deirdre. I’ve since told her, if she hadn’t been so nice and compassionate, I probably wouldn’t have come back. My first class left me feeling amazing, and it was then that I decided that yoga was right for me. I have practiced regularly for over 2 years now, and it’s the only thing that has actually stuck with me. It resonates with me. Through yoga, I have met and taken some classes from some incredible teachers, and I am proud to have them in my tribe, and as friends.

I have always been prone to anxiety, especially through my teenage years and into adulthood, and it was exacerbated after an unfortunate circumstance. Practicing yoga has helped me heal through trauma, combat my postpartum anxiety (I experienced it with both of my children), and anxiety in general. It has become more than a workout. It has be come a lifestyle that I utilize every day whether through asana, meditation, or interacting with people. I choose to be more compassionate because of what yoga has taught me. It has also helped me be a more patient woman and mother, even in my most stressful times. In those moments, I can count to ten and slow down my breathing, and all is a little better.

Yoga has given me a feeling of confidence, and a new found appreciation and respect for my body. No longer am I ashamed of my size , stretch marks, or body type — I am now proud and humbled at what I can do. It has been one of the best confidence boosting things that I have ever done for myself. Yoga is truly a passion for me. When I am unable to show up to the mat, my day feels incomplete.

Why should others do yoga? For the simple fact that it will change your life! It may not seem like it at first, but eventually it will happen. Yes, physically it will change you too, but more importantly it will change your whole mindset. You will feel more compassion towards fellow human beings, and things that used to bother you will not seem as important. (If that makes sense?) Plus you will meet so many wonderful, like-minded people.

To people who are wondering about yoga, and are afraid they don’t have time, I say this, “Whether you show up for 5 minutes or an hour and 5 minutes, it does not matter as long as you’re showing up! Every little bit makes a difference.” Sometimes I only have 5 minutes for a quick flow or meditation. And it truly does make a huge difference.

About six months into my yoga journey, I decided I wanted to share this with other people by becoming a yoga teacher. And since a young age,  I have thought about being a therapist. So I thought, why not combine two of my passions and become a yoga therapist?! It is my nature to be caring and compassionate, and I am the type of person who tries to help people when they need it.  My main goal through this process is to help adults and kids who’ve been through traumatic situations, or are living through personal struggles. I’d like to use yoga as a healing tool… to help them feel better.

In May of this year, I took my first class through YogaFit, and my journey towards becoming a yoga teacher began! It will take some time but I know I will get there. I am excited to see where my next chapter in this yoga journey will take me!

A little about me… I am nearly 36 years old, married, and a mother to two fantastically awesome little humans named Orion (5) and Thea (2.5). My children are among my greatest accomplishments in life. When I am not on my mat you can find me hanging with my kids, reading, or in the outdoors enjoying the beautiful Pacific Northwest.

 

WHY YOGA? by Richard Shaw

“OK. Look, you have no more excuses. You have no scheduled deadlines or commitments, and you don’t have to be in your shop this morning. You have to go to Yoga with me… now!”

That is how I started in Yoga: coerced, cajoled, however I may want to describe the conversation that led to an incredible change in my life. It came from a dear friend who cared for my well-being. She became my mentor for Yoga. I had been dedicated to backpacking and mountain biking my entire adult life. My work was mostly upper body torqueing, muscle, joint and tendon straining. My back was a total mess, stemming from a debilitating fall that occurred while mountain biking on the Appalachian Trail in Vermont before the craze went viral. The results were a severe neck injury that wrecked havoc on my entire back and took decades to heal.

I didn’t believe in stretching. I just hit the trail on my bike or with a 40LB backpack for days of crossing mountain passes; every moment just bearing the pain. A small price to pay. Right???

In the beginning, I could hardly stand straight, or bend over, or lay flat, or sit up straight without accompanying layers of pain and of course, embarrassment. The other folks doing the Yoga were not even looking at me but I was looking directly at this wretched creature in the mirror who could not do any of the poses even remotely close to their intended positions. I hated it at first, but not because of the pain. It was due to my inadequacy and my silly ego pride.

