yoga and being naked

by humanmama on March 6, 2014

I thought maybe the title would get your attention.

So I began eating better. Also I’ve been exercising 3-5 days/week lately. So hopefully getting healthier all over. But that’s when I noticed the noise of the amazing and gorgeous people around me (usually in the background) getting louder. “What are you doing?” someone will ask me. “You look amazing.” Before I have time to say the extremely boring “diet and excercise,” the friend or acquaintance launches into her own personal attack. On HERSELF.

“I hate my butt.”/ “I just can’t get rid of these thighs!“/ “I’ll never have the same tummy again, since the kids.” / Or, and most often, “I have gotten so fat.”

I’m so, so sad that this is the way we treat ourselves. It’s global–the ads upon ads that say “You’re not good enough, but BUY THIS and you WILL BE!” We all buy into it. It’s a part of us in America today. And that’s why I began to love going to yoga. It’s Ashtanga yoga–hot and sweaty and fast, moving with your breath. It’s not easy. It’s not really relaxing (per se…but you do feel really relaxed and energized afterward). But it’s energetic. And it’s about love, not hate.

Yoga is kind of anti-American in this way. Here, we’re encouraged to be sexier and better than the competition (read: everyone else). And Yoga is the opposite: it’s all about staying in touch with the universe while staying in tune with your own body, your own practice. We maybe say a universal, together, group “Ohm” before we launch into breathing very much for ourselves. You feel sweaty, you feel strong, and you feel connected to the energy in the room, inspired my it, carried by it. When I go to the gym I don’t feel that way. I feel competitive. I feel hate. I feel anger. I used to think that pushed me to perform better, but you know what? Not for me. Maybe you LOVE the gym, but I love the yoga.

So maybe I won’t really lose any weight. Maybe I won’t be “bikini ready” in a month, like the magazines claim. (In fact, after 3 kids, I’m not even sure what that means.) But I might be able to look in the mirror after I get out of the shower and not say “UGHHH.” I might be able to have the kids touch my soft belly and answer their questions, instead of hide under a shirt immediately. I might be able to feel good in my own skin again, once I learn how not to listen to the crap. Ooh–that’s an idea!

“Yogic earplugs! Tune out all the bad crap around you! Lose 20 lbs. in three weeks with the new ‘not listening’ diet!”


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