This week is National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA) Week. Although I have never been diagnosed with an eating disorder, I know others who have, I have been through my own struggles with body image, and believe this is a real problem in our culture. That’s why, when I saw this Tweet earlier in the week, I got to thinking about my role in the solution…
I took a look at the map of self care ideas and immediately recognized these all as things I have learned and practiced through yoga. Every. Single. One.
When I first took up yoga, I was in college, and was struggling with my body image, not believing that I could look or be perfect, that there was always something better to be achieved. I started practicing yoga to build strength and flexibility, but on a deeper level I believe I stayed because I also found some inner peace. Yoga taught me that the practice, and life, is about progress and not perfection. It showed me all the awesome things that my body can do, regardless of how toned my arms are. I wrote a note to the instructor thanking her for opening my eyes to a practice where I found self-acceptance and gentleness.
I still struggle with my body image sometimes; that’s no secret on this blog. Yet, I am infinitely kinder to myself. From my experience in teacher training and with my studio, I’ve found patience with myself, support in my community, and the opportunity to focus on goals that align with my true values, not society’s superficial ones.
Read my post from NEDA Week last year.