Months went by and a slow transition occurred. I was able to forgive myself for being incapable. My practice taught me one thing at first and that was to let go of all pretenses and really just go with the flow. After 6 months or so I could finally see a faint glow of hope and a light appeared in my body/brain connection. A realization occurred that my body was slowly gaining on a reversal of that havoc that created so much pain in my life. It released me from the angst of trying and delivered me to a state of actually doing. A flow of resiliency started to take effect. The poses became much more than a mere challenge. My body responded with a sigh of relief and my inner life felt a sanction that I had always sought in my every day life. Backpacking and hiking in the woods was a meditation for me. My inner landscape became one with nature. The trees were very forgiving and kind. I worked on blending my presence with all that was natural in life. This worked just fine when I was in the mountains. The peace ebbed when I returned to civilization. The monkey mind always surfaced and once again I was cursing the people who couldn’t drive according to my standards.

Things have changed. Tranquility now has its place in my day to day life. Life has become a practice of sorts. My time on the Yoga mat has transformed this wracked, impatient creature into a more compassionate and peaceful individual. The practice of folks like Iyengar have become my goal. I realize that he started Yoga in his teens and continued to teach into his nineties. I started in my sixties and want to continue and teach into my nineties.

I take classes, mostly with women who are stronger and much more resilient than I could ever be. My goals are slowly being reached because of a dedication to my practice. All of these folks that I practice with are mentors and I am thankful for having landed here, in Port Angeles and at this Yoga studio. Years ago, I started out with Bikram Yoga and gravitated towards the Hot Yoga classes, but realize now that so much of my own resiliency is a result of the Yin and Restorative classes. The instructors here, at Poser YOGA are my inspiration to want to teach Yoga.

So….. I’ve committed to taking a Yoga Teacher Training in Barcelona for the month of May with a lead-in of two weeks prior in order to become more prepared for the 200-hour intensive!!! Then 1 week of beach on the Med.

At first I was full of extreme apprehension and self-doubt. The instructors here, especially Jenny, have done nothing but encourage me to do this. My goal is to come back into the area and teach, to bring more men onto the Yoga mat and to encourage the older folks in our community to move around and strengthen their aging bodies. This is something I know so well.

Namaste, and see you on the mat.
Richard Shaw

Why Yoga? by Marianne Sullivan

I had many old ideas about Yoga.  I thought it required more of me than I was capable of delivering – athleticism, flexibility, concentration skills, etc.  I thought I would hurt myself if I contorted into those crazy poses. I thought Yoga was for young skinny people. On my own, I would not have enrolled in Yoga classes.  So, when my dear friend JoAnn called me and said, “Hey, I’m gifting you three Yoga classes.  Come to the beginner’s class with me. It’ll be fun!”  I’m not certain why but I just said, “Yes”.

Let me back up a bit… my husband Steve and I moved to Port Angeles in January of 2015.  We were thrilled to be retired and able to move to this community. We were making friends and ready for our next adventures.  We had a minor setback in that I needed to have my knee replaced in October of 2015. I recovered well and we were ready to really enjoy our retirement.  We met so many lovely people and we felt at home here. We were thriving. However, in July of 2016 Steve was diagnosed with cancer and passed away the next November.  I was in a state of shock and despair for which I doubted I could recover. Volunteer Hospice Grief Group helped tremendously and a community of angels in this community, including JoAnn, carried me through this difficult time.  Still, I was in the throes of grief and I had not been taking very good care of myself. I had lost a great deal of flexibility in the knee that was replaced. I wasn’t doing very well. I felt like I couldn’t breathe. So, when JoAnn suggested I join her for Yoga – saying “yes” was a great beginning.    

It’s been several months now and I just love going to classes.  I became a monthly member after those three introductory classes.  I do my best to keep saying, “Yes” to the next class.  Yoga practice is critical to my physical, emotional, spiritual and mental wellbeing.  I attend Beginners Basics on Tues and Thurs, Slow Flow on Wednesdays and Restore on Saturdays.  I don’t like to miss my Yoga! The quiet, joyful teaching style and community of Yogis (no matter what our level) sustains me.  I feel lighter. I feel a part of. The despair and debilitating grief is gone. Yes, I have my tears. In fact, I cry all through the Restore class – but that’s good for me.  I let the tears as well as the joy come up and out of me in class. I laugh out loud during Beginner’s class when Jenny asks, “Are you breathing?” I don’t have to pretend I’m some kind of blissed out guru or physical contortionist.  (That was an old idea of mine too!) I get to breathe again.

Back in January, I saw this young woman in crow pose in a magazine.  I took a picture of it and sent it to Jenny. I said, “I want to be able to do that by the end of 2018.”  Later, I said, “I want to do that by my 62nd birthday” (which is April 1st/No Fooling!)  Well, I was half kidding but WE DID IT!  I feel like my ten-year old self. I have a new enthusiasm about my life.  I laugh a lot. I have a steadfast community of friends, the Poser YOGA family and a deep belief in the spirit of goodness in our world.  Combined it sustains me. I feel transformed and can’t wait for my next Poser YOGA class. “THANK YOU JENNY!”

