Day 3 of 31: Body Love Yoga Challenge {self-love}

Image When you look in the mirror what do you see?

For a long time - scratch that - for as long as I can remember I always hated looking in the mirror.  Honestly, when I did I found myself heading into a rabbit hole of picking, prodding, analyzing, critiquing and berating every little feature, dot, hair - just everything.   Never being satisfied with what I saw.  And so it is that I continue to work on the art of self-love.

Oh how yoga helps me with this.  I get so blissed out thinking about the day that I can walk into the yoga studio and just love myself and my practice for me - all of me that expands far beyond the confines of my body.  Instead of attaching to simply the physical me I look toward this moment when I have the ability to practice the art of self-love and non-attachment as I move in front of the mirror.

Some day. But not today. Or yesterday. Or the day before.

The past three days I have found myself spending the first five minutes or so of yoga class noticing and judging who I am as a physical body in the mirror.

But something is shifting even still.  Each class I've noticed the thoughts and the tendencies I have to judge myself. Judge myself for the cookie I had, or the dozens of cookies I've had over the last few months, or the extra curve on my thighs or flesh on my arms.  And then I find myself and am able to find gratitude in the moment of judgment because it is in these moments that I begin to change.  Slowly I remember how grateful I am that my body has a voice and knows how to get my attention when I am off track.  I recall how my body has carried me to many parts of the world, and I hope many more.  How my hips and belly I hope someday will shift to make room for a growing child and how my arms have given me the strength to sometimes push out of my life that which no longer serves me and then at other times pull in close that which does.

This brings a smile to my face.  For I know I am so lucky and that my body is beautiful just the way it is - in every moment of every day.  And yet this truth never comes easy and is a struggle to often remember.  Yoga is helping me though and I find I am able to shift out of judgment in the beginning of class by using mantras of self-love and appreciation.  Sometimes as simple as 'I love myself' or 'You are beautiful just the way you are.' So cheesy I know, but there is so much power in our thoughts and our words.  For anyone that doubts this just watch this short 3 minute YouTube video here.

We are fluid beings and I truly believe what we think about, fret about, focus on, etc. does become our reality.  So I wonder if you have moments of critique and judgment when you stand in front of the mirror -whether it be the yoga mirror or your bathroom mirror; do you often focus on the physical parts of you that you wish to change? Perhaps you can find your own mantra or affirmation that can help you in these moments and if you already have one I would love to know in the comments below what that is.  Or if you don't but you have that you would like to start using, perhaps you will share that too :)  I have been so inspired by all the people sharing with me their own similar struggles around self-love and body.  I truly believe that when we are able to share with people our pains, it is then that we can begin to heal and it also allows others the chance to heal as well.  

May we all find the ability to come into our yoga practice over the next 28 days with a sense of deep love and gratitude for these bodies that are carrying us through. 

So much love, Jamie