Loving your body, even when you don’t
I love this article by yoga teacher Bethany Eanes, “I Love Yoga, But It Didn’t Help Me Love My Body.” I think that she expresses a common experience of those who are “supposed” to love their bodies–sometimes we don’t. Sometimes, we just aren’t feeling that great about your body. And because we are advocating body love, the subsequent feeling is guilt–feeling guilty for not feeling body love.
Here’s an excerpt from the article that I think captures this issue perfectly:
Here’s the good news: If you don’t fully embrace your body, you are not a failure. You are normal. Body image is extremely complicated on a psychological, emotional and very personal level. There are factors at play every day that can make you feel great in your body or, especially as a woman and especially on certain days of the month, really terrible in your body.I have practiced yoga for many years now, and I truly live my practice. I meditate. I eat vegetarian. I’m even sober. I go to bed early and wake up before sunrise. I try to breathe deeply into life’s challenges. I aim to live a simple life. But, I still struggle with body image. I still have days when I want to lose weight, even if I rationally realize I don’t need to. And here, friends, is where yoga actually helps.The tendency to struggle with body image is going to happen. The tendency to act on this struggle can be avoided. I may feel fat, ugly, bloated or ready to scream at the scale. But, thankfully, I don’t take the next step. I don’t crash diet. I don’t stop eating carbs for three weeks. I don’t throw up my dinner. (If these are issues you struggle with, my heart goes out to you, and I hope you find a resource for help.)