Marianne Sullivan

 

 

The Hardest Part About Yoga

“The hardest part about Yoga is making it to class.” This is truer than true, isn’t it?

I polled some students today, asking them to share their reasons why they sometimes don’t make it to class. Do any of these sound familiar to you?

*I was feeling lazy.
*Once I got home, I wanted to stay at home.
*My friend(s) canceled and I didn’t want to go alone.
*Financial limitations.
*My schedule conflicts with class times.
*I needed to help with grandkids/family members.
*I had too much to do.

None of these answers surprised me. They’re all very real and very valid reasons. What I WAS surprised to hear was this:

*Sometimes I work through my lunch break so I can leave early and make it to class.
*Sometimes I leave my desk a mess, and tell myself I’m going to make it to class no matter what, and some things will be left undone… for now.
*Sometimes I have to say ‘no’ to someone else, so I can say ‘yes’ to myself.
*My excuses used to sway me, very easily, with every other type of exercise I’ve tried, but I love Yoga so much that I hate it when I have to miss a class. And I can’t wait to come back!!

We all know how relieved we feel when we {finally} make it to a class. Never do we regret making our well-being a priority… especially while floating away in Savasana!

Sometimes sacrifices are made. Sometimes we must get creative with our schedules and/or finances. Sometimes we must be brave and show up, even when our friends don’t. Sometimes we must say ‘no’ to someone else so we can say ‘yes’ to ourselves.

Because we are worth it. And dang, sometimes that Savasana is calling our name!!

Falling in Love With Yoga… Again. by Brooke Cole

The other day I was filling out an application to attend a work related training that specializes in helping people overcome job related stress and trauma. The application asked to list any specialized training that I had that could be useful for the position. I listed my yoga teaching and practice, including how long I’ve been doing both when it suddenly dawned on me that I’ve been practicing yoga for 18 years! 18 years! While it may not seem like that big of a deal to some, the fact that I’ve been dedicated to anything for that length of time truly amazes me. You see… I’m one of those types of people who has spent a lifetime searching for some greater purpose whether it be an educational degree, a rewarding career, a fulfilling workout regime, or a place of residence that I can truly feel at home in. I have wanted to be an actress, a forensic scientist, a helicopter pilot, and have lived in many different parts of the country and even world. Yoga has been with me through it all. While I may not have practiced the physical form of yoga every day for those 18 years, the philosophy and teachings have been with me every single day since I started practicing. That’s quite an accomplishment for someone like me that tends to float through life, bouncing off of one dream to the next, and often gets bored with routine.

All of this holds a particular relevancy to something that I’ve been experiencing lately on a personal level in regards to my workout routines. Like many women out there I have struggled most of my life with developing a positive body image of myself. I poke and prod, and judge, and cringe when I stare at my reflection in the mirror each day and compare myself to unrealistic ideas. I try to combat those feelings and thoughts of inadequacy by sometimes jumping aboard the latest fitness bandwagon, by pushing and forcing myself into routines and programs to reach self-imposed goals; goals that don’t really have a functional purpose in everyday life, but rather hold me to a self-inflicted standard of beauty all in the name of vanity. You see, I’m not working out to train for anything. I’m not an athlete or a competitive sports lover; in fact I’m quite the opposite. I pride my solitude, like strolls through nature, and would rather play for the enjoyment of it all rather than the competitive need to win. But most of all I’m just a woman that wants to feel good when I put on a pair of shorts. So I give in to all the media bullshit of “try this fad, and you’ll see these results”, or “take these supplements and eat these foods to shed fat”, and while these things may work for some which is great… surprise, surprise, I eventually get bored. And that’s where I am. I’m bored with my usual cardio and strength training routines, bored of going to the gym, I’m bored of boot camps, bored of home workout videos, bored of trying to shed the pounds with fad diets… but more importantly, I’m bored and tired of doing something that feels burdensome and doesn’t make me happy.

