I just got out of the shower and did my usual rear view mirror check, and I don't know if the light was a bit different in the bathroom that morning or what, but it was clear to me that I had cellulite! My heart started racing a bit as my sympathetic nervous system started to kick in, emotions started to shoot up to the surface. Disgust. Shame. Anger….yes, all this over a bit of cellulite… and I started to go down my regular list of possible ways this could have even happened to me. “Have I gained weight? Am I not exercising enough? Should I be doing more advanced yoga classes? Do I snack way too much? I wonder how many calories those Whole Foods Power cookies have in them anyways?”
And then this tornado of self-loathing all came to a screeeeeching HALT!!!
“Wait a minute!” I thought to myself, “who cares if I have cellulite?! I can put my foot behind my head, hold a powerful Warrior pose, float up effortlessly into headstand and come into full wheel any time of the day. My body is AMAZING, and POWERFUL and SO BEAUTIFUL!”
Now, the point of my story is not that you need to be able to master certain postures to have these positive attributes, but in yoga just like in everything else in our society, there are still “ideals” that can weigh us down... “an ideal yoga body,” you see this plastered all over the covers of yoga magazines and advertisements, there is an “ideal” way the postures are supposed to look, and an “ideal” number of hours we are supposed to practice, dress, talk, act, eat etc. Well fact of the matter is, that these “ideals” are unattainable for 90% of us!!
For me yoga has actually greatly decreased this feeling of never being “good enough.” I always felt very disconnected to my “uncoordinated” body that I felt was too, a lot of things, but never anything positive.
My hope is that yoga can be this for everyone, especially as more and more teenagers start a practice. A place to feel pure gratitude, to feel beautiful, graceful, strong, powerful and an abundance of self love, no matter how many years you have been practicing or how advanced your postures are.
So, Namaste you beautiful, sexy, strong, graceful, powerful yogi/yogini you! YES, I am talking to YOU!