i read this article this morning and I was so touched. I have struggled with body image my entire life, probably somewhat influenced by my mothers constant body shaming towards herself. Reading this article really touched me because to me it is what yoga is all about.
People now struggle with body image like crazy, maybe women always did. I mean there were parasols so that women wouldn’t get freckles, corsets that are incredibly unhealthy that sucked their waists in and left their hips out, and who knows what else. I am no exception to that rule. It doesn’t help that now I have gained a lot of weight and I can’t lose it, and I’m not gaining for specific reasons. Someday I need to get hormone testing done to see if that’s why, or maybe it’s allergies to some different food group. I won’t deny I struggle with over eating but part of the problem is that even if I do the work I don’t lose the weight, so when I’m really depressed and want a coke, that five pounds it adds means nothing because I’m just going to keep gaining anyway!
It doesn’t help that my mom spent my entire life talking about how ugly she was. “Mom, you look so nice.” “No, I don’t, don’t lie!” “Don’t take pictures of me!” “I will take your phone if you don’t delete that right now.” And it showed itself in other ways too. I can’t shake the feeling that maybe the reason why she would never let me wear clothes that really fit me, or clothes that were stylish was because she couldn’t because she weighed too much to shop in regular people stores.
Now I weigh too much to shop at regular stores too and I can sympathize with all of that. It makes me so angry to see all the skinny people at the mall when I go to try and see if they have had any big stuff returned from online. And I work retail so that doesn’t help either, so much bitterness when a size 2 complains about never being able to find stuff that fits. At least there is a size that fits her and she doesn’t have to order online, and she can shop without being too ashamed of herself to talk to sales people.
But in yoga class is the one place I get to forget all of that(at least most of the time) I get to remind myself constantly that yoga is about accepting myself and others for where we are. So I am just in the moment and the people at my yoga studio are so welcoming and kind that I don’t even feel that they are judging me. Yoga truly is my sanctuary.
The other thing that touched me is what he said about “one day” being able to do things he can’t do now. My hot yoga teacher is always saying, “and one day” such and such will happen, “and if that is not today there is nothing wrong with that!” And she is one of my favorite yoga teachers because in her class I am safe from all of the daily insults and all of my self grading thoughts. And when she talks about “one day” I believe her. And that’s what really matters and what I need the most. Hope. Yoga is my hope.