And so the other day as I attempted to re-boot my enthusiasm to get back on track with my fitness routine, I found myself struggling big time. Then out of nowhere I heard this little voice from deep inside ask, “Why the fuck are you doing this then?” And the only answer I could come up with was, in order to look good. Not feel good, but look good. And that’s when the insanity of being obsessed with how I look on the outside hit me. It doesn’t matter how good I look on the outside. If I haven’t cleared the shit thoughts about myself cemented deep within my brain, and cellular tissues; no amount of burpees, dead lifts, or fad diets is going to help either. Enter my yoga practice, which I sometimes neglect to focus on, doing other activities like running, or pushups, or burpees (I really hate burpees) and indoor cycling, while mind you… hating every minute of it. But here’s the thing… never have I once felt that way about yoga. (Okay maybe once or twice during a Bikram Yoga class when I secretly wanted to rip my instructor’s face off for barking “more, more, more” at me, but Bikram Yoga is a whole other beast). With that one exception, I’ve never hated going to my yoga mat. It’s like that funny meme that floats around the Internet, ‘”I regret going to yoga”, said no one ever.’ Lately I find myself gravitating towards my yoga mat like a Rebel Starfighter being pulled to the Death Star by a tractor beam. But for some barbaric reason, over the past several years, I have put losing weight, which I really don’t need to lose that much of, ahead of my yoga practice… and I’m tired of doing that. Which got me thinking about the New Year, and I what I want it to look like for myself.

One of the reasons yoga has become such a powerful force in my life, is because of the physiological and psychological changes that come with a regular practice. In class the other night, we discussed the power of our thoughts and belief systems that we have about ourselves and how yoga can help to change that. We have about 60,000 thoughts a day, 95% of them are the same that we loop over and over again, while 80% of them tend to be negative. We spend our waking hours in a conscious stream of thought in what is called Beta brain wave activity. The majority of our thoughts however, are unconscious, or thoughts that can only be accessed or changed during Theta Brain wave activity and are harder to change during Beta activity. These thoughts shape much of how we perceive ourselves and the world around us. It’s helpful to think of an iceberg to understand the magnitude of this. A very small piece of an iceberg representing our conscious or Beta thought patterns is seen above the surface of the ocean. But if we go deep underwater, we find a much larger portion of the iceberg representing our subconscious or Theta thoughts. This is where the power of yoga comes in. In yoga we spend much of our class linking our breath with certain movements, and enter into a Theta brain wave state. By accessing those thoughts in our yoga class, we have the ability to start changing the thought streams that persist in our consciousness that don’t serve us, and replace them with more nurturing, positive ones.

So for me, this New Year ushers in the awareness and resolve to start doing more of what I truly love to do, by spending more time at the base of the iceberg and not worrying so much about the surface appearances. From now on I’m working out to initiate real change, not just the superficial change located at the exterior or tip of the iceberg, but rather the stuff that lurks at the bottom and has me believe that I’m fat or unworthy. This year I resolve to do more of what I love to do, and let go of the shit that brings me down. (This means you burpees). I resolve to dedicate myself to be the best person I possibly can, and let go of norms and standards that are imposed on me by an image-obsessed, commercialized, profit hungry world. The Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu said that, “a good traveler has no fixed plans and is not intent on arriving.”  Well, that’s going to be me from now on… a good traveler. A traveler who recognizes what makes me happy and what doesn’t… and if it doesn’t… giving myself the permission to let that shit go, and do more of that I love.

Namaste lovelies… and Happy New Year.

WHY YOGA? by Tracy Fitzwater

How did I come to yoga, and stick with it for two plus years? I had dabbled in yoga, first after I graduated from college and moved to Port Angeles, and then a few years ago at the school where I taught before I retired. Both of those experiences were fairly short-lived, but the idea of practicing yoga didn’t go away. I believe I liked the idea of practicing yoga, and once I began going to yoga class, I realized that yoga is much harder than it looks.

My son’s girlfriend, a dedicated practitioner, invited me to my first class at Poser Yoga. I think she paid for my attendance that day, but I’m not really sure. Downward Dog absolutely killed me – trouble getting into the pose, shaking arms, desperate thoughts, and that was just the first one that day! However, I went back. I’m kind of surprised I did, to be honest, because the physical part of yoga wasn’t all that much fun. It was very challenging.

But then something started to happen, and yoga became more than the poses. One day the question was asked – what do you want out of yoga? I realized I didn’t want to be one of those old ladies who fall over, break my hip, and that’s it – down and out. I wanted balance and strength, and if it wasn’t too much to ask for, a bit of grace. I’ve never felt totally comfortable in my body; maybe this was a way to find that acceptance. And, I wanted to be a retired person who lived long and healthy, and I had a good feeling that yoga might be part of how I reinvented myself.

