What does it mean to have a yoga body? And why do I question wether or not I have one?
I never question that I have a solid yoga practice,or that I am out there on the mat every day, but I do worry if that is reflected in my body. I compare myself to Instagram babes who practice, who go to the gym and who made looking pretty while flowing their job. I mean, I respect them. They have words that often speak to me, they have moves that are above and beyond, but it is so easy to think: "That’s a yoga body and that’s what it is about".
But it is not, is it? That's not what it is about. Yoga is about continuing to expand your own limits, it is about doing so with kindness. Yoga is about how deeply you breathe, about the grace and strength in your movements, and about showing up. It is about intensity and stillness. It is about how you make it your own, it is about what you need right here and now, this moment. It is about holding space for yourself. Some days that means moving in a way that feels like a hug, slow and open. Other days it means moving like fire, burning what is in the way and sweating it out. It is about what you need right here and right now. Going within and moving whit what you find there, again and again, that is what gives you a yoga body. Plain and simple.
But, despite how simple it may seem, I still question my own body. I am learning to live with ease and be less rigid. Am I allowing my body to follow? Yes. Do I worry that some habits stand in the way of having a "yoga body"? Maybe. Do I want to change them? Not really. Do I want to change this body? Too often the answer is yes, but that answer is not my own, it is something I have learned to believe and am trying to unlearn.
Loving myself and coming home in this body has been a struggle. I got rid of the scale. So, the way I perceive of this body is not just a number anymore. The way I see this body now includes how it feels and what I do during the day. I see this as a truimph.
In the summer it includes being comfortable outside, eating new things, tan lines and bikini’s hugging this booty. In the fall the days feel slower. I lounge on couches, snuggle up in blankets and soft sweaters,I eat more comfort food. This body means good days and bad days, it reflects my life back to me. And yoga is a big part of that life.
So why do I question whether I have a yoga body? There is a lot at stake somehow. I used to need the number on the scale to track my worth – as sad as that sounds. And now I need the reassurance that I look like a yoga teacher, so I feel comfortable enough “to play the part”.
I am "all in" when it comes to yoga, I want to practice and teach and to spread the magic. I want yoga to be a part of my life more and more every day. But then some days I question that and feel the uncertainty of life deeply. Desires like this makes me feel vulnerable, like, too out in the open. So I try to look for proof, for something in this story that I can measure or compare. And it doesn’t work.
Because yoga is an art in which comparing makes no sense. Because we teach how we feel about ourselves and there is no short-cut to that. Because it encompasses way more than just the way we look: it is all that we are.
Because our worth is not found as something we can measure in the body. It is when we feel our own worth that it automatically reflects more in our body. It is when I let go of how I want this body to look, that it finds its way there. I carry myself differently, I stand a little taller. I am more graceful. I am present, I eat with more respect. I try to live with truth, and the body that goes with it, speaks my truth as well.
And in the end, life will always be more than yoga. Yoga is here to serve this life, to empower, to guide. To enable this body to reflect all that is going on. I am on that mat everyday, moving with the breath, finding peace and finding sweat. Moving everything I have, in every possible direction. This body does yoga, so what is there to question, really? I have a yoga body, and so do you.