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For many, especially girls and women, there is a constant struggle between our physical bodies and our emotional selves that creates a palatable tension. That tension can cause feelings of shame, guilt, vulnerability, and self-doubt, which can result in eating disorders, self-imposed limitations, and other mental health concerns. The struggle is real, and the media isn’t helping. Overexposure to thin-and-beautiful media images can influence our body image, so it’s no wonder that according to data from Statistic Brain:

  • 91% of all women are unhappy with their bodies and resort to dieting
  • 80% of women say the images of women in the media makes them feel insecure
  • 58% of college-aged girls feel pressured to be a certain weight
  • 42% of girls in 1st through 3rd grade want to be thinner
  • 81% of 10-year olds are afraid of being fat
  • 53% of teenage girls are, or think they should be, on a diet

Finding a way to move past the media ideal and shatter the negative thinking and self-doubt is an individual process. But some women are finding a way to reconcile that raging battle between the physical and the mental through the practice of yoga. But don’t think of yoga as the ultimate goal of getting the perfect body, but as a way to get in touch with your authentic self.

Yoga & Mind-Body Connection

Not everyone is a size four, nor do they aspire to be. Yoga, when practiced in its entirety—poses (asana), breathing (pranayama), and meditation—connects the mind, body and spirit and goes much deeper than just the physical fitness of yoga. Yoga has many lessons to teach.

It can teach you to let go of self-judgments and comparisons to others, and embrace your whole self.

Stop comparing yourself to others

You are uniquely you. And for that reason, you don’t look like other people and your body may not respond like someone else’s. Concentrate on the poses that work for you. When you catch yourself mentally cursing your body because you can’t go as deep into a pigeon pose as the person on the mat next to you, come back to your breath and refocus your awareness on you.

It’s OK if you fail

No one was born knowing how to practice yoga. That goes with just about every other activity in life. You have to start somewhere, and it might as well be the beginning. So, keep in mind when you are first practicing yoga that you won’t be perfect; you won’t always get it right; you might not hold a pose very long; and you might lose your balance. And this is all OK. It just takes practice.

Embrace the Community

The social aspect of practicing yoga can be fulfilling on its own. Take comfort that you won’t be the only person in class who can’t do a pose correctly. Your yoga community should be a nurturing one. If it isn’t, find another class or studio because those communities exist, and they are vital to your progress and commitment to your practice.

Yoga is for every body type

Yoga classes at LHAA are therapeutic in nature, and all involve breath-initiated, intentional, intelligent, healing movement. All actions work with the body’s own knowledge and potential limitations. If you would like get acquainted with the practice of yoga, or reacquainted, visit us here for our class schedule.

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Lexington Healing Arts Academy
272 Southland Drive
Lexington, KY 40503

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