It’s Time to Change the Self-love Conversation.

September 24, 2013

Yesterday I had the opportunity to practice yoga as a student. This is such a funny sentence because every time we step onto our mats, we are a student. Even when teaching, I’m learning something new: from the way a student’s body moves, from a brief phrase uttered after class, from constructive criticism or praise and from those tiny moments of pause between the breath where we invite God to sit with us for a moment. But yesterday’s practice was unique. I walked into a studio where I knew no one. No one knew I was a teacher in the community, and in fact no one knew me at all. All they knew was I was a girl on my mat. Breathing. Laughing lightly. Enjoying each moment and breath. I took it all in and truly enjoyed this practice!

You see as a teacher I have a lot of ego. I HATE to admit this but sometimes when I practice in one of my home studios, I find myself sucking in my stomach or arching even deeper into a pose. I try to embody what I think my students would want to see as the perfect yoga teacher. For the first few moments of breath, I think about them and what they may think of me: what my alignment looks like in each pose, and how much I weigh or what I eat. But not more 5 minutes into practice, I forget and I flow. I turn into my breath and let go of the world around me. I turn completely inwards and let my body listen to where it needs to be in each moment of my practice.

It’s silly and I can be a bit of a hypocrite in that regard. I’m constantly telling everyone to “let go of their ego.” I’m telling everyone that no one is paying attention to their practice and that it doesn’t matter. And in that regard I am 100% correct. If you noticed I used MY EGO and paid attention to MY PRACTICE. The judgment I used was against myself and it is something that I am constantly working on.

This is part of the reason I created The Ahimsa Project. To cultivate a world of self-love. A beautiful world of collective yoginis, ohmees and veggie lovers who love themselves truly, madly, deeply. Moms, business women, painters, singers and construction workers who want to go to bed with themselves every single night. Those who embrace themselves and their entire mind, body and soul.

When we practice asanas or meditation we are able to begin to shed that outer layer of ego. We are able to step onto our mats and truly focus on ourselves. In those moments we can change the conversation. When you catch yourself sucking in your belly, ask yourself if you’re doing this to strengthen your core, or in order to look a little bit skinnier. One of those matters and it’s NOT looking skinny. What matters in that moment is the switch and the conversation that begins with “I am perfectly okay with where I am RIGHT NOW.” You are. I am. We are all on this journey together and by uniting in self-love and yoga, we are better able to create a world based in self-love.

Tonight, I want to challenge you to do something for yourself. Take a bubble bath, buy some flowers, make your favorite meal or snuggle into the change of seasons in your own unique way. Whatever it is, let it be a conversation. Open your heart and trust that even if you are initially cruel to yourself, you can immediately let go of this hatred and anger by inviting in a kind conversation of love and healing. In the bathtub tonight do not criticize your thighs or rub your belly in disgust. Rather think about how beautiful you are inside and out. Take a moment to smell the delicious flowers you bought and appreciate that their beauty took a lot of time to cultivate. Someone planted those seeds, or they were blown there by the winds of chance and they took the time to grow and stretch towards the sun to end up in your kitchen or on your table. Their beauty took a while to bloom but throughout their journey they continued along and began to become the perfect flower for YOU.

Each journey begins with a few simple steps. The journey to self-love through yoga and the journey of ahimsa, non-violence towards yourself…. It begins from within. The journey begins with a simple & kind conversation with yourself.

Repeat after me: I am beautiful & I am strong. I am worthy of love. I love myself.

I would love to hear pieces of your conversation in the comments below. Please share a moment where you “auto-corrected” your own conversation and reminded yourself that you are right where you’re supposed to be!

Sending you lots of {self} love, ahimsa, glitter & yogic joy!
Sat Nam,
Jenny

 

 

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