When I go to yoga now, my head is in a very different place. I practice, for the most part, with my eyes closed. I focus on my breathing. I’ve gotten a lot stronger, and so some of those poses that get held, Downward Dog, Chair, Warrior I and II, are very manageable and holdable – I’m not begging in my mind for release. And if something is too much, I have no problem dropping into Tabletop or Child’s Pose; I’m not competing with anyone. I’ve come a long way since that first session.

What would I say to someone thinking about starting a yoga practice? It’s harder than it looks, but it’s very doable. Your practice is unique to you. Use the props, and don’t feel as if that’s cheating – it isn’t. Appreciate breathing, and don’t be surprised when your breathing gets better, too. Wait for the quiet in the practice, and not just in the studio, in your mind. And appreciate the community that comes together – that final clearing breath, the collective Om, and Namaste bring it all full circle. It’s an hour that really does honor the divine in all of us.

And that’s my yoga story.

 

“I started Yoga when I started chemotherapy… ” A Yogi Story

“I started Yoga when I started chemotherapy, January 2016. I hadn’t ever done Yoga or chemo before, so it made sense in a way. My daughter found Senior Yoga at Poser YOGA and said I needed to do it. My daughter is always right. My doctor also said, “The more you do, the more you will feel like doing.” She was right too.

The first pose I mastered was Final Relaxation. My second was Child’s Pose. The 6-week session was over before I knew it, and the second series rolled into a third and fourth. In Senior Yoga I found a caring community of women who were quick to praise progress and accomplishment, and quick to offer compassion for injury and bereavement. Laughter and love. In Yoga I found a way to distance myself from the physical and emotional clamor of chemo. I found a place, if only temporary, of neutral space and quiet where I could find my inner strength. Surprising what happens when you only breathe.

Yoga is non-judgmental and teaches self-discovery and appreciation. I went to each class with whatever I had that day. I valued my flexibility and recognized my balance wasn’t what it used to be. I was always the one in class facing left when everyone else was looking right. Over the weeks, Supported Fish and Happy Baby poses became part of my muscle memory.

My chemo ended in August and more 6-week sessions rolled by. Firmly in remission in January 2017, I ‘promoted’ myself to Beginner Basics, seeking new challenges. Warrior One was difficult enough on its own; why did there have to be a Warrior Two? And Exalted Warrior and Humble Warrior? While trying to coordinate all of my limbs into a balanced and cohesive pose, I thought of other names of the pose, like —- Warrior, always remembering to breathe.

Two classes a week, not one, steepened my learning curve. I accepted my Tree Pose would have a ‘kick stand’. The first time I did a Downward Dog that felt like it could be a resting pose was sublime. I squared my hips in Warrior One, and kept my back arm lifted in Warrior Two. Yes!!!

In Poser YOGA’s Summer Challenge I won two free classes and decided to try two new classes. You are supposed to leave every day concerns at the door to the studio, but reality intrudes in the form of prior commitments. Restorative Yoga was serene, but weekend time slots don’t work for me. The schedule and rhythm of Slow Flow was better. Time to ‘graduate’ out of Basics, even if it meant a later dinner.

Always willing to push, I dared myself into a Strong Flow noon class. Note to self: walking and biking do not build upper body strength. I rendered a graceful Side Plank Twist into a flailing corkscrew disaster that safely ended in only a resounding ‘thud’! Child’s Pose for me for the rest of that sequence. Humbling, and an opportunity to improve.

For now I will switch between Slow Flow and Strong Flow as they fit my schedule. My daughter, now a certified Yoga instructor in Los Angeles, and I are attending a weekend Yoga retreat in Ojai for my birthday in February. As she said, “You have three months to get in shape, Mom.””

We’d like to acknowledge Sara Becker, for sharing her story with such courage and vulnerability. What a journey this amazing woman is traveling, and we are so pleased to be along for the ride. We’ve watched her progress from Senior Yoga to Strong Flow. Yoga is reversing the aging process and she continues to get stronger every day! It’s never too late to start Yoga, and Sara is a perfect example!

In January we have some exciting changes coming for our Senior Yoga series! We will now be offering two levels, which will allow us to provide more precise instruction, based on what our students need and want.

If Senior Yoga seems right for you or someone you know, please follow this link for information and/or registration: https://poserstudios.com/senior-yoga-sher/ or call us at 360.393.0977.

*Sign up by the end of November and get our current rate of $55/series. In December, our prices will be going up.

OH-SO-GRATEFUL

Good morning, Dear Ones!

We are all so lucky to have one another, and though life can get tough, and confusing, and challenging, and especially bleak at times, we have each other to lean on.

