I’ve been seeing lots of amazing pictures on Instagram lately and in the press. Body image issues are nothing new and comparing ourselves to what we see in magazines on the Internet is becoming an epidemic with younger and younger girls suffering from poor body image and developing eating disorders.
Last night I taught a private yoga session with a group of women who had never done yoga before. There were lots of laughs and it was absolute chaos with kids trying to join in but it was a lot of fun. At the end they had a few questions for me. There were comments of “What you can do is amazing’ “ how long did it take you to be able to do…?”
When I told them a little about my story and how when I first started yoga I couldn’t even touch my toes they couldn’t believe it. It made me stop and think about how far I’ve actually come. As i was driving home I realised how far I really had come not only in my yoga practice but in life in general.
Instead of looking at our bodies and seeing what we wish to change we need to step back and realise how amazing our bodies actually are. Just the simple act of raising our arms overhead is truly amazing trust me I know. After I had my first shoulder surgery in 2002 it took me over 6 months just to bring my arm up to shoulder height and it still wasn’t completely pain free to do this.
Sometimes we focus on what we see lacking in ourselves instead of focusing on what we can do.
I’m choosing to change my focus and instead see my body for the amazing things it can do rather than how it looks or what it can’t do. I’ve had 2 shoulder surgeries, knee surgery, screws in my ankle and a spinal injury. I still have days, especially when I haven’t been treating myself well, that my body doesn’t feel great and those days make me remember just how far I’ve come. From spending days in bed in pain and just the simple act of walking and showering being a struggle to where I’m at today is a huge transformation. I was lucky enough to have some amazing people around me who pushed me to keep going and didn’t let me feel sorry for myself.
So next time you start to get down on yourself for not having the ‘perfect’ body or find yourself comparing your body to others stop and think about the truly amazing vessel your body is. How amazing it is that your body can do the things it can.