Every day that I step into our little Yoga studio, I know I will be met with smiles, kind eyes, understanding hearts, and even hugs — sometimes all you gotta do is ask!

STUDENTS: Your courage to be vulnerable; your dedication to your practice; your willingness to go deep, even if it’s dark… I admire you and acknowledge you.

TEACHERS: Your full hearts; your talents and wisdom; the time you give; the love you give… I thank you and appreciate you.

Together, our community is UNIQUE, and INSPIRING, and STRONG. We are moving mountains, one breath at a time, one heartbeat at a time.

We are changing the lives of everyone we meet, because we are taking the time to be with OURSELVES — our thoughts, our perceptions, our judgements, our limitations.

We are willing to say, “I’m perfectly IMPERFECT.”

We are willing to ride the waves of our HUMANness and experience the entire spectrum of emotion.

We are willing to do the ‘work’ it takes to find peace in our hearts, and fluidity in our relationships.

We are NOT willing to numb ourselves to the woes of life.

We are NOT willing to compromise our happiness and our faith in love.

We are NOT willing succumb to our fears.

Thank you for being here, and thank you for contributing to ‘us’.

Thank you for being open, and receptive, and available, in ALL areas of your life. Someone you know might need you right now.

We are FAMILY.

xx JSH

WHY YOGA: Rachel Storck

Rachel Storck is a bombshell of a Yoga Babe. Beautiful, strong, and so very sweet. She’s been on our team of Karma cleaners this past summer and she’s been such a delight to have as part of our Poser family. She will be leaving for the winter, and our fingers are crossed that she returns next summer! Please take a moment to read her story. It’s touching, honest, and thoughtful. She truly IS a badass, in the best of ways! Thank you for sharing a little part of yourself, Rachel. Your story will inspire others, in ways you might never know. xx

Why Yoga? 
My journey to Yoga has not been especially exciting. I was interested in learning a new craft, some physical fitness, and a way to quiet my thoughts and mind. Also, I just thought it’d be badass to be able to do some of these poses. Have ya’ll seen some of these?! Seriously. DAMN. I have been practicing when I have time (on and off) for a few years now, sometimes Youtube-lead home practice and sometimes at a class. What I really want to share is a much more recent experience of what Yoga has done for me.

I am an intelligent person. I am resourceful and capable and giving and amazing. I love to celebrate the joys and strengths of being a woman and all the inspiring women around me. I like to laugh in the face of culturally constructed beauty standards telling me how to be my most beautiful self. Despite all of this, a parasite of negativity wormed its way into how I felt about myself, about my body. I kept focusing on what was wrong with my body- getting chubby in my stomach and thighs. It just continued to bother me. The worst part was that my intelligence and fiercely feminist beliefs were still in place, telling me that my size did not matter; however, I just couldn’t bring myself to feel that way. The gap between what I had always thought and what I actually felt was distressing me. If I truly believed that my body was worthy of love, then why did I frown every time I looked down? And believe me, my divine spark was telling me how fabulous I was, I just didn’t quite fully believe it. It’s a hard thing when your brain and heart are contradicting each other.

I was doing Yoga before this happened. And so I continued to do Yoga- if anything is supposed to help this, it’s Yoga right? I went to class. And another class. Another. Etc. And for a long time, nothing changed. It took a lot classes and a lot of work mentally before I started believing in the goodness of my body again. But I did! Yoga did that for me. Yoga gave me the opportunity to take time to just be with my body without insane beauty standards. I got to feel the strength in my thighs right there under my hands in a seated pose or working to hold me in a warrior pose. I got to reacquaint myself with my tummy- oh yeah, she’s there, but guess what she works hard too! Every class was a small reminder that taking the time to be there was an act of kindness to myself and that I was absolutely worthy of that, that my body deserved that.

I love my curves, my big ol’ butt, and that little extra jiggle. I can’t run as long as I’d like. I can’t really do more than one chaturanga properly. But here’s the thing that Yoga has put into perspective- the goals that I have cannot be reached without the support of my body. My body and I are together in this. Yoga helped me to regain the confidence in and love for my body that I had lost for a little bit. Yoga gave me the space, opportunity, and time to reunite my heart, mind, and body.

“These curves are kickin’
These thighs are strong
I love this body
That’s my song!”


Care to Share?
Have you had an ‘a-ha‘ moment? A shift in perspective? Why do YOU practice Yoga? Please tell us more… (psst…you’ll get a mini yoga photoshoot out of it!!)